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THE TAILGATE: A Graphical Preview of Texas A&M vs Northwestern State

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Our season starts early so plenty of time to prepare for Clemson. No class on Friday. LET’S TAILGATE


Natchitoches Wish List

HEY! ARE YOU READY TO HAVE SOME FUN? Well, I sure am. Let’s crack the cellophane on our shiny new $75 million coach and go beat the hell outta a double-directional state university on a Thursday night.

The Aggies are lining up against multi-directional Northwestern State from Natchitoches (Nac-A-Tish) Louisiana. Come at me with your correct pronunciation on Twitter, I’m always trying to improve my articulation. Here’s the dish... on Natchitoches.

According to Wikipedia, the Natchitoches National Fish Hatchery (GREAT bluegrass band name, btw), handles “over six species of fish and other wildlife.” You can just say “eight,” y’all. It’s literally eight.

The local delicacy, Natchitoches Meat Pie, sounds like a fun, savory Cajun empanada treat. It is also, as of this writing, undefined by Urban Dictionary. Do with that information what your heart tells you.

The Legend of Isabella is about as metal of a campus legend as one will find. You could click the link and read it, but since I know you won’t, here’s the Cliff’s Notes: Isabella was a beautiful young woman living in the original Bullard Mansion (the Bullard family owned a great portion of the land on which NWSU sits). She was engaged to some douche who was killed in a duel over another woman. Dumb bastard. Wrought with grief, Isabella mourned in the mansion until she stabbed herself in the heart, leaving nothing behind but a bloody handprint on the wall. Holy shit.

After the mansion was torn down, Isabella’s ghost roamed the campus searching for a new home, which she found in Caldwell Hall on January 15, 1949. Why is there a move-in date? Oh, that’s because Isabella left a note along with a few drops of blood in Caldwell that day.

When Caldwell Hall burned down in 1982, a group of students held a ceremony to usher Isabella into her new home in the Old Women’s Gym on College Avenue. All of a sudden a scoreboard for all the Revs seems a touch inadequate, no? Step up your ghost care, Ags.

Isabella, hindsight is 20/20 and everything, but this guy didn’t deserve you. I only hope that your spirit in the dorms shines a light to those who give too much to people who don’t appreciate them. May NWSU suffer many losing seasons by adopting Vic the Demon (short for victory!) as their mascot, and not the Fighting Isabellas. A bloody handprint on the side of the helmet is WAY more intimidating than a fake Sugar Ray album cover.

Aggies - 70
Demons - 3


CAST OF CHARACTERS

Oooh, gurl. Gonna get some mileage outta this one, folks. Consider it my Cruel Prelude. Anyway, one of only two freshman to crack the super official two-deep chart, leaving the coaches wondering "is he Good Enough?" Also means he's perfected Every Little Step of his footwork. Will he make an impact? That's his prerogative.

ALL YOUR JACE ARE BELONG TO US. We haven't seen this much buzz around a tight end since Dan Campbell's famous Bonfire speech, folks. Here's hoping that Mr. Sternberger sticks to the dang SPROTS.

[consults notes] Full...back? Fullback? A tight end AND a fullback on the field at the same time? What is this, 1972? Good lord, the collective electrical field generated by the man-crushing from the luxury suites could power one of the mezzanine CooLZoneE (TM)s for a full fifteen minutes!

Hot damn. Not gonna lie to you, but this game just got a whooole lot trickier once we discovered that the Demons boast one of our favorite football personality's nephews. Lock up the caffeinated power drinks and ladies of Northgate, please.

Led the team in sacks last year with 8. Also led the team in TFLs with 11 and QB hurries with 10. Time to see if the new Jimbo-era offensive line needs any tweaking before going up against the massive steel thresher that is Clemson's front four next week.


MILLERTIME

I don't want to go off on a rant here, but starting the Jimbo Fisher era on a Thursday night against Northwestern State is a little like test-driving a Bugatti Veyron on a go-kart track with rubber bumpers, am I right? Cheeze, I've seen episodes of HGTV's "Love It Or List It" with more plot intrigue and suspense, folks. Listen: if the powers that be want to bring in a sacrificial lamb as the first notch in Jimbo's belt, that's fine. At least make it a team with a bit of history and half a pulse. Say like a Rice or a Baylor. (Well...maybe not a Baylor.) Look, we all know how hard the marketing interns work to fill all those sparkly new Wi-Fi-enabled seats at Nouveau Kyle Field, and I truly do appreciate making them actually earn those MBAs and various other LinkedIn acronyms and accouterments, but this is football, for Bear Bryant's sake. If we're gonna bake ourselves in a late August sun, sweating more than Tom Herman wearing a sumo fat suit inside a crowded Buffalo Wild Wings with a broken AC in Columbus, Ohio, let's make it a memorable win, OK?


WHAT TO WATCH FOR

JIMBOTRON

As in all eyes on Jimbo. This was inarguably one of the biggest college football coaching hires of the decade. Of all of the coaches to win a national championship in the modern college football era (1995+), Jimbo Fisher is the only one to leave the school where he won to go to another school. (Admittedly, a surprising number have scurried away under the specter of impropriety, but hey, that's almost certainly not our problem I hope.) Now nine months of anticipation will finally pay off in Kyle Field when the rubber meets the [glances at schedule] Northwestern State. Look for the Aggies to make a statement with a win against a team they should beat even if the coach was a ferret wearing a quarter zip, providing little information about our trajectory but plenty of conviction that we made the right move.

PACE MAKERS

Jimbo Fisher has stated that he intends for the Aggies to [heart flutters manically] run the dang ball. With a viable running attack the Aggies could run a suffocating, methodical (read: SEC-style) offense that would be able to control the clock. Then again, when the Aggies' new OC Darrell Dickey was at Memphis he ran a fast-paced, frenetic offense that generated huge numbers and too-fast-for-replays snap rates. Look for the Aggies to be one of those two wildly disparate things.

Look folks, it's early in the season for us too.

PARK(ING) PLACE

Union Pacific has announced that they are renaming the route through College Station to "Short Line", because it's just a few steps from the most expensive hotel in town. The Doug Pitcock '49 Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center (hereafter forever known on this website as the Pitcock because that is the only name it ever need have) will have its grand opening days before the home opener. Officially it will be only 95% complete, presumably because the hotel will also be treating the Northwestern State game as a glorified preseason scrimmage. Fortunately they will hit 100% before Clemson comes to town, and should A&M pull off the upset that week expect the hotel to be back down to around 85% complete the next week.


ELSEWHERE IN THE SEC

THE CROWD-PLEASER
#6 WASHINGTON VS. #9 AUBURN


First off, we need to talk about the fact that of the 14 SEC season openers, 5 are being played in a neutral site - which is to say the joyless lobby of a renovated Hilton Garden Inn sized to fit a football field inside. To whit the Huskies and Tigers will be tilting in the swampy warmth of the devil's asshole in Atlanta.

NOTE: Google image searches for "mercedes benz stadium night" are revealing almost no useful aerial shots of the stadium anymore, which I believe is an SEO effort by their marketing team to make it so no one ever actually sees what that stadium looks like opened and lit up at night so that people like me will stop referring to it as 'the devil's asshole'. DON'T LET IT WORK, SHEEPLE. #followthemoney #thedevilsasshole #qanon

THE DEEP CUT
OLE MISS VS. TEXAS TECH


Two P5 teams Aggies love to hate that are not slated to finish in the top half of their conferences meeting up at 11AM in Houston to engage in Oddjob slappers only? Grab a cup of coffee and a Jameson sidecar and then inject this game directly into your veins because college football is back and all of your problems can wait until January. This game comes with a schadenfreude guarantee, and that's before you remember that Ole Miss took a doodle they drew on their 7th grade Trapper Keeper and turned it into their new mascot.


HOTREELZ


ROI'd RAGE

$7.5MM per season is a lot of money, and any good Aggie knows that football isn't fun sports it's Big Business. If a Texan spends good money on a truck it'd best be able to haul their boat else there's gonna be hell to pay come December. That's why this season on The Tailgate we will be tracking our return on investment in Jimbo Fisher.

So how much of his salary has the coach earned thus far? Even the haughtiest of recruiting snobs (me) must acknowledge that things are going quite well in that arena, so of course we won't start at $0. Then again there's the old saying "don't count your high school sophomores before they've spurned you because another team pays better", so we'll be taking the 2019 recruiting class rankings with a grain of salt.

Not bad for not having seen the field yet, Jimbo! The Aggies will give you a lot of leeway before you've put up an L in Kyle Field, and 1.5 mil will buy an awful lot of Messina Hof.


PLACE YOUR BETS


BEST CASE / BESTER CASE

BEST CASE

Aggies roll. Jimbo gets his first Aggie victory. We find out who the starting QB will be moving forward. Williams gets to sit down after the first half. I drink responsibly, as the many alcohol party ads have told me to do for the last 36 years.

BESTER CASE

Where’s the worst case? Check out last season. I’m not doing that shit again, and $75 million gets you a bester case. Jimbo enters the game in the 3rd quarter as the entire offense. Jimbo throws to Jimbo, who gets a downfield block from Jimbo, but then laterals to Jimbo for a touchdown. Jimbo gets a flag for excessive celebration, and then Jimbo is ejected for arguing. Jimbo approves. Isabella appears, lets everyone know that she’s come to terms with her loss, and will now be released from this mortal coil to heaven. I get a puppy.