Archives for category: Texas A&M

Bryant with two players at Texas A&M

The tie between Alabama and SEC newcomer Texas A&M is obvious to anyone who’s studied the history of college football — Paul “Bear” Bryant. The Alabama graduate served as A&M’s head coach from 1954 to 1957 before heading home to Tuscaloosa in 1958. ESPN highlighted Bryant’s beginning at A&M with its movie “The Junction Boys,” which featured his first training camp with the Aggies in Junction, Texas.

While Bryant stands out as the obvious link between the two schools, there are other ones like Gene Stallings and Jackie Sherrill who each had a significant impact in the SEC as well as at A&M. Stallings played for Bryant at A&M in the mid-1950s and won Alabama’s first national championship in 1992 since Bryant’s retirement and passing ten years earlier. Sherrill is an Alabama graduate who also coached under Bryant and won three SWC championships as A&M’s head coach in the mid-1980s.

Stallings coached under Bryant at A&M.

Even Dennis Franchione represents a tie as he coached the Tide from 2001 to 2002 and left for the same position at A&M in 2003.

Paul Bryant Jr. hosted a reception last night at the Paul W. Bryant Museum in Tuscaloosa honoring 30 former Aggies players who played for his father in the mid-1950s.

They’ve only met four times on the field, but ‘Bama’s and A&M’s histories run deep.

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Adidas has designed an all-white uniform for Mississippi State.

In remembrance of the 2000 Independence Bowl between Mississippi State and Texas A&M that saw a snow storm cover Shreveport, La. and the Bulldogs defeat the Aggies 43-41 in overtime, #15 State is wearing all-white uniforms in Saturday’s game against #16 A&M. The two meet for the first time as division rivals in Starkville, and State will replace its end zone #HailState Twitter hash tag with #SnowBowl12.

Jackie Sherrill led State to the 2000 Independence Bowl win over A&M, a program he coached from 1982 to 1988. Both programs were levied with NCAA sanctions during and after Sherrill’s tenures. His 74 wins at State are the most in the program’s history for a head coach as he finished 74-76-2 from 1991 to 2003 and won the 1998 SEC Western division title.

Sherrill finished 52-28-1 at A&M and won three consecutive Southwest Conference championships from 1985 to 1987.

The 2000 Independence Bowl aka The Snow Bowl:

 

LSU and Texas A&M will meet for the 51st time Saturday. LSU has met only Tulane and Rice more than A&M, a series that LSU leads 27-20-3. The Tigers were victorious in their latest meeting, the 2011 Cotton Bowl, 41-24. However, the Aggies have won the past five regular season games versus LSU, a stretch from 1991-1995. A&M also holds a 7-1-1 record against the Tigers in College Station, site of Saturday’s game.

A series that began in 1899 has had many starts and stops over the past century as LSU and A&M have been members of the same conference — the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association (SIAA) in the early 1900s along with many current SEC members — and played several out-of-conference games against each other during the 20th century.

1995: Freshman LSU RB Kevin Faulk, who still holds many LSU records, is swarmed by the A&M defense at Kyle Field. The Aggies won 33-17.

Texas has denied to establish A&M as a permanent out-of-conference foe after the Aggies left the Big XII. Who better than LSU to fill the void vacated by the Longhorns? A&M has played LSU more than any other out-of-conference opponent in its history.

 

The only question is, why isn’t it later in the SEC schedule?

For more coverage of the renewed LSU-A&M rivalry, click here and here.

Arkansas leads the overall series with Texas A&M 41-24-3, meeting many times as members of the defunct Southwest Conference (SWC) and starting the series in 1903. The first two games between the Razorbacks and Aggies as SEC members will be played on campus, beginning tomorrow at A&M’s Kyle Field and in Fayetteville in 2013. The series, which has recently been called the Southwest Classic and played in the new Cowboys Stadium, will return to Dallas in 2014 through 2024.

A different version of the “Southwest Champions” playing in the “Cotton Bowl.”

Arkansas has won all three contests since the rivalry was renewed in 2009. However, the first-year Aggies have a big opportunity to wrestle away a win from the 1-3 Razorbacks tomorrow.

Miss. St./Auburn:

Clarion Ledger: Mullen Hopes Miss. St. Can Focus on Job at Hand

Birmingham News: Miss. St. Becomes Chizik’s Signature Defeat

Florida/Tex. A&M:

Orlando Sentinel: Florida’s Defense Was Key to Win at Texas A&M

Houston Chronicle: Texas A&M a Winner, Big 12 a Loser After Another College Football Weekend

LSU/Washington:

The News Star: Washington May Have Misjudged LSU’s Edge Speed

Georgia/Missouri:

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Missouri’s Richardson Makes Amends with Richt After Georgia’s Win

Kansas City Star: This Is Just the Start of the Tigers’ Climb

A popular argument against the SEC is its so-called lack of out-of-conference travel. The argument falls flat against several SEC teams, but holds true for Florida. The Gators — believe it or not — haven’t traveled outside of the Southeast as a guest since 1991 when they lost 38-21 to Syracuse in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y. That’s 21 years ago.

New Orleans: The 1991 SEC Championship team was the first official one for Florida, which finished 10-1 in the regular season, losing only to Syracuse in the Carrier Dome. However, the Gators lost 39-28 to Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl.

Florida points to its annual neutral field rivalry with Georgia in Jacksonville as to why it takes every opportunity to schedule extra home games (for the extra revenue) instead of traveling. However, Georgia, which faces the same situation, has been to Tempe, Ariz., Stillwater, Okla., and Boulder, Colo., within the past 4 years. Of course, Florida could point to Georgia’s 1-2 record in those games as a reason to keep things closer to home. The Bulldogs were also hammered by Alabama in 2008 the week following their only win out west in Tempe.

The Gators travel to College Station, Texas, this Saturday for Texas A&M’s inaugural SEC game. If an out-of-conference opponent couldn’t draw them out, then it seems as if the SEC was ready to send Florida west as its welcoming committee. Jeff Driskel has been Florida’s starting QB after a camp-long battle with Jacoby Brissett. The Gators played both in the first half against Bowling Green, and head coach Will Muschamp tapped Driskel for the second half as Florida slogged through a 27-14 opening win. Gators’ coaches and players won’t say how much of new offensive coordinator Brent Pease’s offense they showed last Saturday, but the consensus is they played it close to the vest.

The newest member of the SEC West is serious about its football. The Texas Aggies reside in a state that eats, sleeps and breathes it, and their entrance into the SEC has set them apart from their state brethren residing in the People’s Republic of Austin.

Kyle Field is Home of the 12th Man

A&M has some of the best traditions in all of college football — if not the best — led by the 12th Man, which was born in 1922. E. King Gill, a former football member of head coach Dana X. Bible’s squad who was playing basketball at the time, was helping reporters identify football players during a game when Bible called him from the press box to suit up. Gill never made it in the game but was honored as accepting the call to help his team. A&M uses that spirit to call its student body the 12th Man.

Former head coach Jackie Sherrill introduced the 12th Man kickoff squad to A&M in the 1980s, which was comprised of regular students who won the jobs through open tryouts. As college football evolved into the 1990s, then head coach R.C. Slocum limited the 12th Man to one man on the kickoff team who wore #12.

Heisman Trophy winner Brown chases down Barhorst, who had stolen Brown’s belt towel.

One of the most memorable moments of the 12th Man took place during A&M’s 35-10 win over Notre Dame in the 1988 Cotton Bowl. Walk-on Warren Barhorst tackled Notre Dame’s kick returner, the 1987 Heisman Trophy winner and former Dallas high school football star Tim Brown, and then preceded to rip off Brown’s belt towel. While it endeared him to the Aggies, Brown ran towards the A&M sidelines and jumped on Barhorst, earning the Heisman Trophy winner a 15-yard penalty and an ejection from the game.

“I probably talk about it five times a week,” Barhorst said in an interview with 12th Man Magazine. “Friends, colleagues, clients, strangers — you name it — bring it up.”

Today, Barhorst owns the largest Nationwide insurance agency in the country in Houston.

A&M’s traditions go well beyond the 12th Man, including Midnight Yell, led by their well-known corps of cadets, their Gig’em hand sign, their “Howdy” welcome, their mascot Reveille, and Silver Taps, which is a tribute held for a graduate or undergraduate student who passes away while enrolled at Texas A&M on the first Tuesday of the month following the student’s passing, among others.

To learn more about the Aggies’ traditions, visit Texas A&M University’s Traditions Council website.

ESPN’s College Gameday will be in College Station Saturday for Texas A&M’s inaugural SEC game against Florida at 3:30 pm EDT.