Thursday, June 28, 2007

Aggie Roundtable, Take 2

I should have my qualifying test wrapped up in the next week or so. Until I do, roundtable answers will continue to be short. Many thanks to Ryan from TAMBINPO for providing this week's questions. My fellow Aggie pundits have responded here: Ryan, R, Brad.

1. New uniforms have been unveiled. What are your favorite & least favorite thing about them (and any other comments you might have)?
Overall I have a negative view of the new jerseys. I like that the maroon jerseys are relatively unchanged. The pants really aren't my thing though. I'm more of a solid-color-pants guy. A&M is a school that is proud of its traditions. As a result, I'd love to see the Aggies in more of a traditional look. My ideal would be single color jerseys (maroon home, white road). The home jerseys would say "Aggies" on the front and have relatively simple numbers. The road jerseys would say "Texas A&M" instead but would be just as plain. The pants would be a single color (white home, maroon road probably). For reference, the new jerseys:

2. Do you have plans to make any away games this season? If so, which one(s), why that game....and can I come too?
I would love to make the trip to Lubbock and check another stadium off my list, but this far out I have no idea how feasible that will be. Last year's trip to Baylor was a blast and two years ago I made it to Iowa and Northwestern. If I make a road trip in a third straight season I'm pretty sure that the rules of Aggie-dom mean that I must declare it a tradition.

3. Favorite Aggie players past & present -- name'em (and if you have a good story feel free to share it).
I haven't been around enough to really have a favorite past player, so I'll cop out and say Melvin Bullitt was my favorite graduating senior a season ago. As for current players, I will go with Chris Harrington (very underrated in my opinion) and Devin Gregg who had a knack for forcing big turnovers last season. An honorable mention goes to Ben Bitner for being crazy. (Unless Mr. Bitner is reading this, in which case I was just joking... please don't hurt me.)

4. Pre-season magazines have recently hit the stands. Do you get into them? If so how many do you buy and which is your favorite.
I've been working my way through Phil Steele, which is excellent as always. On a whim I also picked up The Sporting News which is currently embedded in the drywall across from my couch. TSN was really down on Texas A&M without ever really justifying it. I get the feeling that they really don't like Coach Fran. They also listed Coach Lloyd Carr as being overrated. I saw that and it was all downhill from there.

5. How closely do you follow recruiting? Are you:
a) Recruiting guru....."OMG! Have you seen the 2009 recruiting rankings yet?";
b) Casual follower....."Awesome! I just read that we inked
a 5* tailback!;
c) Couldn't care less....just suit'em up and we'll see how we do in the fall.
I'm a little of (a) and a little of (b). I like to know what's going on, so I subscribe to Billy Liucci's service at TexAgs (which is superb by the way). I don't think that I've ever been tempted to start a sentence about recruiting with "OMG" though, so I'm not sure that I've reached the option (a) level just yet.

6. What do you think are our most overrated & underrated strengths for this upcoming season?
I think that the secondary is underrated. A&M has about 10 top notch athletes on the two-deep. I'm betting that 4 or 5 will show the football skills to excel. I'm especially excited about Devin Gregg, Danny Gorrer, Arkeith Brown and Jordan Pugh.

The most overrated group has to be the tight-ends. All you hear about is Martellus this that Martellus that. If he contributes to the offense for more than a quarter at a time, I'll happily revoke this statement but I'm just not seeing it. Joey Thomas is alright, but I'm not sure that he is any better than a solid backup which doesn't match the hype on TexAgs. Like I said, I'd love to be wrong here but I just don't feel confident about this position.

With apologies to the great Red Green, until next week, keep your stick on the ice!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Inaugural Aggie Blog Roundtable

Well, I received my scores on my first attempt at my departmental qualifiers yesterday, and mine still require some work. Since I have an oral retest on one section coming in the next week, my first contribution to the roundtable will be a bit rushed. I promise to have more to say in the future. (For the record, talking Aggie Football is much, much more enjoyable than studying viscous fluid flow.) My thanks go out to Brad at for putting this whole thing together and coming up with the first round of questions. The other participants are TAMABINPO, The12thManChild, and the AggieSportsBlog. With no further ado, my answers:

1. What was your favorite single play from the 2006 Football season?
My favorite play was without a doubt Jordan Peterson chasing down a Missouri receiver to knock the ball from his hands inside the one yard line. The play completely changed the nature of that game and in some ways served as a microcosm of the entire Aggie season. It seemed at times that A&M was always on the edge of disaster, only to force an improbable turnover (often inside the five yard line) and retake control of the game. (For another example, see the interception after the offensive pass interference call on Limas Sweed in the texas game.)

2. What is the most underrated sports blog/site, besides yours, on the
Internet today?
I did my undergrad at Michigan where I obsessively followed the hockey team. The best Michigan Hockey analysis on the web comes from The Blog That Yost Built. This blog also covers a lot of Detroit Red Wings (my favorite pro team, ever), Detroit Pistons and Michigan Football. The writing is so good that I'm more than happy to overlook the frequent Green Bay Packer discussion. A strong honorable mention goes to Ronald Bellamy's Underachieving All-Stars who has, hands-down, the best college football prose in the world.

3. Forget about the "who will win the Big XII" discussions, who do you
think will finish last?
In the south, Baylor is going to be just awful this season. Bell, Ziegler, Shelton and Mosley are all gone (so, umm, pretty much all the offensive skill players are new). On defense the corners, Wilson and Arline will be missed. Even the superb Daniel Sepulveda has moved on to the NFL. The north race is much harder to call, but I can't imagine Meyer and Blythe are going to be enough to keep Iowa State from being very mediocre, especially with a new coach.

4. Pull out the Magic 8Balls, will Acie Law get drafted higher than
#15, breaking the A&M record set by Antoine Wright in 2005?
Acie won't fall past the Clippers at #14, so yes, he will be the highest player drafted in A&M history.

5. Where's your favorite place to eat in B/CS?
While I love Burger Boy, Freebird's, Fitzwilly's and Antonio's, for some reason I love FatBurger the most. I don't know if it's the garnishment bar where I can load up on tomatoes, the big screen TV or the proximity to my office, but FatBurger is always the place I head when it's my turn to pick the lunch location. Some of the best lunches I've had since moving to B/CS were last summer during the World Cup at FatBurger.