With Texas A&M all but in as the 13th member of the SEC, the rumor mill’s sights have been trained on not only which school will replace the Aggies in the Big 12 — or how many schools — but also which school will become the SEC’s 14th member and how soon.
As has been the case since the Aggies-to-the-SEC speculation first surfaced with a ferocity late last month, Virginia Tech has been rumored by more than one media outlet to be not only a perfect fit for the SEC, but also a school that would be willing to at least think about a move from the ACC.
Tech officials had previously denied the rumors, and did so politely. This time around, though, the school has unleashed some very harsh, pointed and “salty” language in yet another attempt to, once and for all, knock down the speculation.
“Total poppycock,” Tech presidential spokesman Larry Hincke told the Newport News Daily Press, presumably before going to wash out that potty mouth of his with soap. “How many times do we have to say it? If one of these rumormongers, would be willing to cite their ‘multiple sources,’ it might lend some credence. Frankly, we’re tired of other people telling us what our future is.
“We are not interested. Nothing has changed. My president will not dignify wild speculation. Our last statement still stands. Bottom line: this is not on our radar screen.”
Suffice to say, there’s not a whole helluva lot of gray area in Mr. Hincke’s statement; Tech is flat-out stating they have no interest in the SEC. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch.
Would Tech’s tune change if the SEC came a callin’? Based on that statement, no. But, given how this game of conference dominoes has been played over the past 15 months or so, you just never know what the collegiate landscape will look like a year from now.
With a lead in a tight game against Oklahoma State on Saturday night in Waco, Baylor head coach Jim Grobe appeared to make one of the most ridiculous coaching decisions witnessed in a while when Baylor lined up to go for a first down on fourth and one from its own 24-yard line in the third quarter. After the game, Grobe said he was calling for a punt but a headset malfunction meant nobody heard his call.
That’s because Grobe accidentally turned off his headset.
Baylor coach Jim Grobe said he was calling for a punt on fourth-and-1 inside his own 30 but his headset cut out.
“All season it seems like when our defense has our backs against the wall we play better, so I figured I’ll just spot them on the 20,” Grobe said in a laughing manner after the game. He was fortunate to be able to laugh it off, because that could have been a game-changing play.
The communications issue did not harm Baylor — the defense stuffed Oklahoma State on a fourth down play at the one-yard line and the offense moved 99 yards for a touchdown — but that is simply something that can never happen, and a head coach needs to find a way to step in and make sure his team is not going for it on a textbook punting situation. Oklahoma State could have settled for taking three free points with a short field goal kick, which would have trimmed the Baylor lead down to just one point at the time, but Mike Gundy went for the lead and a touchdown.
In Gundy’s defense, knowing how potent Baylor is on offense, going for the touchdown made sense in that situation. It is the obvious case of hindsight being 20/20, although it was just the third quarter, and not the fourth.
One of the bright spots for Arizona in the first month of the season had been freshman running back JJ Taylor. Unfortunately for he and Arizona, he will be missing some serious playing time after suffering a broken ankle Saturday night against Washington.
Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez announced after an overtime loss against Washington that Taylor broke his left ankle. Before having to leave the game with an injury, Taylor had rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries against Washington. It is expected Taylor could miss the next six to eight weeks of action, which could effectively end his season.
Ironically, Taylor was showing off his ability to break ankles earlier in the game…
Auburn fans celebrated a wild victory against SEC West rival LSU last night the way they always do, by rolling the oaks at Toomer’s Corner with toilet paper. It is a tradition that goes back decades, which makes the oaks a target for some. On Saturday night, one of the trees at Toomer’s Corner went up in flames after somebody lit the dangling toilet paper on fire.
Someone inadvertently set the one of the Toomer's Oaks on fire. It's out now, but all the toilet paper is burned off pic.twitter.com/0cSGRUBEFZ
No. 10 Texas A&M grabbed a late touchdown run from quarterback Trevor Knight in the first half and shut down No. 17 Arkansas in the second half of a 45-24 victory in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The Aggies shut down the Razorbacks in the second half and scored 28 points on offense to improve to 4-0 and head into October thinking about making a run at the SEC West title (and potentially for real this time).
With the game tied at 17-17, Arkansas put together a draining 89-yard drive on 19 plays, but it was the Texas A&M defense that held strong down by the goal line. Just as they had done twice in the first half, Texas A&M prevented Arkansas from punching the football across the goal line, this time with a fourth-down stand. Two plays later, Texas A&M quarterback Trevor Knight unloaded a deep ball to Josh Reynolds racing down the right sideline. The ball was placed perfectly for Reynolds and he let his speed take care of the rest on a 92-yard touchdown drive. It was quite the momentum swing and the Aggies did not look back.
Texas A&M scored a touchdown after forcing Arkansas to punt on the ensuing possession and took advantage of a short field from the 15-yard line after an Arkansas fumble. Trayveon Williams did the honors on the first touchdown with a 33-yard scamper and Christian Kirk got his hands on a pass from Knight after the Razorbacks’ fumble.
Four games into the season and there appears to be enough evidence to suggest this Texas A&M defense has improved, and that helps make Texas A&M a formidable player in the SEC West moving forward. Is it ready to take down Alabama? Probably not, but the Aggies have the look of the second-best team in the SEC behind the defending national champions. Arkansas still has the potential to play spoiler with anyone on their schedule though, including Alabama.
Knight was a machine for the Aggies, ending his night with 225 passing yards, two passing touchdowns, a game-high 157 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns. Arkansas quarterback passed for 371 yards and two scores, but took a beating all night.
Texas A&M is 4-0 for the third straight season under Kevin Sumlin. The last time Texas A&M went 4-0 in three straight seasons was 1939-1941. It is also the third straight undefeated September for Texas A&M, which was last achieved from 1997 through 1999. The hot seat talk has been nowhere to be heard in College Station this season.
Arkansas gets a likely breather next week when they return home to host Alcorn State. A home game against Alabama looms after that. Texas A&M will stay in SEC play next week when they head to South Carolina. The Gamecocks are coming off a 17-10 loss at Kentucky.