Big 12 Media Day: Texas A&M Aggies

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - You know the old line, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Well, that is not entirely true at Big 12 Conference Football Media Days in Kansas City. You get many chances as there are 25 live radio broadcasts originating from here.

There's a local TV room, national television in ESPNU, Fox Sports Southwest and Fox Sports Midwest, ABC, CBS, and Versus. Then there is always the big print media room with all the writers pounding away on their laptops.

New Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman did his best to take advantage of each and every opportunity. Sherman is friendly enough and very congenial. He even danced around the political tight rope for me on a Brett Farve question. You can tell he has fond feeling for his former quarterback, more fond than those for his former employer the Green Bay Packers, who once fired him as a head coach.

The Aggies hired their one-time assistant coach away from the Houston Texans to become their head coach. I like Sherman and I think he knows his football. Football challenged individuals don't become head coaches in the NFL, but call me skeptical. I don't know if it is any easier to become a college head coach coming from the NFL than it is to become an NFL head coach coming from college.

I know Pete Carroll at USC proves the NFL-to-college switch can be smooth, but former Nebraska coach Bill Callahan, who would have been here to share the day with Sherman had he not been deservedly fired, proves my feeling correct. Heck, Sherman even confirmed it in a conversation that we had. His players told me of constantly having to remind him that they don't draft players at Texas A&M but they recruit them.

Sherman is bringing an NFL man with him to coach the offense in former Kansas quarterback Nolan Cromwell and a college man to coach his defense in former Alabama defensive coordinator Joe Kimes.

Sherman hints about changing some things. He is staging a quarterback battle between incumbent Stephen McGee and Jarrod Johnson that he hopes will be over in the first 10 days in camp. He will go with Jorvorskie Lane at fullback and Michael Goodson at tailback and he may run a power run-oriented offense citing that the best defense is sometimes an offense and he may need to play keep away from the Big 12 spread offenses.

Football goes in cycles, but as a "three yards and a cloud of dust" guy myself, I'm not sure I'm ready to start cycling back to that style of attack. I think A&M is missing wide receivers and will struggle with four new starters on the offensive line. The defense has some unusual holes and will be converting back from a 4-2-5 attack.

I like Mike Sherman. I thought he made a good first impression, but I sense concern in the voice of this former NFL head coach and that more than anything might spell a tougher tha "Pete Carroll transition back to college football.

My pick for Texas A&M to finish fourth in the Big 12 South is still good for me.

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