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THE TAILGATE: A Graphical Preview of Texas A&M vs Wake Forest

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Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind. One more time in 2017 its time for THE TAILGATE.

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Support Your Sponsor: Belk Edition

Here we are, Ags! Bowl time! Get pumped to see these guys cap off a… year! Start prop bets among your friends about how many times Jimbo is shown on-screen, how many times they mention Sumlin, and how many Johnny bowl comeback highlights we get to see. But while you’re doing that, don’t forget to get some shopping done. Make sure you’re Aggie enough for the offseason with some of these freaking awesome grabs from Belk.com.

1. Texas A&M Touchdown Pro Bamboo Cutting Board: “This eco-friendly bamboo cutting board will have you cheering for the Texas A&M Aggies all season long thanks to its football shape and useful functionality.” Nothing gets me more fired up for football than a working cutting board in the shape of a football. Usually, when I’m cooking, I forget about my fandom, but not anymore dammit! I’ll be singing the War Hymn every time I dice an onion. You’ve gotta love SEO driven copywriters.
2. Texas A&M Aggies Large Ice Scraper: “Durable in inclement weather, this piece is essential to your collection.” Did you read that? Essential. You can set this right next to your Aggie Tire Pressure Gauge, Reveille Sun Shade, and Ol Sarge Dipstick. For the one time per year you might scrape ice off your car in East Texas, be sure that every neighbor in sight can tell that you’ve never been licked with this gem.
3. Texas A&M Aggies Spirit Mesh Bucker Hat: This item has no description, and if you didn’t click on it I’ll just go ahead and tell you what a bucker hat is: it’s a bucket trucker hat with a cowboy brim. These look like the uniform of a customs agent in Flavortown, and everyone should own 10.
4. Texas A&M Aggies Portable Picnic Table: “Take picnic time to a whole new level with this one-of-a-kind table.” What? You’re picnicking on something other than an Aggie branded table that folds down into a briefcase for easy transport? YOU TWO PERCENTER! E. King Gill should walk right up to you, forcibly remove your ring, and kick you where your balls used to be.
5. Texas A&M Aggies Tie Bar, Money Clip, and Cufflinks: Aggie Ring not getting enough conversations started around how we kicked the entire football world’s ass in the coaching search? Well, time to elevate your game around the office with this power trio of sophistication. Make sure that everyone in your cigar club knows where you went to college, and that you’re personally ready for the step up in class that comes with a $7.5 million/year coach.

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I didn’t even get to the cheese board, but y’all get the point. Belk, in their wisdom, picked Texas A&M to play in the Belk Bowl. Time to return the favor and spend all your money on Aggie items from our beloved sponsor. Let’s btho wake forest and begin the offseason edging that is sure to commence after time expires.

Aggies - 35
Deacons - 24


CAST OF CHARACTERS

The junior has already said this week that he'll be back for his senior season. This is a pivotal game for the guys who will be senior leaders next year. A positive outing in this bowl game could carry over some good momentum into 2018. #42 is coming off his best season yet and will be the leader of the D next fall.

Same as above, for all the same reasons. #46 goes about his business with a sort of quiet businesslike demeanor that sets the tone for a defense with 40 sacks on the year and counting. WE HAVE HIGHER EXPECTATIONS NOW WITH THE NEW COACH: LET'S GET TO 50 SACKS.

With the departure of Christian Kirk imminent and the starting QB up in the air once again, #5 will most likely be the linchpin of the Aggie offense heading into 2018. The Belk Bowl is the perfect place for a dapper gentleman to assume the mantle of featured back.

UH-OH. Another one of these guys. With superstar-everything WR Greg Dorch going out for the season in late October, the Deacons needed a scoring threat in the passing game. #85 has eight touchdowns on the year, which is as many as Aggie tight ends have totaled going back to the year 2005.*

*may not be accurate, but also...may be accurate

This is your prototypical Wake Forest QB in that he looks like an Accounting TA dressed up like a football player and then he steps on the field and runs circles around Florida State. The Ags haven't fared particularly well in the last two bowl games against quarterbacks who have any semblance of running ability. Look for him to exploit an aggressive pass rush.

A guy named Duke from Houston playing for Wake against A&M in Charlotte. The offensive line will be so busy trying to figure out this madness that he'll be by them on the first step. He leads the Deacons in sacks and TFLs this year and has had a pretty solid career.


BUSINESS CLASS

There is only one trait more desirable than sound business acumen in a college football expert, and that is a profound sense of style. And Aggies, as we know, are some of the most stylish individuals in all of sport. It's therefore only fitting that we join forces with Belk this bowl season.

Enjoy the Belk Bowl in style. #BusinessCasual style.


WHAT TO WATCH FOR

BANK$

While the Jimbo Fisher Era Of Guaranteed Success looms in the near future, the A&M will spend this weekend in Interim Purgatory with Jeff Banks at the reins. While he has run the special teams unit that is the most consistent on the team, he also is the Aggies' Tight End Coach. Before serving as coach of tight ends at Texas A&M, he coached wide receivers at Army, taught Business Ethics at Trump University, and trained unicorns at Things That Exist Polytech. Banks will be landing a fat $75k for the game plus a $25k kicker if he wins. That might seem a lot until you remember that in September A&M will pay Jimbo Fisher at least $500k to coach the game against Northwestern State. Money is just a societal construct - you'll understand when you convert your retirement into bitcoin, normie.

ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER

It's that time of the year again, when we tell ourselves delusional things about players' character and how they will stay for their senior season despite all logic to the contrary because they are special and they get it. Aggie #BZNS majors will understand that any player with a first round projection has the ticket to changing the fortunes of their family for generations to come in a single moment. That's a lot to risk to come back to play "unpaid" football. Speak all of the self-serving platitudes you want, but no, players should not stay for their senior season and risk a piece of poorly maintained sod ending their careers without so much as a signing bonus. So wish Christian Kirk well as he tries to slay some Demon Deacons in this, almost certainly his last chance to win a bowl game as an Aggie. Then get excited to see what he can do in the pros.

GRIT

Forget any posturing or ideas that this game is beneath us. The reality is that we have a historic upper tier program with a recent past of second half season collapses and soft finishes against an upjumped would-be-mid-major basketball school that is fighting towards respectability and is capable of punching well above their weight class (and ours). They have momentum, they are hungry for respect, and they are 90 minutes from home. We are in a different time zone, amid another late season let down, and undergoing a tectonic coaching change. The Aggies out-talent Wake Forest, but are 3 point dogs in this game because the country thinks our giveafuck is busted. This is the last chance for this squad to show the country just how wrong they are.


ELSEWHERE IN THE SEC

#3 GEORGIA VS. #2 OKLAHOMA

Forget all those bland mid-tier bowls like the Texas Bowl, the Taxslayer Bowl, the Belk Bowl, etc... the real meat is found in the playoffs where the SEC has received its usual two entrants. There is nothing new and fun to say about Bama v. Clemson II - 2 Rat 2 Poisonous.

But boy oh boy that Rose Bowl. Were it not for the recent unpleasantness [ahem] and conference rooting compulsions, one might not fault Aggie fans for rooting for the Sooners here. After all, they have a brand new coach that took them to the playoffs, something the 12th Man hopes to recreate soon. And they have a cocky asshole of a quarterback who won the Heisman, something the Aggies have canonized as the ideal.

This game will be great. Georgia's rushing attack is bone-crushing and their revenge win over Auburn showed toughness in the trenches. Baker Mayfield's aerial circus improvisational, infuriating, and infectious. The Rose Bowl is college football's best venue. Your college football watching dance card is full on New Year's Day, but this beauty is the belle of the ball.


HOTREELZ


6 DEGREES KELVIN OF KEVIN SUMLIN

As of press time, there are currently no athletic directors even considering firing Kevin Sumlin.


PLACE YOUR BETS


BEST CASE / WORST CASE

BEST CASE

This team, eager to show their new coach a degree of toughness yet to be displayed this season, just runs over the Demon Deacons. In the course of the game, Jimbo flips every recruit you want and gets them to tweet snarky shit at every SEC West team. Science discovers that Chicken Parm is an effective weight-loss food.

WORST CASE

The team that outpaces every other one in the nation in big plays just goes off on an unsuspecting Aggie defense. The team, still reeling from losing coach Sumlin, can't seem to find it in them to get up for a bowl game and... well it gets out of hand. Jimbo gives the money back and decides to take up checkers full-time.