This season was a failure. No way around it. We came in as a top 5 team with national title aspirations. We leave as the number 25 team in the nation hoping for an invite to the Chick-fil-a Bowl. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Chick-fil-a with a fiery, fat passion (can there be a Chipotle Bowl soon?), but their bowl game doesn’t exactly excite me given our team’s expectations. Even after heartbreaking hiccups against Alabama and Auburn we pretty much controlled our destiny to a BCS bowl game (win out against LSU and Mizzou, be the hottest SEC team outside of the championship, stroll into the Sugar Bowl, easy breezy). But no, we screwed that up too. LSU manhandled us. And then we choked away the Mizzou game. Johnny was obviously not full strength, Mike Evans disappeared, and our offensive coordinators shit the bed. Honestly, I don’t know how the season could have ended anymore painfully.
So what now?
Well, first things first, we wait for the bowl games to be determined.
Wait, check that. Johnny just turned 21! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHNNY! I have very little doubt that Johnny blew it up for his big day (and rightfully so). Johnny should drink for free on Northgate for the rest of his life (if he ever wanted to deal with the paparazzi).
Ok, moving on. The biggest priority between now and whatever underwhelming bowl game we play in, is Johnny’s health. Get that shoulder squared away; let that bad thumb heal up. Let’s make sure we bring the “A” team wherever we go.
So our defense didn’t look half bad against Mizzou. Are they making positive strides? Are the young guns getting more comfortable? Did Mark Snyder wake up? Whatever the case, our defense did their job against Mizzou. If we hold Mizzou to 28 points, we should win that game, plain and simple. If they put up a similar performance in our bowl game, we should roll without question.
Except there is a question… a big one… and it’s not really a question… it’s a big stinking elephant in the room. McKinney and Spavital sucked this year. Johnny and our offense succeeded (early on) despite their best efforts to inhibit any and all creativity. They abandon the running game (as if we didn’t have FOUR stud running backs), they refused to adjust when the game called for it, they squandered the talents of our Heisman winner (I know we want to keep Johnny healthy, but could we not incorporate a dynamic zone read package) and ultimately they put together the most vanilla game plan possible on a week to week basis. Was Kliff really the lynchpin last year? You can’t convince me that the loss of Joeckel and Swope had that much to do with our struggles this year. We replaced them with the next stud on the factory line. Where was Sumlin during all these embarrassing efforts? Did he not step in? Did he step in? I love Sumlin more than anything and I am 100% behind his extension, but I am still baffled by our offense’s way to frequent ineptitude this year. Sumlin is an offense mind, right? Well, where was that offensive mind? Again, I reiterate… was Kliff the missing piece (or the lost piece actually) this year? Ugh, I lose sleep over these questions.
Back to Sumlin’s extension, I love it. Coordinator shenanigans aside, I firmly believe he is the man to lead our program in the future. He is going to recruit with the best of them and motivate with the best of them and at the end of the day I believe that’s the most important stuff from your head coach. Good job Texas A&M, you stepped up, squashed the rumor mill and locked up OUR guy.
Is there a chance Johnny comes back after such a disappointing end to the season? Does the Mariota decision sway him in either direction (I really have no idea)? I assumed he would be gone last summer, but now I can’t help but to daydream on the 10% chance he might come back. I have never loved watching a football player play football more than Johnny Manziel. To see him back in maroon for one more year would be the ultimate Christmas gift. Does Evans come back if Johnny does? My head would explode.
What can you do? Not much really, just move on and focus on the positives (Swagcopters, recruits, Kyle Field, SEC network, etc.). Thankfully, we have rid ourselves of the complacency of old. We are in the SEC now. We are in the Sumdog era now. And I sure hope Sumdog has the “chops” to win something significant.