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THE TAILGATE: A Graphical Preview of Texas A&M at LSU

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“Operator, won’t you put me on through; gotta fire my coach after Baton Rouge.” —General Patton, honorary Texas A&M Regent


THANKSGIVING IS FUN

LSU is the thorn in the Aggies' side. Since joining the SEC, this is the team we can’t seem to get past and that’s why I’m not going to belabor the point. It’s super frustrating when you get beat by a team coached by Farmer Fran from The Waterboy, and if that happens two years in a row I don’t know if I’ll be able to take it.

I’m just glad, for this year at least, that the game doesn’t fall on Thanksgiving. Say what you will about a Thanksgiving football tradition (which I miss and will not apologize for), it does elevate the stress levels on what should be a totally relaxing day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve isolated myself during the game just so I can swear at a conversational level as to not offend the relatives. Nothing will make Thanksgiving more awkward than dropping an F-bomb or 300 in front of Grandma. That’s why I’m thankful this year that the only football I have to worry about on T-day is the kind I don’t care about (thanks, Cowboys).

The main thing about Thanksgiving is the food. Since Turkey is so damn controversial around these parts, I’ll just stick to the sides. I have some required items, but you feel free to add yours in the comments:

Thanksgiving Sides Power Rankings

1. Green Bean Casserole: Look, I love green bean casserole. You can opt to go all fancy and do Alton Brown’s skillet recipe, but give me the basic one on the back of the Cream of Mushroom soup can. Toss some shredded parm in there for extra flair, and baby, you got a stew goin.
2. Gravy: Brown or cream, I don’t give a damn. Why not both? You gotta have gravy because it makes the entire meal that much better. If you’re going to have a gluttonous meal, don’t skip the gravy for some faux-health kick. This probably should be number 1, but I just love the casserole too damn much.
3. Mashed Potatoes: One can’t go wrong with the starches, they pair with the turkey, and I think for some of you, Gravy and Potatoes are the only things making it tolerable. So make you some taters, and use heavy cream, roasted garlic, and some sharp ass cheddar to give them a nice thickness and flavor.
4. Stuffing/Dressing: I’m not here to get into an existential debate over the nomenclature of this side, just know it should be involved.
5. Rolls: Sweet Hawaiian Rolls. With butter. Real butter. Preferably the expensive Kerrygold shit because MMMMMMMMM. But I’ll also take margarine because Thanksgiving and I just want all the fat and calories.

---

100. Broken Glass
101. Anything with Cranberries, Especially that Can-Shaped Junk: It's just gross and no.

For me, any of these can shift their ranking depending on what bite I’m taking at the time. I could drag a buttered roll through some gravy and pass out due to ecstasy, wake up and exclaim “OH SHIT! TATERS!” while tossing a scoop of butter into the gravy pond I’ve made. I know I’ve left some of your favorites out of here, so add ‘em and I’ll probably agree with you. Right now, these are the only things on my mind… well, those and my BADASS FRIED TURKEY! HAHAHA TAKE THAT, TURKEY H8ERS!

*huffs spray paint*
Aggies - 35
Tiger - 28


CAST OF CHARACTERS

What a performance. You don't see true freshmen winning SEC defensive POW honors too often. Do it again, please?

The Louisiana native needs a big night anchoring the OL against the SEC's second-best pass rush.

Don't look now, but he's got more rushing touchdowns than Derrius Guice. (Actually, go ahead and look now, while it's still true.) Just kidding; looking forward to another great effort in #7's last regular season game.

Tackle him. Wrap up. Tackle him. Wrap up. Tackle him. Wrap up. Tackle him. Wrap up. Tackle him. Wrap up. Tackle him. Wrap up. Tackle him. Wrap up. Tackle him. Wrap up. Tackle him. Wrap up.

Leading receiver on the team but also a deadly punt returner. Hopefully we practice NOT punting to Christian Kirk during the week, so it pays off.


BUSINESS CLASS

Amid all of the distractions surrounding Thanksgiving, it's very easy to forget sometimes why we celebrate the day: to give thanks for the gift of Business. We should always remember that college football is deeply rooted in Business, so that's why today we honor the inventor of Thanksgiving.


WHAT TO WATCH FOR

IRONY

Before the A&M/LSU contest two years ago rumors were rampant that Les Miles was done and Jimbo Fisher would leave FSU to replace him. Now the reports are that Kevin Sumlin is done and the Aggies are going to moneywhip Fisher into taking the A&M job. That’s not really irony, but what would be is Sumlin finally getting over the LSU hump in his sendoff game. I mean, it could happen right? I mean it wouldn’t be the first time A&M fired a coach after beating a top 20 team in his final game.

BOREDOM

Try not to indulge in too much turkey prior to this one. The combination of tryptophan, the Nzzzzzzzzzzzzzone’s proclivity for stretches of 3 and outs, and Danny Etling could cause drowsiness.

HATE

Make no mistake, the seeds of rivalry have been sown. From LSU not wanting to play on Thanksgiving, to the poaching of John Chavis and the ensuing protracted scorched earth litigation (be still my cold attorney heart), to the recruiting wars in Houston, New Orleans, and SHREVEPORT, the hate is growing. Maybe it’s that A&M has an endowment roughly TWELVE TIMES that of LSU (9.75 BILLION to 788 millon). Maybe it’s because we have a library with functional plumbing. Maybe it’s because we have a regent with a tank. A&M is Mr. New Money and he’s moved into LSU’s neighborhood and they don’t like us. We don’t like them either, because well…..damn it…..we need somebody to be better than.


ELSEWHERE IN THE SEC

The Egg Bowl

This is one of the best low key rivalry games around. I fully expect wild man Matt Luke to pull out all the stops before turning the keys over to Charlie Strong. Don’t be surprised if he does something crazy like not punt on 4th and 5 from the State 40 in the 4th quarter.

Clemson at South Carolina

Who knew South Carolina would be the most impressive win for the 2017 Aggies? Will Muschamp has the 8-3 Gamecocks ranked in the top 25 and ready to face the Fightin’ Dabos who are angling for a CFB playoff berth. This is shaping up to be one the biggest games in Williams-Brice Stadium since Joe Kane shocked Georgia Tech to secure bowl eligibility.

Georgia at Georgia Tech

Speaking of the Yellow Jackets, who’s up for some good Clean, Old Fashioned Hate? The rugged ramblin wreck of option chaos needs to upset the Bulldogs to secure a potential trip to Shreveport this December. Paul Johnson has yet to beat the Dawgs in Atlanta, but the teams have split that last 4 games, none of which was decided by more than one score. A Georgia loss in this trap game would be quite Georgia, but Roquan Smith and Co. are just too talented.

Florida v Florida State

Another game with Independence Bowl implications (Hey, I’m a Shreveport homer, sue me). Can Jimbo Fisher put one more 2017 skin on the wall next to Wake Forest, Duke, Syracuse, and Delaware State? If so, next week’s showdown against Louisiana-Monroe could be for all the drive-thru daiquiris.

Louisville at Kentucky

A complete wild card of a game. Heisman Trophy Winner Lamar Jackson is arguably having a better season than 2016, but apparently nobody has noticed. Mark Stoops is the last brother standing, and has somehow won 7 games. Really goes to show you how bad Tennessee is this year. Don’t count out the Wildcats though, they can run the ball and shocked Jackson and the Cards last year.

The Iron Bowl

This is certainly the most important and intriguing matchup of the weekend. Auburn is battle tested, with the most underrated running back in college football in Kerryon Johnson. Jarrett Stidham has grown more comfortable in Malzhan’s offense, and has also quietly put up 16 TDs against only 4 interceptions. The Tigers also have one of the best defensive fronts in the nation. With Alabama walking a bit wounded, does it all add up to an upset and college football chaos? Did I disrespect the Tide? I don’t care. Auburn 31 Alabama 27. Let it burn.


HOTREELZ


DEGREES OF KEVIN SUMLIN

Intrepid A&M beat man Brent Z is reporting that Coach Sumlin’s seat has finally gone up in flames.

If the reports are true, this doesn’t have the same bitter aftertaste that the Fran or Sherman tenures left. If the reports are true, I’ll look back on Coach Sumlin’s tenure with fondness, and gratitude for what he helped build while leading us into the SEC confidently. He may have lost the fans, but he never lost the team. In the end, I’ll always believe his tenure unraveled due to some bad assistant hires. Still, the buck stops with the head man, and you gotta win games.

We had some good times, and it was definitely never boring. If only for a brief moment, Sumlin made A&M a “sexy” program, and brought in multiple five star recruits. He restored the pride and vision to the program. Thanks, and godspeed Coach. I hope your boys send you out a winner.


PLACE YOUR BETS


BEST CASE / WORST CASE

BEST CASE

Leftover Turkey Sammich

WORST CASE

Leftover Turkey Sammich. Effing @ me.