Irving, Texas Out of the mouths of babes
Mike Sherman, the second-year coach of the Texas A&M; football team, was sitting at home late last season, still sulking after his team’s season-ending 49-9 loss to Texas the previous week, when his 9-year-old daughter, Selena, walked into the room, crawled onto her dad’s lap and said, “Daddy?”
“What’s up?” Sherman said, figuring his youngest child was stopping by to tell her dad she loved him.
“Daddy,” she said, “Get over it.”
And therein lies the theme of the 2009 Texas A&M; Aggies.
After a 4-8 season in which they finished just 2-6 in the Big 12 and were outscored by an average of nearly two touchdowns per game, the Aggies enter their Sept. 5 season-opener with New Mexico focusing on this: Fuhgetaboutit.
Monday, during the first day of the Big 12 Media Days near Dallas, the team’s players spoke of their problems a season ago, the lack of chemistry and cohesion among players and the growing pains that came with playing for a first-year coach.
“You can blame it on the transition of the coaches, but it starts with the players,” offensive lineman Lucas Patterson said. “The coaches can’t play the games for you.”
OSU welcomes Young
When it was announced last winter that Bill Young would be taking over as the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, at least one Cowboys player knew what kind of a coach the program had secured: the one who had tried, unsuccessfully, to operate an offense against him.
“The track record that he has and the defenses that he’s coached — even when he was at Kansas and we played against them,” said OSU quarterback Zac Robinson, who played against Young’s Kansas defense in a 2007 loss to the Jayhawks. “They weren’t the most talented group, but they were the most fundamentally sound defense we played all season.”
Despite a recent history that indicates a bit of “happy feet” syndrome — the OSU job will mark his third school in the past three seasons — Cowboys coach Mike Gundy believes Young is in Stillwater for the long haul.
“We were looking for a defensive coordinator that could give us some sort of commitment to years,” Gundy said. “… I was trying to avoid bringing a guy in that I thought maybe in a couple of years, if we had success, would bolt and become a head coach.”
KU started ISU slide
Austen Arnaud knows precisely the moment things went irreversibly bad for his Iowa State Cyclones last season.
“That Kansas game,” Arnaud said of the Cyclones’ 35-33 loss to the Jayhawks despite carrying a 20-0 lead into halftime. “After we lost that game, you looked around the locker room and guys were just crushed.”
The loss kicked off an 0-8 season in the Big 12 for the Cyclones, who finished 2-10 overall and concluded on a 10-game losing streak.