A Blog devoted to all things SWC, the greatest college athletic conference. Updated weekly with the SWC Game of the Week during football season. Other relevant SWC News will appear from time to time as well.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

SWC Game of the Week: Texas A&M Aggies at Texas Longhorns

This week’s SWC Game of the Week is one of the state’s oldest and nation’s oldest rivalries. The Aggies and Longhorns will meet the Friday after Thanksgiving for the 113th time. Only Wisconsin vs. Minnesota (115) and Kansas vs. Missouri (114) have met more often. The series started in 1894 and has been played every year since 1915. In 1914 the Longhorns refused to play the Aggies because of their rough style of play under legendary Aggie coach Charlie Moran.

The Longhorns lead the all time series 73-34-5 and 50-13-3 series lead for games played in Austin. The longhorns have won 6 straight and 9 of 11. But over the last 20 years the series is split 10-10 and over the past 30 years the series is split 15-15. The game has been played on Thanksgiving Day 60 times in the 106 year history. Now of course the game is played the day after Thanksgiving because of ABC.

This year’s game will feature a favored Texas squad looking to clinch a Big 12 South title and a berth in the Big 12 Championship game against the North winner, Nebraska. A&M will try to play spoiler, after losing its last two conference games by a combined total of 2 points. The story revolves around whether Texas starting QB Colt McCoy will be healthy enough to earn the start. Jevan Snead played in relief of Colt McCoy in Texas lost to Kansas State in their last game. The last time Texas started a true freshman at QB, Chris Simms, the Aggies beat them. This is also the last time the Aggies beat Texas, and the last Thanksgiving before one Aggie boy met another Longhorn girl. Coach Fran will try to avoid starting his coaching career at A&M 0-4 against the hated Longhorns. The last coach to lose more than 4 in a row to Texas and not be replaced with a new coach was Homer Norton who lost 8 in a row to Texas before being removed after the 1947 season. I guess the 1939 National Championship Coach Norton won for the Aggies gave him a bit of wiggle room. Coach Fran didn’t win a National Championship with A&M.

There are many stories from this great game, but let’s take one from the 1965 Game. Gene Stallings was the A&M coach, his first year coaching the Aggies. The Aggies were 3-6 and were playing a disappointing 5-4 Texas squad coached by Darrell Royal. The last A&M win was 1956 in the series. Texas had A&M backed up to its own 9 yard line when Coach Stallings called for the “Texas Special.” On the snap, Aggie QB Harry Ledbetter threw a low spiral that hit the ground in front of the wingback on the left side (Jim Kauffman), and skittered into his hands. Kauffman stomped the ground in disgust, and Harry Ledbetter threw down his hands in frustration. Everybody on the field and in the stands relaxed, as the play was apparently over and the pass incomplete. But then Kauffman suddenly turned and threw a long pass to Ken “Dude” McLean, who was running alone down the right center of the field, and across the goal line with no defenders anywhere close. When the referee signaled a touchdown, the stunned crowd slowly realized that the bounced pass was actually a lateral thrown slightly backwards to Kauffman, who had lined up two to three yards back of the line of scrimmage. It was a 91 touchdown pass that had been put in the playbook just for Texas. The field judge ha been tipped off before the game by Stallings so that an inadvertent whistle would not be blown when the lateral hit the ground. The momentum spurred the Aggies to a 17-0 half time lead, but Texas recovered to win 21-17.

Other big games this week:

SMU at Rice (Both teams are bowl eligible, winner might get the bowl.)

Arkansas vs LSU

TCU at Colorado State

Last week:

Rice beat East Carolina in the SWC Game of the week 34-24 for win #6 and to become bowl eligible.

Arkansas 28 Mississippi State 14

Baylor 10 OU 36

Houston 23 Memphis 20 OT (Houston will host CUSA championship game.)

SMU 34 Tulsa 24 (SMU with win #6)

TCU 52 San Diego State 0

Texas Tech 30 Ok. State 24

1 comment:

cjh said...

Pretty easy pick for game of the week this week, huh?