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.

Monday, November 19, 2007

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

We’ve come to the last week of the college football season and the last SWC Game of the Week. (Look for a special bowl edition come bowl bids.) This week’s newsletter will come to you early to catch you before the Thanksgiving Break, and to allow you plenty of time to get all lathered up for this week’s game. We’ll end with the biggest game of the SWC, A&M vs. Texas. A&M won last year 12-7 on the Longhorns home turf, ending their BCS bowl hopes and their chance to play in the Big 12 Championship Game. This year the Longhorns have an outside shot at the Championship Game (if OSU beats OU) and the Aggies are playing for pride, and perhaps a bit better bowl bid. This may also be the final game for Aggie Coach Fran, who is expected to be released from his coaching duties after the season. Kyle Field should be rocking in this national televised contest, ABC 2:30. Enjoy the game, enjoy the turkey, and I hope everyone enjoyed this year’s SWC Game of the Week.

THIS WEEK’S GAME:

This week’s game is the big one, Texas at Texas A&M. This rivalry has been known to split households. The Longhorns and Aggies will meet for the 114th time with Texas leading the all time series 73-35-7 in a series that dates back to 1894. Texas A&M won last year’s game 12-7 in Austin. With 1,473 combined wins, the Texas, Texas A&M rivalry has more combined wins than any in-state rivalry in the nation. This is the third most played rivalry in college football behind Minnesota vs. Wisconsin (116) and Kansas vs. Missouri (115). The game will not be played on Thanksgiving for the 14th consecutive year, with the last 10 years the game as been played the Friday after Thanksgiving. The rivalry has been played on Thanksgiving 60 times, starting in 1901. The Aggies are led by a ground attack that along with only 4 other schools, features 3 backs with over 500 yards. Michael Goodson and Jorvorski Lane the “thunder and lightning” combo out of the backfield, and the Aggies leading rusher, QB Stephen McGee pace the Aggie attack. Aggie tight end, Martellus Bennett has caught a pass in 28 straight games, setting an Aggie record and providing a threat in the air for the Aggies. The Aggies have scored on 43 out of 49 trips to the red zone, relying heavily on Lane, the big back who has scored 44 career touchdowns, tying him for all time on the Aggie list. Senior defensive end Chris Harrington anchors the Aggie Defense, among the leaders sacks, tackles for loses and forced fumbles. The Longhorns offense is led by QB Colt McCoy and RB Jamaal Charles. Jamaal Charles has been named a semifinalist for the Doak Walker award given to the best running back in the nation. Charles has 1,366 yards on 214 carries and has scored 15 touchdowns so far this season, averaging 124.2 yards a game. McCoy has a 19-5 record as the Texas starting QB and is the 4th UT player to record 2,500 yards in consecutive seasons. McCoy looks for Nate Jones, Quan Crosby, and TE Jermichael Finley, all with over 40 receptions. Texas ranks 12th nationally in rush defense this year. Seniors Frank Okam and Derek Lokey lead the rush defense from their defensive tackle positions. Okam is on the Outland Trophy watch list. On paper, this game obviously favors the Longhorns, but in a big rivalry game such as this one, you can “throw the records out the window” and the Aggies home crowd should make this another great game in a long history of great games.

COTTON BOWL MEMORIES:

Since A&M won the game last year, 12-7, and there are too many Longhorn Cotton Bowl’s to choose from, this week’s Cotton Bowl Classic Memory will be from the 1968 game featuring the Texas A&M Aggies against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama (8-1-1) entered the game ranked #7 in the UPI and the Aggies at 6-4 ended a string of 10 Cotton Bowls with both teams ranked in the top 10. The game was almost secondary to the coaching match-up between the legendary Bear Bryant and Gene (Bebes) Stalling. Stalling was a Junction Boy, from Bear’s preseason training camp during Bryant first season at A&M. The Aggies began the season with a last second loss to SMU, and then lost the next 3 as well in narrow defeats. The Aggies found their game though and won the last 6 contests to earn the SWC title and a trip to the Cotton Bowl for the first time since 1942. Aggie QB Ed Hargett threw 21 passes in the first half, two for touchdowns, the last with 21 seconds to go before the half to give A&M a lead. Both teams scored in the 3rd quarter and the Aggies held on while Bama QB Ken Stabler led the Tide to the Aggie 29 on the last drive before turning the ball over on downs. The Aggies would win that day, 20-16 and one of the Cotton Bowl’s most memorable photographs was taken, Bear lifting Stallings at midfield after the game.

EXTRA TIDBIT:

ESPN has a nice story on Dan Jenkins, the TCU Alum and college football fan / sportswriter. As Dan Jenkins wrote, “Football to Joe Coffman, and thousands of other Texans, had always been as essential as air conditioning. It was what a Texan grew up with, fed on, worshipped, followed, played, and, very often, died with." While Dan Jenkins may be more elegant than the SWC Game of the Week Correspondent, he’d be happy with you for reading and remembering the SWC and the “Good Ole Days” of College Football.

OTHER GAMES THIS WEEK:

Arkansas at LSU (Arkansas tries to knock off #1 LSU, and further cloud BCS Championship)

Texas Southern at Houston (UH takes on other cross town “rival” who is winless this year)

Tulsa at Rice (Rice looks for revenge against former coach, win by Rice knocks Tulsa out of championship game)

SMU at Memphis (SMU wraps up miserable season, hopes to send Coach Bennett out on winning note)

TCU at San Diego State (TCU working on bowl positioning)

RESULTS FROM LAST WEEK:

SWC Game of the Week, Week 11:

Arkansas 45 Mississippi State 31 (Arkansas keeps Little Rock streak alive, although McFadden held under 100 yards rushing)

Other Games:

Oklahoma State 45 Baylor 14 (OSU offense is rolling, Baylor starts coaching search, maybe Singletary?)

Houston 35 Marshall 28 (U of H now needs help from Rice to get to conference championship game)

Tulane 45 Rice 31 (Rice gives up too many yards on the ground, Drew Bear sees first college football game)

UCF 49 SMU 20 (SMU can’t keep up with Central Florida)

TCU 34 UNLV 10 (TCU wins, bowl eligible)

Texas Tech 34 OU 27 (Tech gets upset of the week, 11th time top 5 team falls to the unranked)

STANDINGS:

Conference:

Overall:

W

L

W

L

Texas

4

0

9

2

Texas Tech

4

1

8

4

Houston

1

0

6

4

TCU

2

1

6

5

Arkansas:

0

0

7

4

Texas A&M

1

1

6

5

Baylor

1

4

3

9

Rice

1

4

3

8

SMU

0

2

1

9

FINAL WORD:

That’s a wrap for this week. Please feel free to forward to your friends, send me emails of those that should be included that aren’t, and submit your additions to the weekly newsletters (favorite SWC memories, player bio’s, funny old SWC stories, mascot hijinks, etc.) If you are receiving this note and you don’t want to, shame on you, but let me know, I’ll take you off the list.

Remember to visit http://www.honortheswc.com/home.asp and help build the SWC Gallery in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

1 comment:

Bubba's Sis said...

Gig 'em, Aggies! BTHO t.u.!!!!!!!!