we're leaving for San Diego in an hour.
1 honda pilot
20 hours each way
40 dollars/night for our hotel (WHOOP! for sweet discounts)
1,710 total miles
let the greatest roadtrip EVER begin..
(i may or may not be able to post for a few days..but hey what's new. also, a belated Christmas gift for all of you: put money on A&M we haven't lost by 5 all season. on the season we've only lost by 6. this team is not going to lose, much less lose by 5)
Last week we conducted a Q&A with Cal blog Tightwad Hill. TH is the best team blog i've come across, no other blog in the country provides as much quality content as that one. A bold statement, i know, but fact nonetheless. Below are their answers to my questions.
(Their questions for me can be found here)
The 12th Manchild: During this year's Texas A&M @ Kansas game, the KU student body repeatedly heckled Jorvorskie Lane with chants of "Walrus". As the resident Californian, with your proximity to sea lions (relative to Texas), can you please evaluate the validity of their choice of nickname? If you were the heckler (safe behind 1-foot thick concrete walls and bullet proof glass, of course) what name would you bestow upon him.
Tightwad Hill:Firstly, the walrus and the sea lion are quite different animals. Secondly, neither move quite as quickly as Mr. Lane. Thirdly, we come not to heckle Jorvorskie Lane, but to celebrate him. CFB is great precisely because of athletic freaks like him. In the NFL, everyone's fast and enormous, so no one stands out.
I do look forward to the Lane/Shamu staredown at Sea World. Shamu's been feisty lately, what with almost crushing one of his trainers, so Lane had better bring his A game.
With respect to the game, I am very concerned that Cal's linebackers will have a difficult time wrapping up on Lane. I am even more concerned that Lane will grow tired of the proceedings in San Diego and eat our nickel back in the 2nd quarter.
The 12th Manchild: Marshawn Lynch. 3 years. 4501 total yds. 33 TDs. 198 pts. All that in addition to an impressive trail of empty jocks and broken ankles, yet many fans cry out for the lack of hardware in the trophy case. Why do they need to shutup? and What overrated players does Marshawn get drafted over?
Tightwad Hill:I don't know a single Old Blue who followed the Bears PT (pre-Tedford) who thinks Marshawn is a disappointment. It's the bandwagon crowd who expected that Cal would naturally beat SC this year and Marshawn would naturally win the Heisman.
Marshawn's not perfect - he dances too much and occasionally tries to make the perfect run instead of picking up four yards off right tackle. But he is the most exciting back this side of Steve Slaton, and he will make a terrific pro. He's played the entire year with two sprained ankles, and he still averaged six yards a carry. What separates Lynch is his versatility - he is very dangerous catching passes out of the backfield and Tedford will typically try to isolate him and DeSean Jackson in space at least a couple times every game.
The 12th Manchild: Berkeley or Cal? It seems like it's "Cal" when the discussion is sports based, and "Berkeley" when the discussion is academics. Set this ignorant Texan straight.
Tightwad Hill: You're spot on. With respect to athletics, it's always Cal or California - never UC Berkeley, Berkeley, Cal-Berkeley or Cal State Berkeley, which is what the Citrus Bowl called us in 1991. However, academics always refer to the school as "Berkeley" like Oxford or Cambridge. The reasons for the AD's position are twofold. First, ours is the original UC campus, and therefore
we feel we don't need the geographic distinction - we are California, and the other guys are UCLA (or the Southern Campus). Second, the athletic department became uncomfortable with Berkeley because of what the word connotes - this was a much bigger issue in the 60s and 70s of course.
The 12th Manchild: Besides Sandy Cohen, who is Cal's most beloved graduate? most embarassing?
Tightwad Hill: Sandy is definitely one of the best fictional graduates, along with Monk, Jack Bauer, and Ray Kinsella. I'm fond of Ray myself.
In real life, there's lots to choose from in both categories. For "embarrassing" lots of folks suggest William Hung of Idol fame, but the Hungster never graduated. William Randolph Hearst has his name all over the campus and city, but he was a pretty miserable guy. The inspiration for Citizen Kane the inventor of yellow journalism, which is quite a legacy. I guess I'd go with Robert McNamara, who seemed to hash things up pretty well in Vietnam.
For most beloved, Jerry Mathers merits mention, but I prefer Mark Bingham. No one knows exactly who forced Flight 93 to the ground in rural Pennsylvania, but my money's on the 6'5" rugby star sitting in first class.
The 12th Manchild: With the Aggie Defense's return to "Wrecking Crew" status this season, coupled with a solid list of QBs mangled at their hands (OkState-Bobby Reid, Baylor-Shawn Bell, Texas-Colt McCoy), how concerned are you for Nate Longshore and his various internal organs?
Tightwad Hill: I'd be more concerned if Cal's line wasn't so efficient at pass blocking. Longshore hit the turf only 13 times this year, despite being about as mobile as a dump truck. I'm actually more concerned with Nate's decision making under pressure - his pocket presence isn't very good and he tends to force balls. Another concern is that Cal's fullback Byron Storer broke his arm and will miss the game; Storer is excellent on blitz pickup and his absence could present a problem.
for the past 3 days, Berkeley has been experiencing earthquakes of magnitudes ranging from 2.5 to 3.5.
These earthquakes, coupled with last week's news that Cal FB Byron Storer broke his arm, only serve to confirm our suspicions that something sinister is brewing in Berkeley.
Perhaps a Jorvorskiestein?
only time will tell (5 days to be exact)
BTHO Cal ..and their abomination!
Apparently Desmond Howard "misspoke" during last night's bowl preview on ESPN. He didn't mean to say Cal was playing Texas in the Holiday Bowl, nor did he intend to say that he was looking forward to the key matchup between Cal's WR DeSean Jackson and Thorpe Award winner, Aaron Ross. He certainly didn't mean to throw in the added drama about Texas backup QB transferring to Ole Miss with Colt McCoy's status still in doubt. According to Dez, his mouth had a well-informed mind of its own for about 23 seconds last night.
I believe him..
That wasn't just a little confusion between the two Texas schools or a bad teleprompter. No, Dez did his homework for this game. Droppin names and awards left and right, not to mention Snead's transfer to Ole Miss the night before.
The funniest part of it all:
between the time he FIRST said it (before start of Poinsettia Bowl) and the SECOND time (during halftime)..no one corrected him. Maybe they just didn't have the heart.
atleast the graphics guys got it right..
without explanation or analysis, my barenaked picks for the 2006-2007 Bowl Season:
Poinsettia Bowl (Dec. 19)
Las Vegas Bowl - (Dec. 21)
New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 22)
Papajohns.com Bowl (Dec. 23)
New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 23)
San Jose St
Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 23)
Hawaii Bowl (Dec. 24)
Motor City Bowl (Dec. 26)
Emerald Bowl (Dec. 27)
Independence Bowl (Dec. 28)
Holiday Bowl (Dec. 28)
Texas Bowl (Dec. 28)
Music City Bowl (Dec. 29)
Sun Bowl (Dec. 29)
Liberty Bowl (Dec. 29)
Insight Bowl (Dec. 29)
Champs Sports Bowl (Dec. 29)
Meineke Car Care Bowl (Dec. 30)
Alamo Bowl (Dec. 30)
Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 30)
MPC Computers Bowl (Dec. 31)
Outback Bowl (Jan. 1)
Cotton Bowl (Jan. 1)
Gator Bowl (Jan. 1)
Capital One (Jan. 1)
Rose Bowl (Jan. 1)
Fiesta Bowl (Jan. 1)
Orange Bowl (Jan. 2)
Sugar Bowl (Jan. 3)
International Bowl (Jan. 6)
GMAC Bowl (Jan. 7)
BCS Championship Game (Jan. 8)
When playing Cal: for the love of God (Danny Ford?), GO FOR IT!
DeSean Jackson: making punt teams look special all year long.
(from punt returns alone)
sorry for being MIA lately. finals and the obligatory 48 hrs of slumber that followed are to blame. look for further Cal previewage and an exchange with Cal Blog, Tightwad Hill, later this week.
after a week of tough losses on the road against #9 LSU and #1 UCLA, the Ags returned back to College Station to regroup against some much easier opponents: Fordham and Jacksonville
Texas A&M 84
Texas A&M 97
after poor offensive outings in Week 5, the Ags came back on a mission. The team is continuing to shoot atleast 49% from the field, and doing it from all over the court. Against Jacksonville, it would be easier to say who DIDN'T get pts in the double digits.
The wins against Fordham and Jacksonville moved the Aggies home win-streak to 14. The question for Week 7 is whether the Aggies perceived improvement at home can translate into a W on the road against a very underrated Auburn (close losses to #3 Pitt and #7 Wisconsin).
- the Anti-Playoff Alliance
CFR and his compatriots can whine all they want about how the MLB, NBA, & NCAA basketball playoffs practically negate their respective regular seasons, but when it comes down to it, you can never convince any true sports fan that a consensus of spectators opinions should preclude the playing of the sport itself. They argue that a playoff would undermine the sport. What is truly undermining our sport is the notion that a team is definitively better than another because of stats & opinions, rather than a final score after 4 quarters of play
- Josh Carter's hands
i don't wanna rip on Josh, but somebody get this guy a pair of Cutters. (Anyone know if wearing gloves is actually legal?) Atleast 5 times during last week's games (@ LSU and @ UCLA) the ball just inexplicably flew out of his hands and out of bounds.
- Texas Weather
ok, so it's nothing new, but that doesn't make it any less annoying. For my final on Friday: it was 35 and windy. For my final on Monday: 75 and drizzly. The only true season we experience in North/Central Texas is summer (F-ing hot), other than that, it's kind of a weather buffet each month.
- the Textbook "industry"
I'm hardpressed to come up with a historical example of firms within an industry with such monopoly AND monopsony power as is displayed by the Bookstores in College Station. I'm tired of buying high and selling low. Yes, i am aware of this thing called the interweb and it's amazing ability to facilitate the free flow of information, thus assisting in the natural equilibration of prices in markets worldwide...but to me, the current risk and inconvenience of buying over the internet is greater than the current reduction in cost. Can someone at the SEC ("Securities & Exchange Commission" for those of you from Louisiana) explain to me how the textbook stores are NOT monopolists/monopsonists when they sell a brand new text book for $120 -> buy it back for $40 -> sell it used at $100 -> rinse & repeat cycle with new edition of the text book
Brady Quinn, "College Player of the Year"? please. Normally, i would get all worked up about something like this. shitting bricks and various other items. slowly working myself toward a coronary in my 20's.
apparently, all that is required to vote for the Maxwell Award is $35.00 and an internet connection.
i envision coeds around the country, gathered around computers with credit cards in hand casting their vote for "hottest" player of the year..
Posted by Brad @ 10:17 AM
A&M - 52
LSU - 64
as the Aggies stepped out on the court of the Maravich Assembly Center, they were unaware that the officiating crew had opted to bring their phonebooks & rubber hoses instead of the usual NCAA rule book. Throughout the first-half the refs hammered the Ags if they so much as looked Glen Davis, much less attempted to play some defense. Rewatching the game on DVR, the commentators can be heard atleast 5 times in the first half saying something like "I don't know about that one" or "Looked like all ball to me" in reference to calls made against the Ags. The Ags recieved 20 Fouls, with LSU walking away with an easy 20pts.
Glen Davis, shows us all why he's Big Baby, crying for the ref to give Josh Carter a technical for having the audacity to dunk on him.
While it would be nice to blame the loss on a terrible/finanically influenced/Voodoo'd officiating crew, the Ags had plenty of chances to take control of the game, in spite of playing handcuffed to the refs. While our inside play has been dominant and impressive (especially AK, it's night and day compared to last year), our outside shooting & driving has been lacking.
The Reason? Acie Law's hair.
The Scottie Pippen throwback, is throwin off Acie's game. In 05-06, Acie was a leader and 100% in clutch situations. Now, he's off, somethin happened. the confidence just doesn't appear to be there. Watchin him drive to the hoop is like watchin a shark go for the kill, but then someone punches it the nose, throwin him off. his instincts are all f'd up.
Last year, Acie Law was the underdog point guard, expected to step up and lead the team in the absence of Antoine Wright. It was all on him, and he rose to the occasion. This year, there's true freshmen, Donald Sloan nipping at his heels.
Bottom line: if the Aggies are to rebound against #1 UCLA tomorrow, Law needs to step up and prove he's still the leader and playmaker of this team, and the team needs to vastly improve on its 37.3% FG% from the LSU game.
John R. Wooden Classic vs. (1) UCLA
1:30 pm CT - CBS
Unless you're a Michigan fan in an alcohol/depression induced coma, you've probably heard that Texas A&M's Robert Gates was confirmed by the Senate (95-2) to become the next Secretary of Defense.
What you and most Aggies DIDN'T know is that Gates has been lurking on TexAgs.com for the past year under the name "Ranger65". It's funny to read how he refers to himself in the third-person.
some of the posts he made over the past year:
- On the proposal to move the A&M/Texas Tech game to Dallas:
Ranger65: There is only one person standing between keeping this game on campus and going to Dallas -- Dr. Gates. He has met with State Fair officials, with Regents, and knows what the Athletic Department and football coaches want. I am told he remains firm -- and pretty much alone. While he might agree to one away game at the State Fair at which we play different teams -- including but not limited to Tech -- he is adamant against locking in the annual game with Tech there. I think you can take this to the bank: the annual meeting with Tech will not move to Dallas as long as Gates is President of Texas A&M. He has said not only that college games should be played on college campuses and that A&M students would be the losers, but I'm told he has said in private he would never agree to being locked into an annual competition that relgated us to a permanent second class status behind tu and Oklahoma. So, despite all the speculation on this board, don't underestimate one tough SOB standing up for what he thinks is right.
Ranger65: I'm told that Byrne, the coaches and even some of the Regents want the Tech game moved to Dallas. I was at an A&M club meeting last spring where Gates was asked this question and he replied that he is opposed to moving the game because he believes 1) other than Bowls, college games should be played on college campuses, 2) most A&M students couldn't go to the game in Dallas, and 3) he doesn't want to elevate Tech to be our equal and principal rival -- that role should be reserved for tu, and our time to regain the upper hand in that relationship will come. He said the $ in Dallas are certainly attractive as is the impact on recruiting in the Dallas area, but his bottom line: he still needs to be convinced of the net benefit of playing the game in Dallas. I think, at this point, he alone stands between playing Tech at Kyle Field or in Dallas.
- On the "12th Man" trademark settlement with the Seattle Seahawks:
Ranger65: Wake up and smell the coffee. A&M's trademark was protected only for college teams -- not the pros. We had a weak legal hand to play. This deal gives A&M a legal basis now to protect the 12th Man trademark in the pros because the Seahawks have recognized our claim and are going to pay us to license it. Not for a buck but for $100k plus enforcement costs each year. The administration made this deal, not Athletics. If you think they'll license the 12th Man to anyone else, you have not been paying attention. But we do now have a much stronger case for extending trademark protection to the pros as well as colleges. Moore took a weak case and built us a wall -- and got money for it besides.
- On some drama involving the Corps of Cadets:
Ranger65: KillerClamsAg, I hope before you graduate you figure out how to get more reliable information instead of believing gossip, especially from a CTO. Gates was out of town all week and, I'm told by an official in Student Affairs, he first learned about all this well after the fact when informed by Bresciani. He has stood aside, leaving decisions to the Trigon and Student Affairs. All the BS rumors aside, neither Gates nor the Governor nor anyone else outside the Trigon (note: Corps Commandant office) had anything to do with the decisions that were made.
Another false rumor was that JVA (Gen. John Van Alstyne, Commandant) has resigned. Not only am I told that is wholly wrong, but anyone at the game today could see Gates schmoozing and laughing with JVA after march-in. JVA sure didn't look like a guy out of favor or quitting to me.
Two things you can take to the bank: 1) regardless what KillerClamsAg thinks, Gates has gotten the Corps 100s of thousands of dollars extra for recruitment and loves the Corps more than many Aggie presidents; and 2) in previous Corps flaps, he has been heard to say that JVA has saved the Corps and Gates won't allow him to leave before Gates himself does. My money is on JVA staying at least until mid-2009.
on a sidenote:
Today is Gates' last official day as President of Texas A&M University. He will be leaving his office in Rudder to walk to his car in Koldus around 6:00 pm. If you're in the B/CS area, come join the student body in bidding Dr. Gates farewell as we sing the Spirit of Aggieland along his walk to Koldus.
A&M goes on the road for a week of huge games, including a rematch with #9 LSU, the team that knocked the Aggies out of the NCAA Tournament on a last second 3-ptr, tomorrow night.
It's dead week and i'll be makin the drive to Baton Rouge after my classes tomorrow morning.
to tide you over until i can post from Baton Rouge:
i've noticed some of yall are quite the music fans. i finally updated my neglected step-child of a personal blog with a list of "currently listening to" complete with mp3's. check it out, let me know what you think.
i'm tired of the incessant discussion/whining about ONE play during last week's game.
Longhorns need to realize that despite what was shown on their TVs and despite their natural and historic inclination to blame a bad game on a single individual, Kellen Heard's hit on McCoy wasn't dirty.
Was it late? Yeah, no question. Was it cheap/dirty/malicious? no.
Heard was just doing what every defensive player is taught since middle school: during an INT (does "Bingo, Bingo!" bring back any HS memories for anyone else?), you go find someone and clobber them. especially the quarterback.
the non-ABC footage of the hit:
yes, the hit is late. but not absurdly late. Heard never..heard..the whistle, nor was he in a position to see the result of the play. While his actions were too aggressive on that play, it was his & the entire team's aggression that allowed A&M to absolutely manhandle both of Texas' lines. In other words, if it were my defense, it's the kind of problem i'd like to have.
Coach Fran's hand written apology to Mack Brown early last week:
To: Coach Brown, the Texas coaching staff, Longhorn football players, and Colt McCoy and family
From: Coach Fran, Texas A&M coaching staff, Aggie football players, and Kellen Heard
We regret and apologize for the late hit on Colt by Kellen Heard. We do not teach this type of play or condone it. After meeting with Kellen, I know he feels badly that this happened, and he expressed that he did not want to display malicious intent.
We will handle this situation as a coaching staff with consequences for the action. Kellen is in complete agreement and said that he wants Colt to know that he certainly regrets it and he apologizes for the incident.
Our game is one of the great days in college football and we want it to always be a class day for both universities.
Good luck in your bowl game.
Coach Fran, staff, Kellen Heard and teammates
satisfied? now, let's move on. you have a lot of work to do before facing Iowa.
mmmmm.. yummy! yummy, you guys!
with the exciting finish of the West Virginia vs. Rutgers game earlier tonight, it's looking likely that the Gator Bowl will choose West Virginia, relegating Texas to the Alamo Bowl.
To say that Texas' finish to their regular season was "unexpected" might qualify you for understatement of the year. It's safe to say that your local Wal-Mart will prolly have plenty of burnt orange t-shirts in stock this year.
Less than a month ago, Texas was not only gunning for the Big XII title and a BCS bowl, but a shot at the MNC itself. How quickly things change. Fiesta Bowl -> Fiesta Texas.
and because i never wrote a recap of the texas game: