Hop's Musings and Scattershooting

Most Aggie fans thought they could catch their breath after the Heisman hype last weekend and with the Cotton Bowl three weeks away. However, the coaching carousel has affected the Texas A&M staff. I addition, recruiting keeps humming along as more prospects verbally pledge to the Aggies.

1. We've gotta start with Kliff Kingsbury taking the Texas Tech job. First of all, for those questioning the wisdom of taking the Tech job then you really are looking at this situation through maroon-tinted glasses. That's fine, but come on, every coach dreams of that first head coaching job. And when you are 33 and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity drops in your lap to take a BCS job that happens to be your alma mater, you jump at it...and from the interviews I've seen, he said it really wasn't a tough decision for him. And for those that say he's jumping into a mess of a program, well the Red Raiders finished 7-5 with wins over West Virginia and TCU. That's not bad.

2. In fact, I'm really questioning why Tech fans and administrators were chasing Tommy Tuberville out of town? Fans complained of the offense, but the 2012 unit finished No. 12 nationally in total offense and No. 2 in total pass offense, leading the nation in TD passes (42). Tech threw 16 more TD passes than Kingsbury's A&M offense. So was it the defense that stunk? Well, Tech finished No. 39 in overall defensive yardage allowed. Make no mistake, everything I've heard suggests that Tuberville was getting out while the getting was good and did so more out of fear than opportunity. For whatever reason, this wasn't a good cultural fit. Tuberville is actually mild-mannered with his emotions under control, something Tech fans can't relate to and ultimately rejected. Kingsbury was the fan choice. The hometown hero does good and comes back home to lead his alma mater for the next 30 years. Kingsbury is a smart, talented offensive mind. But at 33 with only four years of college coaching experience, there are real questions about his experience and executive skills to be the top dog.

3. Did y'all listen to the brief Kingsbury interview in Lubbock? If you listen closely, he was asked what he was doing when he got the call from Hocutt at Tech. He said he was looking at OU film for the Cotton Bowl and getting ready to go to New York to be with Johnny. So, that tells us this was in the works a lot longer than most of us (except for one certain poster)) speculated. In fact, Tuberville likely caught wind of what was going on and decided he needed to beat the posse out of town. Otherwise, if he felt secure at Lubbock, he doesn't leave the Big 12 to go to the dying Big East. In fact, I bet Coach Kevin Sumlin knew about Kingsbury's likely departure a lot sooner than any of us.

4. As far as replacements, I'm getting some sniffs who the targets are, but I'm not at a confidence level where I can throw names out there and speculate. I am hearing that Sumlin will likely go outside the current staff to hire an offensive coordinator. Also, don't assume Sumlin is married to a strict air raid guy that comes from the Dana Holgerson tree. Sumlin has a history of utilizing offenses to fit personnel. I do think A&M will remain a passing friendly offense, but with some very talented 6-foot-3/6-foot-4 stud receivers that can stretch the field, I'm not so sure Sumlin won't consider making some tweaks to the offense to keep SEC defenses off-balance. I think the offense will be very similar in many cases, but I do think you'll see some new wrinkles.

5. There's been talk elsewhere of assistant coaches leaving to go to Tech with Kingsbury. I'm not going to completely rule it out as I think any assistant coach will at the very least listen to the sales pitch and re-evaluate. However, look at the situation. Do you stick with the known coaching quantity (Sumlin) in a big boy conference, or do you completely roll the dice on a 33 year-old wet-behind-the-ears head coach with absolutely zero executive/CEO experience at any private sector or football level. Do you want to move your family out to Lubbock on a risky bet that Kingsbury will be a great CEO, or do you want to get paid more with a sure thing (Sumlin) and a program on the rise and after next February will be stuffed with talent. So while I will "never say never" on anything related to coaches coming and gong, the probability of Kingsbury snaking one of A&M's coaches is fairly low although I admit the rumors are circulating.

6. I re-watched the Heisman show and Johnny's speech, and I've got to say I want to party with the best-dressed Heisman winner in the house....Mike Rozier. Talk about style, my man's got it.

7. The worst kept secret was officially unveiled on Wednesday when No. 1 recruit in Texas LB Hoza Scott committed to Coach Sumlin and the Aggies. A couple of things to note here. Scott is a year older than other kids in his class, so keep that in mind when you evaluate his up-side in college. He's already very mature physically, so other than building some mass in the weight room, don't expect any growth spurts. He's about 6-foot-2, 215 pounds. He'll get a little heavier, but his frame won't get much bigger. Of course, who needs a high ceiling when your field performance is already collegiate-ready. He has the speed and footwork to be a great linebacker, but it's his uncanny knack for making big plays like stripping the ball carrier and returning the ball for a TD, or intercepting a quick pitch in the backfield and running in for the score. I bet he's had at least six defensive TD's in his high school career so far with his senior year still to play.

8. The A&M coaches are still waiting on a few critical recruits, but none more important than the ultra quiet DE Za"Darius Smith. Once he decides, the other dominoes will start to fall. I'm still hearing that the staff feels confident with the "immediate playing time" and other business decision aspects of his recruitment. Momma has played a key role and wants her son to play close to home. Does Z go the route of geography, or does he want to compete for a national championship and get national exposure as Damontre Moore's replacement. He's imposed radio silence on all the services and since nobody has spoken to him, we really are left to guess and put the pieces of the puzzle together. I think Mississippi State may be the slight favorite to land him over A&M although I would never count out the Aggies at this point with all of the momentum in recruiting.

9. After losing Kyle Hicks to TCU, Mack Brown isn't doing himself any favors for his job security when Belton flex TE Durham Smythe decommitted yesterday. All signs point to a commit to Stanford or Notre Dame. At one point, the A&M staff really wanted this kid, but given the studs at receiver and the tight numbers, the Ags didn't have room. Texas is about to lose their top-rated prospect A'Shawn Robinson to the Trojans of USC after visiting there last weekend. It's interesting that the Mack staff isn't issuing any edicts over the "no visit" policy. It's called leverage, and for the first time in 14 years Mack isn't in a strong position to pull a recruit's scholarship spot. He needs more recruits to fill out an already expected small class. Actually, I'd prefer that the bad news slow down a little bit. If it gets too bad, the Longhorns could go ahead and make a head coaching change after all. I just as soon see Mack running the program for another year or two.

10. I was watching the 12.12.12 concert for the victims of the super storm and The Who (or might I say the remaining two living members) took the stage. I grew up a huge Who fan and I liked the tradition-rich set. Once singer Roger Daltrey hit his stride during a surprisingly strong rendition of Baba O'Riley, the nearly 70 year-old singer ripped open his shirt to show his bare chest. Now that's what I'm talking about....a 70 year-old sexy lead singer. Oh, and it was no accident. He stripped for the MSG crowd and those of us lucky enough to watch on HBO. What's even funnier is the guy didn't have an ounce of fat and he had a good build and tone. Come on, 70 year-old men don't have bodies like that unless they are chemically enhanced. But you've got to like his spunk. Roger Waters played Comfortably Numb and his voice is so old and ravaged that he needed Eddie Vedder to sing the high notes on the chorus line. It was actually very good, and I've got to say that the guitar solo at the end of the song is grossly underrated. Wow, Michael Stipe just isn't very pleasant to look at and I'm tired of Paul "boring" McCartney headlining one of these events and putting on a very mediocre show with weak song selections. He's giving us a fringe hit from his Wings days when we want Hey Jude.

Aggie Digest Top Stories