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High school coaches say Texas A&M the best in Texas; Texas third

Texas A&M University head coach Sumlin shouts toward the field against the University of Oklahoma during the first half of the Cotton Bowl Classic NCAA football game in Arlington, Texas Reuters

Two seasons have been put in the books since Texas A&M made the decision to leave the Big 12 for the SEC. The move was ridiculed by many and few suspected the Aggies would thrive on the field to the level Texas A&M has since making the move. I’ll throw myself under the bus. I was one of the doubters. Off the field was always a different story. The move to the SEC had many benefits that were easy to see, and with the Aggies more than holding their own on the field, the move seems to be scored as a success in the early years.

Texas A&M is the top college football program in the state of Texas right now. So what does the pecking order after that look like? Not quite as orange as you might suspect.

Longhorn Digest asked four anonymous high school football caches recently to get their take on how the college football powers stack up right now, in addition to some more specific questions regarding Texas and new head coach Charlie Strong. Texas A&M was the unanimous number one choice of the four coaches. Defending Big 12 champion Baylor was a consensus number two. Just behind the Bears came the Texas Longhorns. Yes, Texas has slipped to number three not just in the eyes of the college football world, but also the high school coaches in a state that is incredibly rich with respect for the high school game.

“Because they are Texas it is an easy gap to close if there is any,” said one of the high school coaches polled. “I think there is a bigger gap between Texas and Texas A&M. But that can close in a number of ways.”

“A&M has the momentum right now,” said another coach. “As you know, one winning season at Texas will change everything.”

“They could come back right now and take over A&M if they want to,” another coach said. “That’s how powerful they are. They can do anything they want. They are the Texas freaking Longhorns.”

So, how bad to the Texas freaking Longhorns want to be back on top?

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40 Responses to “High school coaches say Texas A&M the best in Texas; Texas third”
  1. stevebass2 says: Mar 11, 2014 9:08 PM

    Not surprising at all. Of course A&M is #1 right now, they had all the flair and focus in the college football world directed at College Station for the past two years, and players always want to go to the program that’s in fashion. BUT, these coaches are also right in that all UT has to to do to get back into the recruiting fight is to go out there and have a winning first season under Strong. No need to worry from the Longhorn brass at this point.

  2. tyn27 says: Mar 11, 2014 9:13 PM

    Four coaches, wow! Great poll! Lol

  3. slystone111 says: Mar 11, 2014 9:41 PM


  4. sfsugator says: Mar 11, 2014 9:50 PM

    Texas A&M
    Texas Tech
    Texas-San Antonio

    In that order fact.

  5. thefiesty1 says: Mar 11, 2014 10:18 PM

    Just who are those four coaches and where do they coach in the state? Not much of a poll.

    Granted A&M is on the rise the last couple of years, but they haven’t won the SEC West, yet. So stand by folks.

  6. rabbi187 says: Mar 11, 2014 10:28 PM

    I didn’t realize the opinion of 4 anonymous high school coaches warrants an article on a national sports website. What pathetic journalism.

  7. thekingdave says: Mar 11, 2014 10:52 PM

    Yeah, I second what’s being said here. Wow, four high school coaches in the “tiny” state of Texas. Talk about a changing of the guard.

  8. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 11, 2014 11:25 PM

    It doesn’t matter which high school coaches they asked.

    The questions were posed by LONGHORN DIGEST. Not Aggie Digest, but LONGHORN DIGEST. A University of Texas fan focused entity.

    I hear Carlie Strong yanked the scholarship offer to Reggie Hempill yesterday, because he didn’t immediately say yes to the offer.

    “It’s Texas A&M, Baylor and then Oklahoma,” said Reggie Hemphill. “In that order. Texas A&M is definitely my number one school, then the other two.”


  9. thekingdave says: Mar 11, 2014 11:35 PM



  10. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 11, 2014 11:38 PM

    It’s a joke, dave. You must not be from Texas.

  11. thekingdave says: Mar 11, 2014 11:48 PM

    No not from Texas. Except for the whole living here every second of my life. Yeah, except for that.

  12. chinahand11 says: Mar 11, 2014 11:57 PM

    So … prestigious high school coach D stated Texas should have hired a high school coach because he thinks it’s a good idea at TCU. Okay, legit poll.

  13. sportsbastard says: Mar 12, 2014 12:43 AM

    If Texas being #3 in the state (and #4 in a conference that they drove the bulk of the legit competition out of) isn’t karma, I don’t know what is.

  14. texasbornlsufan says: Mar 12, 2014 7:33 AM

    It’s a sad day for all of TEXAS FOOTBALL!
    Seriously? Bad article!

  15. iwishwvuwouldbeatbama says: Mar 12, 2014 10:01 AM

    This article is no surprise or shock. Texas is barely ahead of Texas Tech and could very possibly lose to them this year. Remember this, Charlie Strong was a good big east coach in a watered down big east. Look for a serious TEXAS SIZED DROP OFF! and it couldn’t happen to nicer people.

  16. iwishwvuwouldbeatbama says: Mar 12, 2014 10:07 AM

    By the way If TCU finds a QB then Texas would only be ahead of Texas State, Houston, Rice, San Antonio State and big boys SMU.

  17. 8to80texansblog says: Mar 12, 2014 10:22 AM

    If you click on the link and actually read the article…. you’ll see that first off, these coaches only did this interview on the basis of anonymity, second most of the coaches begrudgingly ranked A&M #1, but all 4 had Baylor #2. It felt like the coaches thought that Texas should be number 1 but with A&M’s move to the SEC and the utter mismanagement in Austin, the Horns have slipped back to 3rd.

    As @goodfieldnohit says… this was in Longhorn Digest….

    On of my favorite quotes ” I think that was the biggest problem with Texas was that they were real arrogant”

    The difference with horns fans…. they think that’s their biggest asset.

  18. mogogo1 says: Mar 12, 2014 12:22 PM

    Gotta give them credit for being thorough. Most pollsters would have stopped with 2 or maybe 3 coaches, but these guys went the extra mile to get a fourth.

  19. Larry Heitman says: Mar 12, 2014 12:26 PM

    Most kids start noticing college football teams in middle school. That is a 5 or 6 year window for a team to catch their attention. A&M’s preeminence is in the 2nd year of that cycle. UT has 3 to 4 years to break that dominance. Football studs want to play for a winner! And playing for a winner in the best conference in football is a huge plus!

    What UT has to deal with is that A&M’s momentum will will not slow down due to Sumlin, great offense, improved defense, great academics and superior marketing. If UT does not win big in 2014 or 2015 at the latest, A&M will be hard to overtake.

  20. bfree2k says: Mar 12, 2014 1:54 PM

    While I agree with many of you that 4 coaches polled is not enough of a sampling to really give credence to, it’s got to trouble the UT Administration that just two years since A&M went to the SEC that anyone with eyes can see that TAMU is a better football school than UT right now and let’s be honest, the gap has room to grow given that TAMU hasn’t even won their division or played for the SEC Championship. If this trend continues over the next couple of years and all mighty help you, the gap gets wider, UT better get on the phone with the PAC-12 or the BIG faster than you can say A&M sucks and consider joining their conference quick or else the pecking order might be TAMU and every other Texas school after them forever.

  21. raiderbeat says: Mar 12, 2014 2:45 PM

    There is little question Texas will be back, but it would not kill them to be humble. They are the delusional Notre Dame of the South. They think they are great just because they are orange. They single handedly destroyed the Big 12 with that joke of a network. TAMU is going to be #1 or #1a in the state now especially now that they are in the SEC. Texas plays no one, sorry Baylor. Texas should have gone to the Pac-12 but they wanted the network cash and did not want to play a tough team every week.
    At UT they now have an overpaid coach and a live feed of inter mural ping pong on 24 hours a day.
    At A&M you get to watch the best players on the best teams in the country fight it out to play for the National Title every year. Gig em.

  22. deucez2 says: Mar 12, 2014 4:49 PM


    You received bad Reggie Hemphill info. Strong told Reggie (who was already committed to Mack Brown) that he wanted to take a step back to focus on 2015 and they’d do evaluations on 2016 down the road. Strong told Hemphill to open his recruitment which didn’t sit well with a 15 year old.

    Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story though, right?

  23. normtide says: Mar 12, 2014 6:06 PM

    The easiest way for UT to retake the to spot would be TO BEAT A&M ON THE FIELD. But since they are afraid to even play them, it won’t happen.

  24. thekingdave says: Mar 12, 2014 6:46 PM


    You should go read what A&M has said on that subject most recently before you go off spouting ignorance. Other way around buddy.

  25. dubyad3 says: Mar 12, 2014 7:21 PM


    Buddy, you wish. aTm is the one who’s afraid…..check the facts

  26. normtide says: Mar 12, 2014 7:35 PM

    Yes, I read that Texas may be willing to play A&M, maybe, at a neutral location. Maybe.

    A&M wanted to continue from the start. Texas said they didn’t want to. I guess they couldn’t afford to buy out that New Mexico State game or something.

    The bottom line is this game should happen. Same for Missouri v Kansas. The programs refusing to play them look weak and afraid.

  27. thekingdave says: Mar 12, 2014 7:55 PM

    A Bama fan calling out Texas for a week OOC schedule? Pot meet kettle.

  28. thekingdave says: Mar 12, 2014 8:18 PM

    Weak* GD Fing autocorrect

  29. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 12, 2014 8:58 PM

    “Don’t let facts get in the way of a good story though, right?”


    The University of Texas has been doing that for 100 years. And all of a sudden people get all bowed up when it’s used against them.

    You guys will be looking for another coach in 2 years. Strong is about to get abused by the rest of his conference. And BYU again.

  30. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 12, 2014 9:01 PM

    And Sumlin has flipped what, 4 Longhorn recruits now? Two in the last signing class, and now two more.

    They must not have been Texas Strong, right?

  31. thekingdave says: Mar 12, 2014 9:29 PM


    Wow, Sumlin’s flipped four Longhorn recruits? That’s pretty awesome. Maybe that will lead to an actual appearance in the SEC championship game, or a bowl better than the Chick Fil A or whatever the hell they call it these days. Then maybe you’d actually have some substance to back up your “changing of the guard” myth as opposed to a 4-4 SEC record. But all hail Sumlin right? He of the riding Briles and Sherman’s coattails fame.

  32. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 12, 2014 9:51 PM

    4* recruits, with 2 of them on campus, 2 more solidly committed, continuiting to trend upwards after Johnny Football, and all Charlie Strong can do is say the Sumlin has gadgets while the best players on his short list tell him to stick it.

    And if Charlie doesn’t find a QB next fall, the horns might not see .500.

    Enjoy your offseason and good luck in that gadget game in Mexico City.

  33. thekingdave says: Mar 12, 2014 10:00 PM

    Cotton Bowl victory over OU to a narrow Chick Fil A victory over Duke is “trending upwards?” Ok buddy.

  34. deucez2 says: Mar 12, 2014 10:37 PM

    Strong has been the head coach for a whopping 2 months. So a kid flips to ATM (whose staff has recruited said kid for over a year) and it’s Strong’s fault?

    You must not be in sales if you don’t realize relationships and comfort matter to recruits and families. Give Strong 2 recruiting cycles against Swagcopter before you help him write his resignation letter.

    Measured thinking and self awareness, my friend; try some.

  35. normtide says: Mar 12, 2014 11:11 PM

    I’ll put Bama SOS up against any teams. But, SOS wasn’t my point. Your avoiding the actual point. Texas is supposed to be the biggest and baddest. They get what they want, right? They obviously don’t want to play A&M.

    I agree A&M still has more to prove. Aggie fans do act like they already won two titles. But, I chock it up to adulation from leaving Texas, joining the best league in the nation, and doing it well. Texas is much the same. They have been mediocre since 09, but their fans act like they have gone undefeated. UT still has a lot to prove too. A&M had shown they are fine without UT, UT hasn’t shown they are fine without a&m.

  36. 8to80texansblog says: Mar 13, 2014 10:03 AM

    For those saying that A&M was scared to play Texas…. you are so far off it’s not funny.

    As soon as A&M left for the SEC they inquired about continuing the rivalry across conference lines and DeLoss Dodds decided that he didn’t want to play us if we weren’t going to play by his rules anymore.

    Now that A&M is asserting dominance in the state (and if you don’t think they are… scroll up and read the story, or check the latest recruiting rankings), Texas realizes that the quickest way to squash this rebellion is to beat A&M, heads up, on the field. Except in typical Texas fashion, they want everything done on their terms… not going to happen….

  37. 8to80texansblog says: Mar 13, 2014 10:10 AM

    thekingdave says:
    Mar 12, 2014 10:00 PM

    Cotton Bowl victory over OU to a narrow Chick Fil A victory over Duke is “trending upwards?” Ok buddy.

    You know what victories A&M is notching right now, as we speak….

    Recruit after recruit. The best players in the state that used to go to Texas are now picking A&M…

  38. goodfieldnohit says: Mar 13, 2014 8:30 PM

    “Coach [Joe] Wickline offered me last week,” said [Tanner] Shipley. “Honestly it doesn’t really matter though because I won’t go there. I won’t even visit. I’ve been there a thousand times since I’ve been eight years old.”

    “I want to play big time ball in the SEC,”


  39. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 16, 2014 12:03 PM

    goodfieldnohit wrote: Mar 13, 2014 8:30 PM

    “Coach [Joe] Wickline offered me last week,” said [Tanner] Shipley. “Honestly it doesn’t really matter though because I won’t go there. I won’t even visit. I’ve been there a thousand times since I’ve been eight years old.”

    “I want to play big time ball in the SEC,”


    Reality hits home in the Big 12.

    All you have to do is look at the recently concluded National Signing day in football. Oklahoma signs the lone 5 star recruit (according to The SEC signs 18 5 stars (again, Texas A&M signs 3 5 stars alone.

    Now, with that being fact. Recruiting in ANY sport is at best, an inexact science. You evaluate a recruiting
    class FIVE years out.

    It’s all about coaching. Art Briles at Baylor has won more games with 2 and 3 star recruits than Mack did at
    Texas with vaunted 5 star recruits. Texas fans hope and pray that Strong is the second coming of DKR, instead of a Fred Akers, a John Mackovic or David McWilliams.

    Kids are looking at Texas A&M simply because of the SEC. Kids want to play in meaningful games in a meaningful conference. Look at the 2015 recruiting in football. (Again, The SEC West leads
    with Texas A&M, Alabama, and LSU,#1, #2 and #3, and the SEC has eight teams in the top 20 recruiting classes. Couple that with 5 SEC schools that are upgrading existing football facilities, and recruits SEE the commitment to big time college football.

    Will this always be the way in the SEC? Nope, sports are cyclical. The SEC happens to be the big dog

    The Big 12 is nothing more than an enhanced regional Big 8 conference, and recruits are voting with their
    feet to better conferences.


  40. amosalanzostagg says: Mar 16, 2014 12:21 PM

    deucez2 wrote on: Mar 12, 2014 10:37 PM

    “You must not be in sales if you don’t realize relationships and comfort matter to recruits and families. Give Strong 2 recruiting cycles against Swagcopter before you help him write his resignation letter.”

    Measured thinking and self awareness, my friend; try some.


    So given the relationships and comfort Mack generated while at Texas since 2010 in his vaunted 5 star recruiting classes must have generated at least a conference championship and multiple BCS games since his last National Championship appearance?

    No transfers out from mighty Texas?


    Try some “critical” thinking and deal with reality, my friend, try some.


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