b The Longhorn Mafia <$BlogRSDURL$>

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Longhorns: Ready for the Aggies 

If I were asked who I'd consider as Texas' biggest rival, I'd answer "Oklahoma" without thinking twice. But if you asked who I loved seeing Texas beat more than anyone else, then that honor would no doubt go to Texas A&M.

OU is a rival; Texas A&M is a gnat. They're the little kid down the street that knocks over garbage cans and throws rocks at your house because you wouldn't let them play with the big boys. They're Tonto to the Lone Ranger, or Robin to Batman -- the sidekick that sometimes has a moment, but ultimately remains in the background, where they belong.

Texas A&M owned us for a decade. That I freely admit. It was an embarrassing ten years for Texas football, and for many more reasons than just our inability to beat the Aggies. But that was the biggest black mark on Texas football's darkest time.

Those days are now long gone. The Horns have wiped the floor with A&M in recent years. Their two wins -- one against a 4-7 team and the other a contraversial one under the cloud of the Bonfire incident -- in the past nine years came by a combined 15 points. By comparison, the Horns' average win in that span has been by 21 points, and during the current four-game win streak Texas has outscored A&M 160-59.

In the last few years Texas has retired one Aggie coach (R. C Slocum) and rudely introduced the other one (Dennis Franchione) to the brand of football played in the Lone Star State. Our house, their house, wherever... the Aggies have been a non-factor, and that's the way it should be.

I'm sure that Aggies will fire back with Texas' inability to beat OU. The difference is that despite the crimson-and-cream roadblock that has derailed Texas' national championship hopes the past five years, the Horns always manage to get things back on track. We're not getting dominated by Utah, or finding ourselves engaged in an honest-to-God rivalry with Texas Tech, or losing to Baylor. Baylor!

Maybe Franchione turns that program around. I hope he does, if only so that we actually get to see an A&M game that matters. But it won't come this year, and until A&M wins the division or finishes in the Top Ten again, then the folks in College Station need to go back to polishing their 1993 SWC Championship trophy and leave the big-time college football to programs that live in the "now."

Aggie fans think they're team is going to come out on Friday and surprise Texas. I'll be surprised if they keep it within two touchdowns. With two of the greatest Longhorns I've ever seen -- Cedric Benson and Derrick Johnson -- playing their final home game infront of a raucous 83,000 at DKR-Memorial Stadium, there's no way this Texas team doesn't come out pumped and ready to win.

A&M has a few playmakers, including QB Reggie McNeal. Well Vince Young can play a little ball, too. With VY and Benson leading the way, A&M won't be able to stop a Texas offense that has rolled up more than 500 yards in each of the last two games. And what can you say about DJ? He'll sport #60 in honor of Tommy Nobis, and look for him to keep McNeal's happy feet in check. Unless Texas kills themselves with turnovers, then they'll simply have too many weapons for A&M to keep up. In the end, I like the Horns by a bunch. Texas 42, A&M 20


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