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The Upside Downside: Louisiana-Monroe

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We won a football game. As a football team, that is our primary goal.

The A&M offense practices ball protection drills against ULM.
The A&M offense practices ball protection drills against ULM.
Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

It is time to re-calibrate your definition of success.

Not because a win over a low-level mid-major should become the new benchmark for success. A  close victory over ULM should not be the shining moment or even the standard of any P5 team. However, Texas A&M has suspended their recently lauded QB and is starting over with a man who this time last year was concerned with who to invite to prom. It's time for perspective.

The Aggies won a football game. If you call that the end of the world then you may be in store for a rude awakening.

ULMGOOD

KYLE ALLEN

Kyle Allen is the first true freshman to win his starting debut at Texas A&M in over two decades.

Say that out loud a few times until you actually hear yourself. In a year's time he went from pinning mums on his beautiful homecoming date in Arizona (they probably don't actually do mums in Arizona because wtf) to leading an SEC West football team to victory in front of "over 100,000" fans. He led them to a victory. It was an ugly victory, which makes it a better game than any other won by a freshman in 20 years.

This team was projected to finish 6th out of 7 in the SEC West. A victory over the same South Carolina team that just lost to Tennessee convinced everyone that A&M was a rocket-fueled playoff machine. That wasn't true. South Carolina is bad, and A&M ain't great.

That being said, enjoy the fact that we won a game - and we did it with a player who is young and ready to gain experience and knowledge and get better for years here at A&M.

THE UNIS

In the past I have been known to hate on the following (among other) things:

  • unis
  • throwback unis
  • chrome unis
  • Adidas unis
  • Adidas throwback chrome unis
  • skinny jeans

Adidas done proved me wrong. The Texas A&M 1939 throwback uniforms that Adidas and @TAMUequipment put together for this game were simply badass. They were high concept uniforms executed with great effort and care with excellent results that were lauded across the country by media outlets and college football fans alike. We have a marketing and equipment group that is doing everything they can to make Texas A&M a national presence, and they are very good at it. The Facebook comments may want this team to "quit gettin' cute with the uniforms and win the dang football", but it is easy (and very lazy) to conflate the on-the-field problems our team is experiencing with the off-the-field moves we are making. Don't be that guy. Just enjoy the ride, and trust that the other issues will be addressed accordingly. Or not.

SPEEDY

The first player to be listed as an Upside twice, and deservedly so. There are many players on this team fighting for every down no matter the score, and they all warrant praise. But of this heralded WR group, Speedy Noil has demonstrated time and time again that he will not quit on any play, any down, any catch, any return.

You are a bad mother, Speedy Noil. Do your thing.

ULMBAD

PACE

Remember when Texas A&M was a team that ran plays so quickly that defenses had trouble keeping up, let alone adjusting? Those were good times. Get a rope.

SCHMOWL PROJECTIONS

Start making yourself aware of the potential bowl matchups that a 6-win or 7-win Texas A&M squad could end up with. Really picture that, because none of it sounds fun. 7 wins is listed here without a discussion of where exactly that 7th win could come from, because GBH is not an absurdist performance art piece.

COUNTER SUBCONSCIOUS ESPIONAGE

Texas A&M scored 21 points against ULM.

Dennis Franchione's Texas State scored 22 points against ULM.

Also, this happened: