Texas A&M players sing their fight song after a win. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, October 18, 2012 11:29 PM
MEMO TO: Texas A&M University.
FROM: SEC Welcome Wagon.
RE: Disturbing trends and incidents.
Understanding that you Aggies are new to these parts and still feeling your way around, we here at the committee thought it best to address these issues before they become bigger dilemmas and escalate into a full-blown crisis.
If you recall, you guys were chided over the summer for that silly “Here Come the Aggies” video that implicated several otherwise innocent (if dorky-looking) members of the student body engaged in embarrassingly lame attempts to fit in by imitating other SEC battle cries, war chants and whatnot.
We let this pass with a mild reprimand because you were new to the neighborhood and it was the summer when a lot of regrettable stuff can happen, even in the proud SEC.
But it has come to our attention that last Saturday, you Aggies, of sound mind and with premeditation, did venture forth to Shreveport for a game against Louisiana Tech in which the post-midnight final score, if we’re reading the report correctly, ended up being: Texas A&M 59, Louisiana Tech 57.
To begin with, if you’re going to be in the SEC, you’re bigger than that — higher and mightier and much snootier. You do not go on the road to play a WAC team, even at a semi-neutral site that you might use for recruiting purposes. And, yes, we are taking into consideration that, if stuck in College Station, even Shreveport can look like a pretty dadgum exciting oasis.
But that, frankly, is not our biggest cause for concern, taking into consideration that it could have been scheduled while in a previous conference.
In particular, we would like to call attention to the scoreboard, the 59-57 thing.
First, congratulations on the victory, such that it was.
But let us just say that in the SEC that kind of thing is considered, well, rather tacky and a bit untoward and, dare we say, showy.
It’s just not done, at least not in polite company.
There are proper ways to win in the SEC and it is down and dirty, with in-your-face ball control and a sound kicking game and never, never, ever in the high 50s.
We are not here to pass judgment — or pass much of anything, to be honest — but we think you should take a strong look at these tactics.
Speaking of which, surely this can’t be correct — 1,293 combined yards in a single game, a full 615 of them by Louisiana Tech.
Please advise and correct us if we got bad information on this matter. Otherwise, click your heels one more time, Aggies, and remind yourselves that this isn’t the Big 12 anymore.
In this league, you do not “outscore” opponents — “track” is considered a colossal waste of third-and-long speed here — you hit them in the mouth, punch them in the face, grind them into the dirt, slap their mommas.
Sing along with us now, DE-fense, DE-fense.
It’s why the SEC can laugh at the other pretender conferences and the main reason it is home to six consecutive national championships, in case you haven’t heard.
Try it, you’ll like it. Around here EVERYBODY does it.
Perhaps you were misled by the events of Sept. 29, namely Georgia 51, Tennessee 44.
It happens, sometimes out of nowhere. But be advised that both teams got a stern talking to and, perhaps more telling, neither has won a game since.
It is being chuckled at as a perfect-storm type of aberration and certainly not a dangerous precedent.
We wish we could say the same about your games.
Regrettably there seems to be a trend there, perhaps even planned, since we can’t help but notice that your SEC arrival was preceded by the hiring of head coach of Kevin Sumlin, a known, card-carrying proponent of the sleek, up-tempo, spread-the-field pass-happy attacks while running circles around Conference USA at Houston.
This ain’t Conference USA. Were you unaware that A&M would no longer be in the Big 12 with this offense?
There was nothing on his résumé about defense.
We would suggest taking a strong look at LSU, your Saturday opponent, and the Tigers’ game with South Carolina last week.
That is the way it is done.
In fact, LSU head coach Les Miles was asked what he thinks about when he sees such foolishness as 59-57 on a scoreboard, and, in his own eloquent way he struck a mute pose that seemed to suggest: “I can’t imagine how that happens.”
But pay particular notice to the other sideline, where Steve Spurrier was presiding over the Gamecocks.
Spurrier, aka “Darth Visor” sparked an SEC revolution in the 1990s with his Fun n’ Gun offense at Florida. It forced others to open up or run the risk of getting lapped by halftime.
Those were wild and crazy times.
But even Spurrier has seen the light these days, preferring to win with a traditional running game and strangling defense.
We think you could do the same. There seems to be some real athletes there.
In sifting through the SEC stat package, to be honest there is nothing that jumps out at us to suggest a total disregard for defense evident from the Houston days.
Scoring defense is middle of the pack in the SEC, rushing defense is actually not bad, fifth at 125 yards per game.
You could probably bunch up on LSU and slow down what the Tigers love to do best.
It’s that pass defense, 13th in the SEC, that concerns us, a decimal point shy of 281 yards per game.
Not to worry this week.
LSU probably couldn’t throw for 281 yards if you added in the pregame flyover to the Tigers’ totals.
But thank you for your time, and please take our suggestions under advisement.
Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org