Aggie Websider Weekly Tidbits - Free Preview

Aggie Websider Weekly Tidbits is the most anticipated premium feature for longtime subscribers of the website. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop breaks down the latest in realignment, football recruiting, basketball recruiting, and what to expect in Sunday's season opener

For access to the full scoopage in Aggie Websider Tidbits go to The Tailgate Premium Forum, the best and longest-running premium message board community on the Internet. We've got the latest on this weekend's realignment news along with the latest football and basketball recruiting tidbits. Here's an extended free preview to see what subscribers get every week in Aggie Websider Tidbits. Subscribe today for the best scoop on Aggie sports.


Realignment

I can say that for once over the past month, it wasn't the Aggies making headlines in the world of realignment. It was the Sooners and their President David Boren who publicly stated that OU has been in contact with several conferences and could be ready to move within 72 hours. After being in the background quietly for the past 15 months, I think the Sooners finally realized they were holding all of the cards once the Aggies showed their poker hand on Wednesday. Observers keep thinking the Longhorns hold the leverage in any conference realignment move, and that is simply not the case. With a floundering television network and fellow conference members dropping like flies, Texas is twisting in the wind like Gordon Gecko trying to sell Blue Star Airlines two minutes before the closing bell. Why is one of the premiere college sports brands struggling to retain that position during this game of conference musical chairs? That's easy.

What makes Texas football valuable? Sure, their program has been one of the best in the nation over the past 10-12 years and the university generates a lot of revenue. But the Longhorns' identity and brand are built upon two nationally-recognized rivalries which separates Texas from the other schools that typically are lucky to have just one such national rivalry. Regardless of the quality of schedule for the other 10 games or the quality of their team, one thing is for certain…Texas will play one of the highest profile football games of the season at the Texas Fair grounds on national TV, and then play the premiere game in the state of Texas on Thanksgiving on national TV once again.

Texas is defined by those two games, and they derive a great deal of their market value and branding from these two games. Take those games away, and Texas becomes just another good football program with a schedule that is no longer unique with games that are independently marketable across the country. That reduces the value of the Longhorn brand, and I can promise you that Deloss Dodds and President Powers know that as well. It's one thing to possibly lose the one game against the Aggies, and for now Dodds seems to be a little upset and wants to "punish" the Aggies by not playing them. But ironically, while losing Texas is a big deal for Aggies who circle Thanksgiving night when the new calendars arrive, there are substitutes in the SEC. If you ask anybody who attended Texas A&M in the mid-to-late 1980's who they would most want to beat on the Aggies' schedule, you'd get a lot of votes for LSU over Texas. The Aggies and Tigers just don't mix and it was an intense rivalry just for the 10 years the series was last played between1985-1995. I have no doubt the Tigers and Hog fans can attempt to fill the void along with Alabama and the longstanding ties between the football programs historically.

But where does Texas go to find new rivalries? Rice, BYU, UCLA, Ohio State (they have Michigan)? It won't be easy. So, less than a week after the Aggies tell Texas and the Big 12 goodbye, it's now the Sooners saying they may bolt on their own without Texas. Uh, oh, now it gets serious. Texas can't afford to lose its second high profile, high value rivalry. The TV networks won't like it, and their fans certainly won't like it one bit. So the irony of all ironies is that right now Texas is now chasing OU. With the LHN and its wide distribution in Missouri City and Bay City, ESPN and the Longhorns are in no shape to go independent even if they could schedule the Sooners and Aggies out of conference. It's clear they no longer want any part of going independent especially with the era of super conferences upon us. It's simply too risky…

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Football

You've read all of the SMU game previews and there are a myriad of storylines to follow in the season opener. But if you ask people close to the program, all eyes will be on Ryan Tannehill. The senior had a solid fall camp and will have a solid season, but for the Aggies to have a special season and seriously challenge No. 1 OU for the conference title, Tannehill will have to be more than solid. He'll need to be good…very good. Again, he had a nice fall camp but at times his reads were too quick and his eyes were too deliberate which allowed the A&M defensive backs to jump on a few balls in fall practices…

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Football Recruiting

There will be the usual suspects (2012 A&M commits) in attendance Sunday evening like Bralon Addison, Matt Davis (although he got stitches after Thursday's game), Trey Williams, Trent Momon, Jordan Richmond, Kenneth Marshall, the Brenham guys, Jaevon Richardson, and Tyrone Taylor. Also, 2013 commits like Christian Lacouture (A&M Consol), Ty Slanina, and Jamar Gibson have indicated that they hope to make it for the Sunday night game. 2013 recruiting targets that may show up include DE Jimmie Gilbert (A&M Consol), RB Keith Ford, OL Jake Raulerson (he's going to be at Texas-Rice game today), and possibly top-rated WR/TE Derrick Griffin from Rosenberg Terry. But, it sounds like he's visiting as a guest of the basketball team, but he'll probably spend time before the game with the hoops coaching staff and then go inside Bright and talk with the football coaches after the game. After seeing him at Duncanville this summer, I do think he'll eventually play basketball, but that's just my opinion. Also, Devante Bourque and his father may visit for Sunday's game. It will likely depend on the weather tomorrow in Louisiana.

But really, the big news to follow this weekend is SA Brandeis ath/CB Colin Blake. He is actually making this visit an official and we know that his dad is really hoping he chooses the Aggies. According to a couple of sources in San Antonio knowledgeable of the situation with Blake, they would not be surprised if the tall cornerback pulls the trigger despite what Colin has said publicly that he wants to take a few visits. I'm hearing that privately if the visit goes well and Blake clicks with the players and coaches, a verbal commit is not out of the question….

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Basketball Recruiting

The rubber is meeting the road as 2012 recruiting kicks into high gear as prospects are starting to take official visits in preparation for the early November signing period. The new A&M hoops staff has four spots in this class with J-Mychal Reese taking one spot for now. He will be in town (well, he's always in town) for the weekend as the Aggies welcome two official visitors…big guard Alex Caruso (A&M Consolidated) and high-low post Connor Lammert (SA Churchill). I have detailed both players this week in terms of their skill set and abilities. Both Caruso and Lammert exploded on the scene with a great AAU season. Caruso is a heady player with above average athleticism that has garnered him a No. 75 national ranking from Scout.com. He told me he plans to visit Colorado next weekend but wouldn't rule out a commitment this weekend if it felt right…and we think it will.

Lammert is currently a three-star prospect but he has four-star offers from A&M, Texas, OSU, Baylor, Texas Tech, and Vanderbilt among others. He turned heads with his epic battles against Texas commit and national Top 10 prospect Cameron Ridley. Lammert is 6-foot-10, 220 pounds and will need to fill-out some, but he's tough inside and will bang but he has a versatile skill set where he can hit the outside shot, attack from the post-up, and even has an effective left-handed runner. Lammert's older brother attended Texas A&M and Connor told me this week that he has been to quite a few A&M football and basketball games and is familiar with the university. With that said, he told me he wants to take several official visits. He tripped to Vanderbilt last weekend and he'll follow his A&M visit with a trip to Texas next weekend and he'll end the process with a trip to see Billy Clyde and the Red Raiders on 9/24. He'll have a decision in early October, and I think A&M definitely has a good shot. And if you ask the hoops staff, they consider 2013 two-sport star Derrick Griffin to be a basketball visitor for this weekend's game although he will also talk to the football coaches. More big news in recruiting in the coming weeks. Five-star guard Marcus Smart from Flower Mound is scheduled to officially visit…


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For access to the full scoopage in Aggie Websider Tidbits go to The Tailgate Premium Forum, the best and longest-running premium message board community on the Internet. We've got the latest on this weekend's realignment news along with the latest football and basketball recruiting tidbits. Here's an extended free preview to see what subscribers get every week in Aggie Websider Tidbits. Subscribe today for the best scoop on Aggie sports.


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