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

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Roses are red; The season’s not yet in ruins. Can’t win the ‘ship; If we don’t beat the Bruins. LET’S TAILGATE


WILD ASS SPECULATION

I’m not one for wild speculation, which is mostly what people in the college football world do leading up to the first week of games. You remember games, right? The place where teams actually have to prove their mettle on the field and not in some Twitter pissing match about facilities, brand, and attendance smack. Well, this week we get a game, y’all. A big ‘un. Your Fightin Texas Aggies are taking their talents to the Rose Bowl where they’ll face off of big bad Josh Rosen and the UCLA Bruins… a team we killed, let come back from the dead, and then beat in overtime last year at Kyle.

Since we really don’t know anything about what’s going to happen this weekend, and all I’ve got is the Aggie spring game and my imagination from which to make my assumptions, we’re going to base this Tailgate on exactly that. Minus the spring game.

Before kickoff, Kevin Sumlin makes all three quarterbacks play musical chairs to determine the starter. The catch? There are two chairs and one blunt object that can be used as a weapon.

The defensive players attempt to prank Chavis by replacing his Copenhagen Snuff with Colombian Coffee Crystals. It does not go well for them.

Armani Watts tallies 2 interceptions, including the game winner in the late minutes of the 4th quarter.

Dr. Norris Camacho will eat nachos during the game. He will enjoy them, but not so much that he over indulges.

An author that I do not need to name here will post no fewer than 7 puns on Twitter during the game, hundreds are left reeling and dejected.

Rosen will be sacked 5 times in the second half after a caffeine-riddled Chavis tosses an equipment manager across the locker room by his ankles at halftime. Don’t mess with a man’s vice.

Starkel wins the job, the game, and screw it the damn national championship.

It’s week 1, what do you want from me? I’m full of Kool-Aid and amphetamines.

Aggies 31
Bruins 28


CAST OF CHARACTERS

Player is ready to go after a long offseason of speculation. His youth/experience and his pocket presence/ability to scramble are just what we need to lead this run-based/vertical offense.

Did you know that dog emissions are monitored closely in California and a tax levied if a certain volume is exceeded? Reveille's handlers will be forced to provide ambient methane samples to a specially-appointed EPA representative on the sideline. Crazy Californians! This is all untrue. Or is it?

Is this the year Coach Sum finally puts it all together? Seems like all the pieces are in place...except a starting QB, any semblance of linebacker depth, proven wide receivers...someone get Dr. Camacho some nachos, STAT

JOSH ROSEN SHOULDN'T TALK. JUST PLAY FOOTBALL. NOT SHARE OPINION ON THE IMPERFECT NATURE OF THE SPORT. EVERYTHING'S FINE, JOSH. IT'S ALL FINE, NOTHING IS BROKEN. (except the "pocket" provided by your offensive line amirite guys? get it?)

He's on the Thorpe watchlist for the second straight year. Tough, hard-nosed ballplayer. Not afraid to hit hard or give out coverage pointers when he feels it's necessary.

Second-team all-conference a year ago. Also the only Bruin from Louisiana, and if one were desperate enough, one would make a La La Land joke here. If one knew anything about La La Land.


BUSINESS CLASS

They say "there's no business like show business."

They're wrong.

Business is the real business. It's why we're here. At the end of the day, when you drill down and unearth the core competencies, break down the silos and explore the root causes of this sport we all love, it's simple: college football is the most results-driven, customer-centric business imaginable. It's high time we taught those breezy LA showrunners what hard-nosed businesspeople are all about.


WHAT TO WATCH FOR

CHRISTIAN MINGLE

Veteran phenom WR Christian Kirk is the consensus badass of this 2017 Aggie offense. He has mixed himself into everything and has stockpiled yardage receiving, rushing, returning kicks, and returning punts. In fact, the only aspect of the offense that Kirk has not thrived in is his passing game, with a perfect 0.0% completion rate on two career attempts.

So far.

OK, the idea of starting QB Christian Kirk is unlikely for UCLA, but if the season turns south down the stretch and panic leads to desperation I can think of no more entertaining suicidal finale than Thelma Kirk and Louise Williams in the backfield running the wildcat against a baffled Ed Orgeron.

D [CARDBOARD CUTOUT OF FENCE]

To be honest, the fate of the game lies not in the hands of offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone (rhymes with Pizza Hut P'Zone) but with third year defensive guru John Chavis. He has a squadron of aggressive DBs in the secondary and a meaty defensive line. It will be fun to see how successful the end rush is without cyborg gyroscope Myles Garrett drawing 40% of the offensive line's attention.

Then one linebacker will get injured and the Ags will be forced to try for the Guinness record for longest time in the pocket before finally getting a coverage sack. The record is currently 12.4 seconds by the LSU Tigers, who in 2005 mistook Vanderbilt QB Jay Cutler for a drifter who had wandered onto the field while looking for a place to buy a pack of smokes.

DEEP IN THE HEART

The Fightin' Texas Aggies will be wearing these stickers on their helmets in a show of solidarity with the city of Houston and all of southeast Texas that was devastated by hurricane Harvey and the floods it brought in its wake.

At GBH our hearts and our prayers are with you as well. In the great sprawling estate that is Houston College Station is practically the backyard, and no city in the world boasts a larger Aggie population. Aggies, Houstonians, and Texans as a whole are proud, stubborn, resilient people made of a tougher alloy than most and never ones to back down from a challenge.

I think I speak for everyone when I say: fuck you, Harvey. If 180 years of condor mosquitoes and perpetual swamp crotch weather couldn't break the spirit of this city, you never had a chance. Now move along, there is work to be done.

(The storms may have passed, but the cleanup and rebuild of southeast Texas looms for months ahead. Please donate your time, your sweat, and your money in whatever way you can. This is a good place to start.)


ELSEWHERE IN THE SEC

#3 FLORIDA STATE @ #1 ALABAMA

FINALLY COLLEGE FOOTBALL IS HERE WE GOT A MARQUIS MATCHUP BETWEEN TWO PERENNIAL POWERHOUSES BRINGING ALL OF THE HISTORY AND PAGEANTRY OF COLLEGE FOOTBoh it's in an NFL stadium in Atlanta named after a car coveted by middle-aged real estate agents who spent their whole month's commission on Cialis tablets. That sucks that the sunroof already won't open, man. You know you're gonna pay out the nose to get that fixed on a foreign import.

Also this stadium looks like a giant evil robot anus.

Speaking of giant evil robot anuses, Nick Saban will be at the game! Haha, I kid ol' Nick, he's a good guy. Good at shitting out mechanically efficient but unappealing wins, am I right? Hooboy, I'll be here all season folks. Don't forget to tip your Fletcher.


HOTREELZ


600 DEGREES OF KEVIN'S BACON

Nothing baits the offseason clicks quite like talking about coaches' hot seats, and it doesn't take a deep dive into the industry to know that the news ain't good. Say what you want about the talking heads, but at least they got us preseason top 5 in something. Take that, Texas!

It doesn't take a meat science major to know that this coach is running too hot. Unless you're planning on having him on and off the seat in just a couple minutes you're just gonna to end up with tough, chewy coach. Even the dog won't touch Muschamp these days. (Technically Snyder counts as jerky at this point.)

Get a W against the Bruins and we can turn some of the burners down on this bad boy for a bit. Run out of time in LA and we'll see what this Weber can really do. Drop one to Nicholls State and you're looking at a briquette.


PLACE YOUR BETS


BEST CASE / WORST CASE

BEST CASE

Aggies come out looking like a team hungry to save their coach’s job. They play mistake-free football, control the clock with the run game, and Starkel makes accurate throws to keep the Bruins defense on their heels. I have a few responsible beers for a Sunday night, and sleep well.

WORST CASE

The wheels fly off. The team is unsure of who they are, and as a result are caught off guard by Bruin team looking for some sweet revenge over last year. Ags lose by 14 or more, and Aggie Twitter loses its collective shit. I wash some Ambien down with Old Grandpa and invest all of my money in penny stocks overnight.