Nov. 10, 2010
I don't know about you, but Saturday night at Kyle Field was a lot of fun. I went in the locker room afterward and managed to avoid most of the Gatorade spray. But, it was so exciting to share in the celebration of hugs and high-fives with the players; they managed to get me anyway. A trip to the dry cleaners is a small price to pay for such a terrific win.
After the game it seemed no one wanted to go home. Not our players, not our coaches, and especially not our fans. No one was eager to leave. I like to mingle with the players' parents for a few minutes outside the Bright Complex. They were all so excited. We also had parents of recruits out there mingling with our players' parents. They all seemed to be having the time of their life, too.
I spent part of my Sunday morning listening to voice mail from friends across the United States. Quite a few of those were from friends of mine in the football coaching business. The common theme was, "Boy, you guys have improved over the last three years. Your team speed is a notable improvement and so is how hard your players are playing right now."
I was on tenterhooks the whole game. Oklahoma has so much talent, so much speed, and such a winning tradition. I've also experienced "Sooner Magic" a few too many times to rest easy even when we led 19-0. The thing that impressed me was when they made their run, and you knew they would, we responded. Cyrus Gray's gutting run where he fought off and spun off tackles. Then, Coach Sherman's brilliant call to throw to Ryan Swope was, well let's just say there were a lot of goose bumps going on at Kyle Field.
Defensively, this was our best overall performance since I arrived. I've never seen any team play that well on goal line stands. It was inspiring. We are building a program one brick at a time.
I'm glad to see our performance on the field is being recognized across the country. The coaches and writers have voted us back into the Top 25, and we are No. 25 in the BCS. Our players and coaches deserve that recognition.
Congratulations to senior linebacker Michael Hodges for being named the Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week by the Football Writers Association of America for his career-high 19 tackles and his role in three stops of the Sooners in the red zone. He was also named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week.
Meanwhile, junior Coryell Judie was named Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week after his school-record tying 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to start the second half. He was returning kicks for the first time.
We will continue to make progress one game at a time. I'm excited about the rest of this season. Looking at the youth on our football team, I'm also excited for our future. I know you are too.
I received two or three emails from fans concerned we stage our events by making certain the bands, Yell Leaders, and the big screen messages don't cover each other up. We've worked hard to make sure it's done with class while enhancing the atmosphere of our events. This week I heard from several people thanking me for the atmosphere change. I thought the atmosphere was terrific too, but we did not change a thing.
One of the differences from our games being on TV and not being on TV is the length of the media timeouts. We have much shorter timeouts when we are not on TV. When we have a visiting band at Kyle Field, we give them the courtesy to play during every other timeout, as we want the same courtesy for the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band on the road. Because our game was televised, we had an extra minute to 90 seconds on each timeout last weekend. This gave our band and OU's band more time to play and more dedicated time for our Yell Leaders to do yells.
I must say the Yell Leaders did a great job racing up and down Kyle Field during the whole game leading yells and encouraging the 12th Man. The game was so exciting and the noise from the 12th Man reached a fever pitch which impacted the game. I wish I had a decibel meter for our goal line stands. I did not think Kyle could get any louder, and then it did. Thank you Yell Leaders and thank you 12th Man. It was fun!
We are going to Waco on Saturday to play Baylor. I'm concerned because their team speed, like ours, has improved greatly. They have a legitimate All-Big 12 quarterback and running back as well as a talented supporting cast. I hope we turn their stadium maroon on Saturday night. Let's make it Kyle Field north!
Letters, we get letters. Let's answer some of your email.
I heard from a few of you reporting trouble getting out of the parking lots after the Oklahoma game. Because everyone stayed until the end of the game a traffic jam is likely, no matter what we do with traffic control. From my perspective, I'll take a traffic jam every home game following wins like that.
Someone complained via email after a fan was hit during pregame and a fan was hit before the start of the second half by footballs going into the north stands. I'm sorry that happened to our fans. We've had enough complaints about the kicking net that we don't put it up pregame or during halftime. We are in a no-win situation with this. I would encourage fans in the lower Zone seats to please pay extra attention to the kickers.
I want to share this note I received from an Aggie who traveled from Alabama to attend the Oklahoma game at Kyle Field.
We just got back home to Alabama from a great trip to College Station this weekend. We usually get to one game a year, but we replaced last year's trip with a family visit. However, in just one short year I was very impressed with the changes I noticed in the athletic fields. The fully completed McFerrin Center and the Gilliam Indoor Track were very impressive!
The investments are paying off and I credit you and your staff for the leadership in the Building Championships campaign. The game was great and the chance to see old friends was even better.
Thanks for keeping A&M such a great venue!
NJ Class of '01
Our game at Baylor will kickoff at 6 p.m. this Saturday at Floyd Casey Stadium in Waco. The game will be televised nationally on FSN. Like last week's game against Oklahoma, please check your listings or on-screen guide for the specific channel, as some viewers will be directed to an alternate channel if there are NBA or NHL games being televised on FSN's primary channels.
You can also listen to the Texas A&M Sports Network station in your area or via Sirius Satellite Radio channel 154. In addition, you can hear the game at AggieAthletics.com or on your PDA phone at RadioAggieland.com.
For those in the Houston area, the Baylor game will be carried on KTRH 740 AM.
We saved a letter from an Aggie in Atlanta who commended us for saving so many prime seats for our student body at Kyle Field.
Bill, no question, just a thank you. I'm an Aggie (Class of '86), as is my wife, but we now live in Atlanta, GA. Given our proximity to the University of Georgia, we have many friends with children attending UGA. For underclassmen at UGA, they are only allotted tickets to three games per year. They do not have automatic access to every game at Sanford Stadium. Thank you for continuing the tradition of allowing each Aggie student the opportunity to attend every home game at Kyle Field. That is the way it should be. You are doing a great job as our AD. Thanks for all you do.
Our students are incredible and make an impact in all of our sports.
We always hold more than 27,000 prime seats for the 12th Man, but for the Nebraska game we want the largest number of students ever to attend a college football game. We are calling it 12th Man Day. For those A&M students who don't have a sports card, we are offering you a student admission of $20. Meanwhile, our sports card holders can purchase guest tickets for half-price which is $40.
Student ticket pull will remain the same as always, so sports card holders will get first priority on seats in the student sections beginning Monday. All sports card holders with the football option are guaranteed their ability to pull a ticket until next Thursday at 5 p.m.
Our research shows the largest student crowd for a college football game, other than at Kyle Field, is 23,500 set by Michigan. Looking back at our attendance records, we sold 30,192 sports cards in 2002, but the largest student pull for a single game was just over 28,000 at the 2002 Oklahoma game.
We've set aside enough student seats for next week's Nebraska game to shatter the record once and for all. And we're making plans to apply for inclusion in the "Guinness Book of World Records" if a record student crowd happens. If the 12th Man responds like I think they will, it will be a record setting night at Kyle Field!
We were notified Monday that our final home game of the season against Nebraska on Saturday, Nov. 20 will kickoff at 7 p.m. It will be televised by either ABC or ESPN2. The decision on which network will offer the game will be finalized following this weekend's games.
You can purchase tickets for the Nebraska game by contacting our Athletic Ticket Office at 1-888-99-AGGIE or by clicking here.
On Monday we learned our Big 12 Champion and No. 6-ranked soccer team is going to need to pack their mukluks and their bear-skin coats for their trip to Minnesota for the NCAA first and second rounds. Despite being one of four national No. 4 seeds, our team was sent to the other Twin Cities to face Summit League Champion North Dakota State in the round of 64. We will be joined by host Minnesota and Creighton. Game time will be 3 p.m. on Friday. You can listen to the game at AggieAthletics.com. It is our 16th straight appearance in the NCAA Championship.
Last Saturday morning I spoke at the Association of Former Students' Leadership Council, which honored our national champion track and field teams and our national champion equestrian team for their achievements last year. I told the group our Olympic sports are improving so dramatically that we are regularly having representatives of Texas A&M in the Olympics and other World competitions. This is an awesome way to promote Texas A&M University throughout the world. USA Diving uses our diving facility at the Student Rec Center Natatorium for competition, and my goal is to have USA Track and Field hold trials here with a new track facility. We are getting more and more world class athletes at Texas A&M and that sets us apart.
Coach Mark Turgeon and our men's basketball team will open the regular season Friday night against Alcorn State at 7 p.m. at Reed Arena. I'm excited for the start of basketball season. We have a ton of talented young players on this team, and I'm looking forward to seeing them perform.
Season tickets are on sale now. We have a variety of ticket options this year including a Family & Friends season ticket package and three different 6-Packs available. Click here for information on season tickets, 6-Packs or single game tickets.
Our defending Big 12 Champion and No. 8-ranked women's basketball team will host a Maroon and White Scrimmage Saturday at noon at Reed Arena. Admission is free. Members of Aggie Athletes Involved will be outside Reed Arena to collect gently used coats and blankets as part of their annual collection to benefit Twin City Mission.
The Maroon and White Scrimmage will also be your only chance to see sophomore transfer Kelsey Bone play this season. Kelsey transferred to Texas A&M from South Carolina after being named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year. She will miss this season, but will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Last Sunday, we hosted Texas A&M-Kingsville in an exhibition game. We outscored the Division II Javelinas, 124-29.
I enjoyed seeing our nationally recognized defense create so many fast break scoring chances for our team. Coach Gary Blair kept substituting players, and every combination he tried was successful.
The regular season for our women's team starts next Tuesday against Arkansas-Little Rock at 7 p.m. at Reed Arena.
Season tickets for women's basketball start at $85. Click here to purchase yours today.
Good luck to our men's and women's cross country teams as we compete in the NCAA South Central Regional Cross Country Championship Saturday in Waco. We will have eight runners from each of our teams in meet. The regional is being hosted at Cottonwood Creek Golf Club in Waco beginning at 10 a.m. The top two finishing men's and women's teams at the meet, along with the top four finishers not on a qualifying team, will advance to the NCAA Championships. Our women enter the meet ranked fourth in the region, while our men are seventh.
Congratulations to senior All-Americans Austin Krajicek and Jeff Dadamo for winning the doubles championship at the 2010 USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in New York. Our duo was ranked fourth nationally before the tournament and qualified as alternates into the draw. Austin and Jeff beat the same team from Mississippi in the championship match that we beat in the second round of the NCAA Championships last May. Austin and Jeff are the second pair of Aggies to win this tournament. The previous duo was All-Americans Shuon Madden and Dumitru Caradima in 1999.
Also, congratulations to women's tennis sophomore Nazari Urbina for winning the singles championship at the annual Kitty Harrison Invitational on the University of North Carolina campus.
Our No. 2-ranked equestrian team beat No. 3 Auburn last week at the Brazos County Expo Complex. This week our team will face Baylor in Waco at 1 p.m. We are 4-0 in shows this season.
Our volleyball team will host Kansas tonight at 6:30 p.m. We've won three of our last four matches. Earlier this season our match at Kansas was decided in five sets.
Saturday our team will be at Missouri for a 4 p.m. match.
Last Friday our defending Big 12 Champion women's swimming and diving team was outscored by our friends in the state capital. Coach Steve Bultman was disappointed in the loss, but encouraged by how fast we're swimming with the amount of work they're putting in. We will get the chance to return the favor in their home pool at the Big 12 Championships.
Several of our teams announced their recruiting classes for next year today as part of early signing day. Recruiting is the lifeblood of our program and I'm proud to say we did very well. Click here for more information about the signees from men's basketball, women's basketball, softball, and men's golf.
Looking forward to seeing you Friday night at Reed Arena and Saturday night in Waco.