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Kudos Criticism for the Aggies

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Which was better for you and yours; the turkey and dressing or the thrill of the first competitive Longhorn game since the Red River Rivalry?

A solid running game, good calls in the face of secondary blitzes, limiting of miscues and penalties, strong 3rd down conversions and scrambling for positive plays when things were covered up; it all adds up to very strong showing. And, no, we’re speaking not of the Texas Longhorns here, but that schizophrenic team from College Station.

So there is no longer a concern that the Aggies have the talent necessary to be competitive with the league elite. They are able to execute to the level necessary to put themselves in a position to win. Perhaps only one question remains. Why do we only see this team one day per season?

For every ounce of credit you can award A&M for standing toe-to-toe with putative BCS Championship-bound Texas this week, you have to levy an equal amount of criticism for their ridiculous no-shows in a first half debacle at Kansas State and a sleepwalking performance at Oklahoma. Play all year like you showed you can against Texas and A&M would not have to act pleased that they qualify for the Texas bowl against any team promising to buy more than 5,000 tickets to the game.

The culprit for this condition? You have to look to leadership. With so many underclassmen holding major spots in the playing positions for the Aggies this year, we can perhaps excuse the players for not assuming this role from the start. So, Coach Sherman, what do you have to say for your team’s extraordinary inconsistency?

Jobs are probably safe in Aggieland for now (folks have been too busy calculating the cost of a Charlie Weis buyout) but have another pair of blowout losses next year and you better start dusting off the resume.

Longhorn fans will remember the 63 point loss in Austin at the hands of UCLA as the straw that broke the back of camel John Mackovic. Aggie fans might want to circle the date of the Texas Tech visit to College Station next year. With revenge for this year’s result in their minds, they very well may run unfettered through the Aggie secondary and prove to be that proverbial straw on the back of Mike Sherman.

Time will tell. It will tell if Texas can finish out the dream season it was looking for in the Colt McCoy going away party and vie for another national crown. It will also tell if we see the Aggies play to their potential anytime before next Thanksgiving.

Happy leftovers to you all!

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Jeff Higgins was a four year Letterman under Coach David McWilliams’ Longhorns from 1988-1991 at DE and LB. He was honored as the Special Teams Player of the Year in both ’90 and ’91 and appeared in every game played while he was on the 40 acres. As a member of the “Shock the Nation” 1990 SWC Champions, and also a veteran of losing UT seasons, he is perhaps uniquely qualified to comment on the many unpredictable ups and downs of college football. He and his wife now live in his native San Antonio, raising three future Longhorns.