Monday, April 23, 2007

New Color Scheme

I'm been looking to move away from a default template setup for some time, now seems appropriate. I like the maroon background and the settings for the main posting box. The title and sidebars still need work. Until I get more time to tinker, they will just have to stay ugly. My apologies for the eye strain.

Gig 'Em.


Friday, April 20, 2007

So Damn Sad

This past Monday an unthinkable horror occurred in Blacksburg, Virginia. As the nation shows solidarity today with Virginia Tech, this blog has adopted a new color scheme to show my support for Orange and Maroon Effect Day. While I can only speak for one Aggie, I'm confident that the entire Texas A&M family stands behind the Hokies as they begin to honor the victims and move forward.

I must confess that I've struggled to put words to the events that unfolded at VT last Monday. On Wednesday, Dennis Miller appeared on the O'Reilly Factor and did a much better job than I ever could.

And I'll tell you anybody who speaks in the wake of such a devastation with a high degree of certitude, I find myself tuning out...I think, like I said in the immediate aftermath of an event that is this staggering, this hard to get your head around, I think one's official statement would be befuddled, willing to listen all sides, and try to figure it out.

Then Miller turned to a figure that I've found myself drawn to as well.

Let me say this. I'm intrigued by this character Liviu Librescu, the 76-year-old aerodynamics teacher at the college. Now listen, I think in our society we have somehow in current day America been denuded out of the gene that makes us want to survive at all costs.

I think Librescu, a 76-year-old Holocaust survivor who, if you do the math, was probably 12 when he first saw the face of evil, I'm sure looked up at that narrow window and that door and saw the same sick glint, that dead shark thing in that eye that he had seen as a young man. And he went towards it to stop it.

Professor Librescu did some research in the area of aeroelasticity, a field that I've just begun a research project in. My boss is also originally from Romania and somehow these two facts really made the whole tragedy hit home for me. While Librescu was a hero, it's a shame that it took such an event to reveal it to those of us who did not know him.

I would just encourage you all to give an extra hug to your loved ones this week. If you're the praying type, perhaps you could add a prayer for the 32 families that find themselves unable to do the same.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Spring Game Thoughts

Well, I've moved to the new Blogger, so expect some layout changes around here in the near future.

In the meantime, I took the opportunity to take some notes at the Maroon and White game. It was tough to really analyze the offensive line or the defense so I'm a little light in these areas. Please feel free to add any of your own impressions in the comments below.

-I thought that the short passing game was pretty good. It was windy, but the deep passing game was pretty awful.

-Stephen McGee couldn't stay in the pocket even in a spring game. Expect plenty of scrambling from him again this season. Overall I thought his arm looked good. He's clearly the best QB on the team.

-The book on Jerrod Johnson seems to be pretty much spot on. He is a freakish athlete and already looks great running the option. He has an incredible arm but his accuracy needs work. The few times that the pressure got to him, Johnson looked absolutely lost. All the physical tools are there and I look forward to watching him mature into a heckuva quarterback.

-Ryan Tannehill REALLY impressed me. He has deceptive speed and a big arm. Top to bottom I think that A&M has the most talented threesome of quarterbacks in the Big XII.

-Michael Goodson may have been the star of the game. Every time he touched the ball good things seem to happen. He has set himself up nicely to have a huge season this year.

-Jorvorskie Lane was Jorvorskie Lane. I don't think that he has improved much from a year ago, but he is still a massive back with the ability to pick up the short stuff up the middle and occasionally rumble for something more.

-Cornell Tarrant carried a tremendous amount of buzz out of the spring. He didn't impress me in the first half, but the longer the game went the better he got. By the fourth quarter he looked unstoppable. I don't know if the quality of the opposition declined or if Tarrant just got more comfortable. Either way, Tarrant does a great job of cutting in the open field to leave defensive backs behind. He has talent, no doubt.

-Keondra Smith really stood out to me. In the first half he was much better than Tarrant and seems to be someone that will be able to provide solid carries should the injury bug strike. A&M's running back depth is unreal.

-The only wide receiver that stuck out to me was Howard Morrow. He had a couple of nice kick returns and made a difficult catch to pull down a Johnson touchdown pass. Still the lack of production from anybody else worries me.

-On defense Johnathon Batson and Mark Dodge had their names called a lot. I'm expecting big things from each this season. DeMaurier Thompson put a slobberknocker on Tarrant in the first half. I didn't notice too much else out of the defense

-Matt Szymanski missed an XP. The kicking game worries me again.

That's all I've got for now. The term is winding down so the next few weeks will have light posting while I try not to fail out of school. I'm looking forward to customizing the site a bit with the new Blogger, so look for that too. Please leave any thoughts you have on the spring game in the comments section.

Gig 'Em.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

New Coach Enroute?

New Coach enroute?

And back to Wichita.

If I understand correctly, Turgeon will meet with the Wichita State team tomorrow to say goodbye and then be officially announced as the next Texas A&M coach tomorrow afternoon. I'll keep an eye on the flights and let you know.

Katz Says Turgeon

ESPN's Andy Katz is reporting that A&M is expected to host Wichita State's Mark Turgeon on Monday. I'll keep an eye on the flights tomorrow, but this rumor is being confirmed by another reliable source. Assuming that all goes well, Turgeon could be introduced as early as Tuesday.

Turgeon was never the big-name guy, but he is a rock-solid coach that has built an impressive program at Wichita State, with a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2006. He played his college ball at Kansas (where he won a national championship) so he is familiar with a good chunk of the Big 12. Throw in some experience as an NBA assistant and this would be a very solid hire for Bill Byrne.

I'll keep you posted.

Turgeon's Wichita State profile.


The Houston Chronicle is now reporting that Mark Turgeon is the man. I'm a little surprised that this came tonight and not tomorrow, but I still think that its a solid hire and the sooner it becomes official the better.

Texas A&M has reached an agreement for Wichita State coach Mark Turgeon to take over as the new Aggies men's basketball coach, two people with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed Sunday night.

The Chronicle says that it still might be Tuesday before an official announcement, but that appears a formality at this point.

Gig 'Em Coach Turgeon!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Pelphrey to Arkansas

Per Fox Sports, John Pelphrey is heading to Arkansas.

I'm going to file this under "good news" as Pelphrey wasn't someone who had been building buzz on the Aggie message boards.

Hopefully I'll have more information tomorrow. There is a believable rumor percolating that Bill Byrne is going hard after a certain big name and the mid-majors are being thrown around as cover. If I hear anything else I'll pass it along.

Gig 'Em

Some Thoughts on the Coaching Search

Well, we're now in to our second full day of post-Gillispie A&M basketball and all indications are that the coaching search is humming along. It wouldn't surprise me terribly if A&M announced its next coach as early as tomorrow or the next day; Bill Byrne is really keeping things under wraps (the way it should be). Some thoughts that I've gathered from various sources:

-The Houston Chronicle's Terrance Harris has an early top 7:
1. Mark Fox, Nevada

2. Reggie Theus, New Mexico State

3. Mark Few, Gonzaga

4. Chris Lowery, Southern Illinois

5. Alvin Brooks, A&M assistant coach

6. Mike Montgomery, former Stanford and NBA coach

7. Doc Sadler, Nebraska head coach

-The Las Vegas Sun says that Nevada's Mark Fox isn't interested.

-Robert Cessna of the B-CS Eagle presents a comprehensive list:

In the 24 hours after Kentucky introduced Gillispie, A&M's list of possible replacements grew by roughly one an hour as the rumor mill got cranking.

That formidable list includes A&M-Corpus Christi's Ronnie Arrow, A&M assistant and former Houston head coach Alvin Brooks, Pitt's Jamie Dixon, Baylor's Scott Drew, Gonzaga's Mark Few, Southern Cal's Tim Floyd, Nevada's Mark Fox, Virginia Commonwealth's Anthony Grant, Miami's Frank Haith, Florida State's Leonard Hamilton, UNLV's Kruger, Southern Illinois' Chris Lowery, Winthorp's Gregg Marshall, former Stanford coach Mike Montgomery, South Alabama's John Pelphrey, former Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson, Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings, Oral Roberts' Scott Sutton, Oklahoma State's Sean Sutton, New Mexico State's Reggie Theus, Wichita State's Mark Turgeon and New Orleans' Buzz Williams.

-Doc Sadler (Nebraska) has also bowed out.

Some Analysis

Taking the Cessna and Harris lists and removing Fox and Sadler, you still have quite a few names floating around. Everything that I have read indicates that Lon Kruger is very happy at UNLV and Mike Montgomery has been in the Bay-Area forever so I doubt that they are serious candidates. And Nolan Richardson? Really?

Chris Lowery just signed a contract extension and I don't particularly want a coach that would bolt after making a new agreement (fool me once...). Rumor has it that Bill Byrne really likes Tim Floyd, but with OJ Mayo incoming I think that he is the longest of long shots. I'll add Jamie Dixon to the list of coaches that would be good hires, but I just don't see coming to Aggieland. For Dixon this would be, at best, a lateral move. Gonzaga's Mark Few has turned down big name programs before. It would surprise me very much if he made a jump now. Where does that put the list? Well,

Unrealistic (but would be great hires!):
1. Jamie Dixon
2. Mark Few
3. Chris Lowery
4. Tim Floyd

Some more realistic names (not really in order):
1. Mark Turgeon, Wichita State
2. Alvin Brooks, A&M assistant
3. Reggie Theus, New Mexico State
4. Greg Marshall, Winthrop
5. Ronnie Arrow, TAMU-CC

And, finally, the guys I have no read on at all (from Cessna's list):
1. Scott Drew, Baylor
2. Anthony Grant, VCU
3. Frank Haith, Miami
4. Leonard Hamilton, FSU
5. John Pelphrey, South Alabama
6. Kevin Stallings, Vanderbilt
7. Scott Sutton, ORU
8. Sean Sutton, OSU
9. Buzz Williams, NO Hornets

More to come later.

MGoBlog did some great summaries on the potential candidates at Michigan and many of the same names are coming up for A&M.
Theus, Lowery, Marshall and Grant
Montgomery and Kruger

Friday, April 06, 2007

Good Friday, Bad Surprise

According to ESPN, Billy Clyde Gillispie is taking the Kentucky job. While it will be easy for the Aggie faithful to be bitter and go the negative route. I think that this is wrong and that Coach Gillispie should be commended for the strides that the Texas A&M basketball program has taken during his tenure.

The most important thing now is for A&M fans to get behind Bill Byrne who needs to move quickly and efficiently to find the next coach. The job should be attractive to another up and coming mid-major coach, what with the soon-to-be-built facilities and proximity to fertile recruiting grounds. My hope is that if Byrne can find a new coach in the next few days, the majority of the recruiting class can be salvaged and that the team can be kept together. The AD has yet to make a bad hire and I expect that streak to continue here.

To the Aggie fans, let's stay classy here and show everybody that this isn't Arkansas.

To Coach Gillispie, thanks for all that you did while you were here.

Gig 'Em.