This Week’s Post at HolyTurf.com

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Here’s a brief snippet:

We know Gary Patterson never shuts up. So when I read his latest blimpo eruption, I had to admit that maybe this guy isn’t just weird, but might actually have a sense of humor.

I only follow TCU one game a year, in the years when Baylor plays them, so I don’t know if he does this in the media with the UNLVs and the San Diego States of the world or not. Patterson is hoping he can again beat the ever lovin’ Ann Richards out of the Bears. He stirs the pot saying, “We get online, we see what’s being said. You don’t hear anything from us.”, yet he can’t seem to keep his own mouth shut.

Check out the rest here…

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August 28th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

12 DAYS OF TCU – Froggie Fun Facts – GAME DAY HAS ARRIVED!

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Game day is here! Reveal the final installment of the 12 Days of TCU…

#1 – The Final Countdown to Vengeance Has Begun

Top to bottom, Baylor’s athletics, academics, beautiful girls, mascot, facilities, Bible study groups, campus, alumni and fans are better than TCU’s and it’s not even close! TCU has built their success playing the Little Sisters of the Little Sisters of the Poor. Really, who would trade Baylor’s athletic department to be TCU’s? No one.

Sadly, our players didn’t match the hatred that TCU brought last year. Why? Because Baylor had forgotten the bitterness that TCU felt for Baylor. Coach Briles will not make that mistake again this year. 7pm can not get here soon enough!

Also, beware of any Frog fans with an ankle tat. Those middle aged guys don’t mess around!

#2 – TCU played in the Rose Bowl last year after posting an impressive 13-0 record against the #76 strength of schedule

By the way, that #76 includes the game against Wisconsin, so it was probably mid-80s out of 120 prior to that game. That’s almost twice as weak as Baylor’s strength of schedule ranking. Moving to the Big East doesn’t improve that SOS much which is why it will likely be picked off by several other conferences over the next few years as it doesn’t warrant a BCS tie in with the level of competition played there any more than the MWC did.

#3 – Baylor vs TCU was once one of the most played rivals in college football

Even after playing only 3 times since the SWC broke up, the Baylor TCU game was still one of the top 15 most played rivalries in the history of college football. Too bad most kids don’t even know that today and is largely why Baylor fans who didn’t know their history probably didn’t consider this a rivalry game. TCU certainly did because they wanted payback for what Baylor did to them in joining the Big 12 (never understood this logic, but it is what it is).

Clearly Coach Briles did not have his players wanting to destroy TCU last year as TCU whipped the BULL-ock (the Bob Bullock) out of us. Hopefully CAB has his players playing for vengeance this time. We’ll all know in just 3 more days!

#4 – Next year, TCU moves to the Big East where it is alleged teams actually play football. No one has actually seen it though.

What would be more entertaining is seeing 4,200 people show up to watch TCU men’s basketball get thumped by 40 points by “insert random Big East basketball team here”. Sadly, it is doubtful the Big East will actually last that much longer.

#5 – Fully half of TCU’s conference slate last year, 4 of their conference games, totaled a combined conference record of 9-40 for the season

We’re talking a murder’s row of Wyoming, UNLV, New Mexico and Colorado State. Nothing like dominating a pillow fight.

#6 – TCU is 8-8 against the Big 12 since it’s formation in 1996

I hear my Frog friends tout this with pride, and maybe they should, including comments such as
“We beat Oklahoma twice!”. Let’s take a look behind the numbers though:

- 1996 – Beat a 3-8 Oklahoma
- 1996 – To put the OU victory in perspective, they were blown out by Kansas, yes 4-7 Kansas, at home, 52-17
- 1998 – Beat Iowa State (who was 3-8)
- 2001 – Provided A&M with their only bowl victory in the last 17 years
- 2004 – Lost to Texas Tech 70-35
- 2005 – Squeaked by Iowa State again 27-24
- 2005 – Beat OU 17-10. This was the same OU that Baylor lost to in double overtime after missing an extra point, a chip shot field goal and getting a hosin’ that banned the referee crew the rest of the season
- 2006 – Beat Tech
- 2007 – Blowout loss to Texas
- 2007 – Beat Baylor still reeling from the Robert Sloan / Tom Stanton years
- 2008 – Blowout loss to Oklahoma
- 2010 – Blowout victory over Baylor where our DC thought it made sense to play the corners 10 yards off the receivers all day allowing Dalton to go 21-23 to complete 91% of his passes

In the last decade, the biggest win was against an 8-4 OU team in their first game of the season, replacing a Heisman winning QB, Adrian Peterson with a hurt ankle and OU turning the ball over 4 times. Still, a win is a win, and it should be noted as such.

So in summary, the 8 wins they have against the Big 12 since 1996 break down like this:

- 5 wins against Baylor and Iowa State
- 2 against OU (1 during OU’s worst stretch of football in 50 years)
- 1 win against Tech

#7 – TCU played in 2 bowl games the 35 years prior to the breakup of the SWC

The Horned Frogs lost both games, one in 1965 to UTEP and one in a blowout loss to West Virginia during the Jim Whacker cheatin’ years in 1984.

During that same time, Baylor played in 11 bowls, going 6-5, back when you really had to be good, not just bowl eligible. In those games Baylor beat LSU twice, beat Clemson, lost to Florida by 1 point and thumped Colorado back when they fielded a competitive football team.

#8 – Last year, during the greatest season TCU football has had in most people’s lifetimes and easily since 1938, 42,466 people showed up on average to show their support. This was a mere 2,400 more people than a 7-6 Baylor team averaged.

#9 – From 1972-1983, TCU won a total of 12 home games.

Their overall record was 23-104-5. That was a record of futility unmatched by even Kansas State and Oregon State in their worst years. During this streak, they once lost 20 games in a row.

They’ve shown recently what quality coaching and financial commitment to a football program can do.

#10 – Two words: ANKLE TATs

Drunk old men in the stands yelling “Good Job Big 12″ to kids not even half his age and twice his size or more are PRICELESS.

Of course, just win on the field and you don’t have to deal with losers like this, but regardless, that guy had to be proud of himself once he sobered up (which probably occurred around the 2:18 mark):

#11 – TCU once won the national championship in 1938…in football.

To be fair, Notre Dame and Tennessee also lay claim to the championship that year, but if you’re only counting the AP poll, TCU gets the nod. Although Sagarin awards the title posthumously to Tennessee. On a side note, that’s 10 years before Baylor basketball played for a national title in 1948.

#12 – TCU vs Baylor winning percentage the 35 years leading up to the formation of the Big 12

35 years seems like a fair number, doesn’t it? Time to get almost two generations of people through the system. Time to have several coaches hired, fired and retired.

Could it have had anything to do with the quality of product on the field?

TCU won 35% of it’s games, good enough to rank 100th in winning percentage out of 110 teams. At the same time, Baylor won 50% of it’s games.

During that span, Baylor had 4 less wins than Texas Tech and 9 less wins than Missouri.

They had MORE wins than teams like South Carolina, Iowa, Oklahoma State, Illinois, Oregon, Cal, SMU, Kansas, Wisconsin, Iowa State, Mississippi State, Oregon State, Wake Forest, Kansas State (they ranked 108th out of 110 – OUCH!) and Northwestern.

Baylor had a better winning percentage than almost HALF the Big 10 for the 35 years leading up to the Big 12, which included, admittedly, some very down years in the late 60s.

Why was this TCU’s spot you say? Tune in tomorrow as we reveal our next Froggie Fun Fact!

Be patient, it’s going to get a lot more surprising…

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August 22nd, 2011 at 7:06 pm

TCU’s QB Paschall Fighting for His Starting Job?

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Or is Coach Patterson up to his old tricks? He plays the underdog role to perfection and may again be embarking on psychological warfare, saying things such as “Matt [Brown] and Casey are neck and neck to be the starter,” and “There’s no such thing as a backup. Matt moved the ball just as well, or better, than Casey did today.”

Patterson also said, “The time being out hurt Casey. Matt got a lot better. That’s what you do. You don’t worry about the guy that’s not here. You make the next guys better; that’s what big programs are about.”

The time being out? Paschall missed 3 practices with a sore shoulder. Matt Brown is a RS FR who was a lightly recruited 3* dual-threat out of high school.

We’re somehow supposed to believe that a guy with one year less in the system has surpassed Casey Paschall in 3 practices? Maybe the former 4* QB recruit has been way over-hyped (impressive offer list, but not enough game experience to really know much about him. Thus far his game experience amounts to a stat line of 6-9 passing in his career at TCU). It’s more likely that Gary Patterson is making a very weak attempt at motivating his players through the media.

Unless Paschall’s MRI’d “sore shoulder” somehow prevents him from going on 9/2, there is no way this kid is not under center to start the game in Waco.

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August 21st, 2011 at 2:59 pm

Rivals vs Scout Rankings

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Being an avid fan of a smaller school, it’s always been clear that the rankings are driven in part by # of subscriptions purchased. There’s easy examples of schools with perennial top 25 rankings that never contend for titles, win bowl games or spend time in the top 25 at the end of the season.

We’ve also seen the occasional commit that would switch from Baylor to one of the more traditional powers only to have them gain a ranking star or lose a star when the reverse happens.

While there’s still a ton of time between now and signing day, I also wanted to take a look at consistency between the two key rating websites.

Let’s take a quick look at how the Rivals rankings compare with the Scout rankings and see what we found:

 Scout Rank   School   Rivals Rank   Variance 
1 Michigan 2 1
2 Texas 1 1
3 Florida 4 1
4 Texas A&M 7 3
5 Miami 5 0
6 Florida State 4 2
7 Alabama 4 3
8 South Carolina 9 1
9 LSU 8 1
10 Auburn 10 0
11 Penn St 11 0
12 Notre Dame 16 4
13 Clemson 13 0
14 Texas Tech 15 1
15 Oklahoma 12 3
16 Missouri 21 5
17 Virginia 18 1
18 Arizona State 20 2
19 Tennessee 19 0
20 Baylor 35 15
21 Ohio State 23 2
22 Michigan State 26 4
23 Virginia Tech 14 9
24 Cincinnati 48 24
25 USC 17 8

Other schools not include in the Scout top 25 rankings, but included in Rivals:

Scout Rank School Rivals Rank Variance
34 TCU 22 12
31 Georgia 25 6
37 Arizona 24 13

Obviously schools towards the bottom of the top 25 had the highest variances.
- Virginia Tech (9)
- TCU (12)
- Arizona (13)
- Baylor (15)
- Cincinnati (24)

What conclusions can we draw from this? Well, for one, Coach Briles and Coach Bennett have certainly built on last year’s success and continued to improve the quality of athlete committing to Baylor. Secondly, rankings is a subjective process, especially as you get further from the highest quality athlete

Another interesting exercise would be a multi-year analysis of these types of rankings which would likely expose that, for many teams, 1) ranking sites cater to their customers or 2) there are many schools that consistently, likely because of poor coaching, do less with more.

I’ll let you decide which one.

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August 19th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

TheeBears.com Guest Column at www.holyturf.com

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We explore the topic of who steps in to replace our key losses to the NFL in Cousin Phil Taylor, Danny Watkins and Jay Finley.

Here’s a sample:

Let’s all take a second to turn our attention away from the boltin’ dolts down in College Station trying to save face by running away from UT and remember that it’s almost time to start playing some football!

The Baylor Bears offense put a product on the field in year three of the Art Briles regime unlike any seen before, setting or tying 55 school records. The #13 ranked offense in the nation looks to only improve this coming year. The Bears lose several key contributors to graduation last year, not to mention the inexplicable loss of WR Josh Gordon. His loss is going to hurt, but there are a stable of high quality receivers ready to step up and fill his shoes. Yes, we know Robert Griffin is wonderful, but let’s talk about the guys ready to replace the players lost to the NFL.

Click here to read the rest…

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August 18th, 2011 at 11:41 am

Let’s Discuss the Facts as We Currently Know Them

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For those paying attention, there has been an absolute storm of information / propaganda in the media and on the internet about A&M to the SEC.

Let’s try to make some sense of the facts:

0) Per ESPN, SEC declines to invite Texas A&M. Take everything with a grain of salt, but I guess this does mean that the SEC never offered? They do say “for now”, but what a PR nightmare this may turn out to be for one school down in College Station. Is part of appearing to have never offered part of some legalistic shenanigans to prove the SEC didn’t invite them? Will A&M have to hire Baylor lawyers to help with litigations?

1) Aggies on the internet are desperate to get to the SEC. We get it. I’m not sure how indicative that is of the entire fan base, of any of their rational fans or their administration. Their administration has basically said they are open to doing whatever is in the best interest of their university. The blood lust to stick it to UT is evident.

1a) For the record, we at TheeBears would only be sad to see Aggy go because we’ve been playing them for 110+ years and there is plenty of hatred through the years that makes for fun times, going back to the beginning. Other than that, if the Big 12 stays around and is viable, more power to ‘em.

2) The Big 12 Board of Directors met yesterday afternoon. After that meeting, they released a statment saying

The Board strongly conveyed to Texas A&M its unanimous desire that it remain a Big 12 member, and acknowledged its value to the Conference. The Board noted that Texas A&M expressed concerns about institutional networks and that the athletics directors worked together and took actions, which the Board has approved, to adequately address those concerns.

What that means, only a politician could tell you for sure.

3) The SEC presidents were to meet today sometime. Then they weren’t going to meet. Now there are alledgedly tweets saying they met and voted 11-0 with Florida abstaining.

4) A&M regents are scheduled to meet tomorrow to authorize joining the SEC. However, as this things has looked like it was going to happen and then looked like it was going to fall apart all weekend, the spirit of “Agenda Item 15″ have changed minute to minute.

5) The Texas Legislature has scheduled a meeting for Tuesday to gather information about what exactly an institution that exists at the pleasure of the legislature and the taxpayer is doing.

6) The “remaining” 9 members, have pledged publicly, yet again, their allegiance to the Big 12. However, this is the same thing everyone, including A&M did recently (at least for the next 10 years) as it negotiated a good faith $1.2 BILLION contract for 13 years with FoxSports. I wonder if there are some executives wondering who they can trust know when they shake someone’s hand.

7) If A&M leaves, that makes 13 SEC schools. Who will #14 be? Several have been discussed, but they have all denied contact with the SEC or interest. For the record, A&M is the only one saying they are talking to the SEC. The SEC hasn’t even explicitly stated they are talking to A&M, but let’s assume they are. Clemson, Florida State and Missouri have all stated they “aren’t interested”. Likely they aren’t interested, until they are.

Beyond that, trying to keep score at home is nearly impossible as you are never sure who in the media is working for who and what their agenda is.

Heck, you even have some guy named Richard Justice, a UT grad, publishing articles saying University of Houston should join the Big 12.

I’ll leave you with a couple of final questions for now. Who would A&M play on TV in “Rivalry Week” now? UT helped A&M get on TV quite a bit through the years. Can they stand on their own without a national brand if they aren’t competing at the top of the conference in the only two sports people, by and large, ubiquitously watch?

Film at 11…

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August 14th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

Update from The Fall Scrimmage

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It’s 11:30 and I’m already running late. No matter how early I try to leave, life always seems to get in the way. As I hustle to the shuttle to head to the scrimmage only one thought is on my mind, the college football season is almost here. I get there ten minutes late and the scrimmage is already underway. It’s hot, humid, and overcast. It’s a great turnout. All the bleachers are full and people are lined up and down the whole sideline. As I hurry to find a spot and get ready Griffin and the offense are lining up. The ball is snapped, Griffin rolls to his left, and BOOM! With that explosiveness we have all come to know and love he takes off up the sideline. 15 yards untouched and he breaks it to the center of the field. Coaches blow the play dead and the crowd cheers. If this was live its an easy 6.

The scrimmage was a great teaser heading into the opening game with TCU. It only lasted an hour and all we saw was a watered down playbook, but it still gets the blood flowing. Below is a breakdown of what I saw. It’s hard to read into too much from a one-hour scrimmage that is basically just a fan event. However, there were several things that stood out to me. This is not meant to be a play by play or recap. Just some interesting things I noticed.

Offense:

TEMPO. The first thing that stuck out to me was the tempo of the offense. Baylor has always had a fast paced offense under Briles, but this was something else. There was an emphasis on speeding everything up. Briles has always been a fan of fast paced offenses. To him, it’s a numbers game. The faster you work, the more plays you get in. The more plays you get in, the more chances you have to score. Simple math. Now I don’t expect to see this pace all the time once the season kicks off. Adjustments, reads, and fatigue will play factors to slow it down, but I think the Bears will try to pick up the pace some this year. And another year in Briles system should help.

GRIFFIN. The quarterbacks rotated every series. So Griffin didn’t get a ton of work, but when he had a chance, he showed some things. His explosiveness is still there and he used it. On at least three occasions RGIII tucked the ball and ran with it, a high percentage considering the small number of snaps he had. Briles commented early this year that he would like to see Griffin run more this year. If something is there he wants Robert to take it. I would say Griffin has heard the message. Aside from his legs, RGIII also showed off his arm. He has unquestionably gotten stronger. The ball was leaving his hand with more velocity than I have ever seen before. Not only does he have more zip on it, but his accuracy was good as well. On two occasions, RGIII fit the ball into tight windows, one with a receiver falling to the ground and another on an out route just outside of the defenders reach. The only disappointment came on a deep ball to Lanear Sampson. Sampson had the coverage beat and Griffin chunked a 60 yard bomb that missed by inches. This was an issue last year with Griffin. Hopefully it’s something the Bears get worked out before September 2nd. The only other highlight by Griffin was 30-yard quick kick on a 3rd down.

RECEIVERS. All the receivers looked good. There is speed all over the field. Even without Josh Gordon, the wide-outs had a nice showing. Lanear Sampson (#3) seems to be set to replace Gordon as the deep threat. Sophomore Darius Jones had the biggest highlight with a 70-yard TD with almost all of it coming after the catch. All in all everything looked pretty crisp and I only saw one dropped ball.

O LINE. The starting line is big and seams pretty nasty, just like Briles likes them. There was only one time that Griffin had any pressure on him. This was from a missed block by the left tackle.

RUNNING BACKS. The running backs seemed very average. Expect the committee approach to be the standard until a leader emerges. I expect to see Terrance Ganaway slotted as the starter, but the other backs should get a lot of work. The largest impact was actually made by freshman B.J. Allen. He needs to put on some size but he is very fast. He had two nice runs, breaking both of them to the sideline and getting 20+ yards.

BRYCE PETTY. Redshirt freshman QB Bryce Petty had a nice showing today. He was getting the work with the #2’s and seems positioned to be the backup for Griffin. Petty has a nice arm with good accuracy. He had a TD pass in the corner that was thrown perfectly with nice touch. He also had a 30-yard completion downfield.

Defense:

With most of my focus on the offense I don’t have a ton of information about the defense, but here are some little nuggets that I picked up on.

CORNERBACKS. Phil Bennett is definitely in town. Gone are the days of 15+ yard cushions played by the CB’s. The Bears DB’s are now lining up with about a 5-yard separation and relying on their speed a lot more. And they do have speed. While the receivers were able to make catches, the cornerbacks were in position to make a play. The biggest challenge is going to be getting enough reps and getting ready. These guys are young but there is some talent here. Hopefully they can pull it all together in the next few weeks.

D LINE. This could be Baylor’s strong suit this year. With the exception of one Griffin scramble, nothing was getting up the middle. One thing that needs improved is the pass rush. Stopping the run is great, but the Big XII is a pass happy league and getting a pass rush on the QB is essential. Senior DT Tracy Robertson was able to get his hand up and bat down two passes at the line of scrimmage.

PHIL BENNETT. Bennett’s impact was felt within the first five minutes of being there. He is a fierce competitor and an old school football coach. He was intense the entire scrimmage and not afraid to yell and get on to a player. I personally love this. It’s no wonder this man wants to be on the sideline. Bennett was quoted early this year saying he will not be in the booth but on the sideline. He feels that his guys are in a war and he needs to be there with them. This is a must with the installation of the new defense. There are going to be errors made and Bennett has to do everything he can to get it corrected as fast as possible.

Kicking Game:

Jones has a chance to be a great one. He has a monster leg and gives Coach Briles another scoring weapon. He was 2/3 on kicks and made all his extra points. The only kick missed was a 40+ yarder that was just a little wide (plenty of distance). After missing, they lined back up and he drove it through. His other make was from around 20 yards.

After the Scrimmage:

After the scrimmage the Bears headed indoors to the practice facility for an autograph session with the fans. It was a great atmosphere with tons of fans, media cameras around, and a kid’s corner with a bounce castle. I had a chance to chat with Coach Briles for a second. He felt good about the scrimmage and is 100% focused on the TCU game. He realizes the importance of the game and is ready to go.

One thing is for sure, the Bears have worked hard this offseason and are ready to go out and show off what they have accomplished. With A&M doing everything they can to flee to the SEC, the Bears need a good season to show off the improvements the Bears have made on the field.

We need Baylor Nation to Rise Up and once again show how much we support this program!

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August 13th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Let No Crisis Go to Waste!!!

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As political pressure and legal questions begin to mount, Aggies seem to be taking one from the Obama playbook. Is Rahm Emmanuel their new chief spokesperson? HURRY! HURRY! WE MUST ACT NOW!!!

If you talk to any Ag, they’ll tell you this is in the bag, done deal, decided long ago, UT went too far this time (but when you press them about with what, as the LHN has been known about for a year and everything Aggie whined about was taken off the table – i.e. broadcasting high school sports and an additional game being shown) they have nothing in response, just utter envy for UT.

At this point, they have whipped their faithful into such a blood thirsty frenzy, that it would seem there is absolutely no turning back. Now we hear Mizzou is leaving but then their AD vehemently denies it saying there has been “ZERO contact with SEC”.

Is ESPN trying to force conferences’ hands much like the media wants to pick the Republican nominee for Obama to beat? Who can you trust? Well, no one, of course.

To draw another political analogy, this smack’s of a recent administration’s approach of creating a crisis, claiming all must be done in a hurry or all is lost, then forcing a shotgun decision to be made that almost always in hindsight turns out to put tings in a worse situation than they were before. Is this what A&M is doing here?

The next few days will tell. Here’s what’s on our agenda:

1) Conference call with Big 12 AD’s at 3pm today (man would I love to have that number and pin)

2) Allegedly there’s an SEC president’s meeting tomorrow afternoon

3) A&M regents meeting on Monday

4) Texas Legislators meeting (remember? The one’s that pay A&M’s bills?) on Wednesday to gather information on all this

After that, who knows.

If nothing comes of this, WHOAAAAA NELLY, the bitterness amongst these schools is going to be off the charts.

However, as is so often the case with society today, money and tv are going to ruin college athletics like they’ve ruined so many other entertaining American pastimes and take away rivalries that have been discussed for generations around the kitchen table and in family living rooms. Sad to see much of that may all be going away.

And to think, while I would have never supported the outcome, all of this would have been avoided had the PAC-10 just included Baylor. Or, for that matter, if the SEC wanted to expand and would like to include Baylor, they’d have both crown jewels of the Big 12, Oklahoma and Texas.

PS FWIW, we know how Arkansas has done since leaving the SWC and it hasn’t been extremely compelling. Fun fact you may not know, for the younger crowd that has suffered through the last 15 years of Baylor football, save us now financially committing to the program:

Baylor vs Arkansas 32-35-2

A&M vs Arkansas 19-27-3

PSS Here’s Arkansas’ conference record since joining the SEC:

2010 6-2
2009 3-5
2008 2-6
2007 4-4
2006 7-2
2005 2-6
2004 3-5
2003 4-4
2002 5-4
2001 4-4
2000 3-5
1999 4-4
1998 6-2
1997 2-6
1996 2-6
1995 6-3
1994 2-6
1993 3-4-1
1992 3-4-1
1991 5-3

77-92-2

They may have made more money, but, like the Aggies, have largely been irrelevant the last 20 years. You sure don’t hear much about them in Texas anymore.

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August 13th, 2011 at 1:07 pm