San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 1st, 2008
A new day in Aggieland

Editor at Large

But for its win against Texas more than a month ago, the Texas A&M football team would have ratified its season as a complete disaster Saturday night with a 24-17 loss to Penn State at the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio.

The season came off so poorly that the final gun put an end to suffering. The Aggies are better and more talented than their final 7-6 record lets on. The schedule, alone, promised a tough go, then the since-ousted coach, Dennis Franchione, crippled his talent with a one-dimensional offense and the tone-deaf embarrassment of secret newsletters going out to paying boosters.

It says a lot about the A&M players that they remained loyal to Franchione through all the hard times, but it doesn’t say the players aren’t happy with a fresh start next year under incoming coach Mike Sherman. A new day starts today for A&M. It’s already a much better day just for being new.

So, there’s not much point to recounting the events of Saturday night, other than to state them for the record. To summarize, the Aggies blew a 14-0 lead when Penn State came from behind by running the ball.

Ugly. Once the Nittany Lions took a 24-17 lead, A&M advanced to the Penn State one, facing fourth-and-goal with 7:43 left. Inexplicably, the Aggies left 280-pound fullback Jorvorskie Lane on the bench. Then, quarterback Stephen McGee slipped, untouched, for a four-yard loss.

A more fitting episode could not have been invented. The wrong guys were in the game, the option failed and the contest ended prematurely. That’s the A&M season.

The beauty of sports is a fresh start at the end of a bad season. The fresh start has seldom been more welcomed for Texas A&M.

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