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December 30, 2011 / busmasterjones

Aggie Sports Pessimist

I can’t help it.  It must be an innate response to some cosmic sports mojo, but I never like my team being favored in a big game.  I just don’t.  I have seen too many bad things happen in my sports life to have confidence in a 10 point line in favor od my team.  That alone was enough to make me nervous.  Pile that on top of a season where Murphy (of Murphy’s Law fame) decided to take up residence in College Station and follow a team full of promise in its quest to break the heart of each and every Aggie fan.  A single-point loss to a good Oklahoma State team that the Aggies led much of the game was just the start.  A 35-17 halftime lead over Arkansas turned into a 4 point loss.  Sigh.

Again, it was just the beginning.  An overtime loss to Missouri let an 11-point halftime lead melt into a drop from the national rankings.  That set the stage for a 4OT loss to Kansas State when the Aggies had a win in hand after the 3rd OT when the Aggies’ leading receiver dropped a rocketed pass in the end zone for the win.  Sigh.

After the 2011 season was to be the year of the Aggie breakout, color me skeptical when I read that A&M is a 10 point favorite over Northwestern.  Things align well for the Aggies.  A&M is favored.  Northwestern is also 6-6 this season.  The game is in the Aggies’ back yard in Houston for goodness sake.  How could things set up more perfectly?  Wait, there is more.  The Aggies have a substitute head coach, so now they have the “win one for the outgoing coach” theme going for them.  And A&M had an offensive lineman pass away in a tragic car accident over the holiday break, so they have his memory to play for, too.

Then, I learned that Northwestern hasn’t won a bowl game since the 1948 Rose Bowl.  That’s right, they are 1-8 in bowl appearances.  They took Missouri to OT in 2009 and took Auburn to OT in 2010 before losing both games by a single score.  Last year they almost came back after a slow start before falling to a Texas Tech team that is 7-2 in bowl game since 2002.

Now I have gone from concerned to outright worried.  The Aggies should win this going away.  Like the Alamo Bowl they should have won over Penn State after jumping out to a 14-0 lead.  Like the Independence Bowl over Mississippi State that the Aggies managed to lose by 2 points in the snow.  Like the 1993 and 1997 Cotton Bowls.  Oh, yes, I have a list.  I have lived many a disappointment when my team has been favored.  Give me the underdog status any day.  Give me a 65-14 romp over a favored and overconfident BYU team in the 1990 Holiday Bowl.  Give me the great 1985 Cotton Bowl win over Bo Jackson’s Auburn team.  I love the underdog label.  Once expectations catch up to past reality…look out!  Things get a little messy and a lot of heartache is possible.

Now that I know that Northwestern can exorcise 63-year old demons by beating a 10 point favorite on essentially their home turf…well, I think the underdog mojo will be wearing a deep shade of purple and will be as ornery as possible come game day.  So “good luck to dear old Texas Aggies.”  I’m going to yell and support you with everything I can, but I fear your 10 year bowl victory drought pales in comparison to that of your opponent, so you will be fighting an uphill battle on the Houston Bowl on New Year’s Eve.  I hope for the best, but I am bracing my sports heart for the worst.

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