Texas A&M Athletics
Any discussion of aggy athletics is a short conversation, because aggy athletics has accomplished so little. In the state of Texas, Texas A&M is an also-ran to schools most people haven't even given a second thought to thinking of as college athletics heavyweights.
In the 140 year history of Texas A&M, the school's athletes have won fewer national team championships than the University of Houston. They have won fewer individual national championships than UTEP. For those who don't know who "UTEP" is, UTEP is the University of Texas at El Paso. Athletes from the University of Texas at El Paso, founded in 1914, have not only won more individual national championships than have athletes from Texas A&M, UTEP athletes have won more consensus national championships in major sports than have athletes from Texas A&M.
While The University of Houston and UTEP both far exceed the overall historical accomplishments of Texas A&M athletes, during the BCS football era, A&M trailed even Utah, UConn, Kansas and Boise State in the amount of major bowl hardware collected.
aggy football. Two seemingly innocuous words that, when put together, are certain to generate a laugh from most Texans.
Texas A&M started playing football in 1894. They first joined a conference, the Southwest Conference, in 1915. Since first joining the Southwest Conference, A&M has also been a member of the Big 12 and the S!E!C!.
Check out the statistics in the table to the left. aggy is roughly 50% in whatever league they play. It doesn't get any more average than Texas A&M.
Texas A&M has a losing lifetime record against Nebraska. And Michigan. And Michigan State. And Penn State, Ohio State, Purdue, Boston College, Florida State, Cal, Colorado, USC, Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Alabama, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Texas.
In short, Texas A&M has a lifetime losing record against just about every respectable team in college football.
Which brings to mind the old aggy joke:
A little boy was in divorce court for a custody hearing and was on the stand when the judge said to him "I understand you want to live with your mother." To which the boy replied "Oh, no. Not my mom. My mom beats me." Nodding his head, the judge then said "So then, you want to live with your dad." To which the boy replied "Oh, no. Not my dad. My dad beats me." Confused, the judge asked "Well, if not with your mom, and not with your dad, then who do you want to live with?" Without hesitating, the boy shot back, "I want to live with the Texas A&M football team, they never beat anyone."
Traditionally, A&M fans blame their program's lack of success on grand, inter-generational conspiracies designed to "keep the sleeping giant at bay." Whether it be the "Great Burnt Orange Satan" (A&M's big brother, the University of Texas Longhorns) or corrupt NCAA officials who are bribed by an army of UT Austin alumni carrying briefcases full of cash, the ineptitude of Texas A&M's football team is never the fault of the administrators, coaches, players or alumni of Texas A&M. And, while the team struggles each and every year to breakout above their perpetual 50% conference winning percentage, "next year" is always the year aggy puts it all together and wins their first consensus national championship. Always next year.
...and let's don't even start in with Johnny Effing Football, okay? That's an aggy train wreck that has turned from hilariously funny to extremely sad.
The on-field antics of the Texas A&M football team have long left A&M fans, as well as seasoned professionals, wondering "What in the world did they just do?"
Case in point would be the November 26, 2004 University of Texas vs Texas A&M football game in Austin, Texas. Generally speaking, when a team gives up a safety, it points to some level of dysfunction; and generally speaking, when a team gives up a safety, the other team is awarded two points. But not when the team giving up the safety is Texas A&M.
One may wonder why Texas A&M feels so compelled to rewrite the history of athletic ineptitude, but one can never question their commitment to the cause. Early in the second half of the game, up 13-6 in a hard fought defensive struggle, A&M decided it was time to shoot itself in the foot. On 4th and 2 from their own 20, the ags were in punt formation and decided it was time to let Texas back in the game by allowing the Longhorns to block an aggy punt and run it back for a touchdown. The score was now 13-12 in favor of Texas A&M. The Longhorns botched the extra point, but with the ball still on the ground after the missed extra point, the ags realized they still had one un-fired bullet and one perfectly good foot. aggy being aggy, they decided it was time to finish the job of being their own worst enemy, but this time with one of the rarest plays in all of football - the one-point safety.
For anyone who doubts the ability of aggy futility to confound and confuse even those who think they have seen it all, or anyone who has never seen a football team give up a one-point safety, here is the ABC Sports television broadcast of the incident:
Fake Football Championships
What happened in 1939?
- The Spanish Civil War was finally ending
- Lou Gehrig retires from Major League Baseball after being diagnosed with ALS
- John Steinbeck's novel "The Grapes of Wrath" is first published
- "Gone with the Wind" premieres in Atlanta.
- The first Little League Baseball game is played in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
- Hitler invades Poland
- aggy is named National Champion in football
From that year until August of 2012, that is the ONLY national championship that aggy has ever claimed in football. They've had throwback uniforms and celebrations and had it prominently displayed on their frankenKroger stadium.
Well that all changed in September of 2012. Yep, aggy history managed to get a lot more storied over the offseason. Two "new" national titles, in 1919 and 1927. Two new Big 12 championships, in 1997 and 2010.
Take a look at the graphic to the right, showing the before/after claims. There was not a single living aggy player around to claim or dispute these ridiculous National championship additions.
The two conference championship claims are even funnier, as they were blown out of the Big XII Title Game in the first new claim (54-15 to Nebraska) and didn't even play in the second Title Game in the second claim (OUsux beat the Corn).
"Facts" never bothered aggy before. Why start now?
Texas A&M baseball teams have won a total of two College World Series games in the history of the program.
The most recent was a quarter century ago.
That pretty much sums up aggy baseball.
[THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK]
(aggy basketball is really that bad. The less said, the better)
In true aggy fashion, they spent tons of money building an Olympic size swimming pool so that aggy could (eventually) host major swim meets and possibly Olympic Trials.
In even truer aggy fashion, they screwed up.
It wasn't found out until after several swimmers started breaking records that "meet organizers determined bulkheads in the pool were incorrectly placed and the course was three centimeters too short – measuring 49.97 meters instead of 50." As a result, several "records" were disallowed
It says a lot about a school's sports program when the longest section in any encyclopedic work focuses on their history of cheating, lying and getting caught red-handed.
In 2012, Athlon Sports wrote a piece on the 15 most corrupt college sports programs. Of course aggy was included. aggy isn't usually a ranked team, but in discussions of corrupt college sports programs, aggy always finishes the year as a ranked program.:
Speaking of the Southwest Conference, a close runner-up for mid-1980s corruption in the storm-tossed league would seem to be Texas A&M. Amid positive developments under Jackie Sherrill, such as Cotton Bowls and the institution of the 12th Man tradition, the Aggies ran a loose ship and were ultimately deemed to be guilty of such shenanigans as improper employment, extra benefits, unethical conduct and lack of institutional control. Sherrill was not personally implicated in the infractions, but he did resign in 1988, the same year his program went on probation.
Another site was more detailed in their shaming of aggy for their corrupt ways:
Moving along to 1966, the football team got in on the mix with some out-of-season practice and improper administration of financial aid. How does one improperly administer financial aid? Well, you give scholarships to kids on your team who suck as an inducement to leave the team. Yup, basically a severance package. Oh, and these improper tryouts are really inventive. They created a class called Physical Education 317, which normally had an enrollment of 25. Well, in the fall of '65, it had 128. And they were divided by position. And the class was taught by the football coaches. No way that gets caught, ever. Survey says- One year postseason ban and one year probation. Football was at it again in 1969 for some improper recruiting inducements, resulting in a public reprimand. Time to cycle back to the basketball team for the 1977 season, when some booster paid some recruits and players. One year probation and a show cause penalty for about 6 boosters.
1988 was football's turn again, going for the gold in total violations. We have (in order): improper employment, entertainment, financial aid and lodging; extra benefits; out-of-season practice; complimentary tickets; improper recruiting contacts, entertainment, inducements and publicity; eligibility; unethical conduct and lack of institutional control. For example (this is the best one) an assistant coach parked a Datsun 280ZX in front of a recruit's house and told the father it was his if his son signed to play for the Ags. He didn’t (cause it was a Datsun for sh!t sake). Leave it to A&M to get busted with a Datsun. They also Godfather’d one recruit, offering to pay his cancer stricken father's medical bills and give his father treatment if he signed. For all this, Aggie lost some scholarships, got a one year postseason ban, two years of probation, had the coach put on probation, and had four boosters permanently banned. Now, back to basketball, (I swear, only A&M could get on a schedule of major infractions) and, like football a few years before, this was a pretty big deal. Basically, they copied (almost exactly) the violations of the football team 3 years before, and the penalty was the same: one year postseason ban and two years of probation, as well as repeat offender status. Finally we have, yup you guessed it, football getting the 7th and final major violation (til the Jerrod Johnson tell all comes out late this year).It’s important to note, as I said above, the Aggies were considered repeat violators, and still on probation, when it was discovered they had paid nine players $17,500. I believe the NCAA report went like this: "And lo, the NCAA awaketh, for thou hath line stepped for the final time, we shall strike thee with a glorious vengeance". And strike thee they did, with a one year postseason and TV ban, and five years of probation. "Gig em!" Which, for a team with an Aggie (whatever the fu*k that is) as their mascot, what in the blue hell does "gig em" have to do with anything? It’s this kind of sh!t, this is why we all hate you.
In the early 1990s, the Texas A&M football program was spared the death penalty by the NCAA, an act that incensed the nation's college sportswriters as well as more than a few Texas A&M football boosters who, having suffered more than enough humiliation for decade after decade, wished the NCAA would put them and the aggy football program out of their seemingly endless misery.
It's Tupac's fault!
And here I thought all along Jake Delhomme and Brandon Stokley had the most to do with Texas A&M losing at Southwestern Louisiana (now Louisiana-Lafayette) 14 years ago this week.
Turns out there was one more key player in the whole deal: rapper Tupac Shakur.
According to former A&M and NFL receiver Chris Cole, anyway. Cole said the scene in the Aggies’ locker room was one of despair on Sept. 14, 1996, before A&M took on the Ragin’ Cajuns in Lafayette, La., in what would become a 29-22 loss.Shakur, 25, had died the evening before, the result of four gunshots wounds suffered in an ambush on a Las Vegas street following a Mike Tyson fight.
Former aggy receiver Chris Cole talked about the crying in the aggy locker room before the game and how it caused them to lose:
“When he died, a part of us died, too. It’s why we lost. (Now I) cry to think that Tupac had that kind of an effect on that game."
aggy didn't lose... they just ran out of Tupac!
So, to sum up: Current list of Power 5 schools that have not finished in the Final/Top 4 in baseball, basketball, or football since 1940:
- Texas Tech
- Texas A&M Picked Up Two National Championships, Two Conference Titles Over The Summer, Deadspin, 9/7/12, http://deadspin.com/5941380/texas-am-picked-up-two-national-championships-two-conference-titles-over-the-summer
- A&M pool length could affect records, Dallas Morning News, 5/22/08, https://web.archive.org/web/20080706160133/http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/052208dnspoolyswim.3a6d41c.html
- Record Swims Disallowed; A&M Pool Too Short, LSUsports.net, 11/21/08, http://www.lsusports.net/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=5200&ATCLID=3621109