Hop's top-10 moments of 2007

All in all, 2007 has been a good year for the Aggies, and you've already seen Dallas Shipp's top-10 moments of the year, but what stood out to Aggie Websider publisher David Sandhop? Hop takes a look back at his top-10 moments in 2007.

10. Monday, December 24 - Tentative Announcement of Texas A&MArkansas Annual Series
Bill Byrne has been looking for a pay day game in Dallas for several years. The collective sigh of relief coming from roughly 75% of former students could be heard this month when we found out that the Jerry World extravaganza will be a non-conference tilt with the Arkansas Razorbacks and not Texas Tech, as was previously discussed. This is a great match-up pitting two former SWC rivals in a premiere venue that will attract national television cameras and will put $5 million in Byrne's coffers. But the A&M fans are the big winners. A quality non-conference game in a great setting is added to the slate, and the traditional home-and-home conference games remain intact…like they should.

9. Saturday, January 27 - Texas A&M Women's Basketball 54 @ (6) OU 52
In recent years, the OU women's program emerged as the prominent basketball program in the conference with the arrival of the massive Paris sisters who dominated the paint for two seasons. That was until the Lady Aggies invaded Norman in late January and left town with a 54-52 hard fought win. The victory really set the table for the Lady Aggies' the rest of the conference season and helped catapult them to their first Big 12 Championship.

8. Monday, June 4 - Aggie Baseball Advances to Super-Regional
After losing to the Ragin' Cajuns, the Aggies had to come up through the loser's bracket with their proverbial backs against the wall. Already thin on the mound, A&M had to play its way all the way back and defeated ULL in the first of two championship games. Coach Childress turned to Kyle Thebeau for the final game, who until the regional had a nightmare season with his lack of control. However, Thebeau was masterful and his changeup was finding the mark. Aggie fans were on pins and needles wondering when the bubble would burst, but it wouldn't on this night as Thebeau threw a complete game striking out 13 batters in a 5-2 win. Hello Super-Regional.

7. Friday, November 23 - Texas A&M Football 38 v. (11) Texas 30
Anytime the Aggies beat Texas it's a big event. However, this one made it two in a row over the in-state rival. The impact of this game is yet to be seen, as the dividends will be realized in next year's recruiting class (2009). The win shows recruits that A&M is playing on the same level as the Longhorns, and couple that with the arrival of Mike Sherman, the Aggie coaching staff should be able to recruit head-to-head with Mack Brown who has shown to have a crack in his armor since Vince Young carried him to the national title. That crack got much bigger with the loss to the Aggies which altered their postseason route from a BCS bowl to the Holiday Bowl. It's too early to tell if the tide has turned in the state, but this win certainly has set the table for a change in the pecking order.

6. Saturday, May 26 - Aggie Softball Advances to College World Series
The Aggie softball team had been knocking on the door of the CWS for a couple of years, but in 2007 they finally broke through with a Super-Regional win over Florida. In the 1980's, Aggie softball was the dominant softball program east of the Rocky Mountains winning two national championships in 1983 and 1987, so a return to national prominence is a return to glory so to speak.

5. Sunday, May 27 - Aggie Baseball Wins Big 12 Tournament Title
I'm sure a lot of people will ask why I have the Big 12 Tournament championship ranked higher than he Super-Regional berth. Well, I think Aggie baseball "arrived" with its dominant run through the tournament with wins over Nebraska, No. 5 Texas, and then a 14-6 beat down of Baylor to easily claim the crown. A&M had limped into the tournament with a .500 record in conference, but they left champions and with a new swagger that they belong near the top of the Big 12 and that Coach Childress is indeed one of the best young baseball coaches in the conference, and the nation.

4. Thursday, April 10 - Billy Gillispie Out; Mark Turgeon In
Shortly after the 27 win season in 2007, rumors surfaced in Razorback nation that Billy Gillispie was offered the recently vacated Arkansas job. Bill Byrne quickly put a new compensation package in place and accelerated the schedule for the new practice facility to keep his coach that resurrected basketball at Texas A&M. After verbally agreeing to the new contract and spurning the Hogs, Kentucky began courting Gillispie and he showed interest and flew to Lexington. Byrne had had enough, and when Gillispie left on a private jet to check out the Wilcats, Byrne waved goodbye and started looking for a new coach. Just days later, Mark Turgeon was named the new head coach at Texas A&M. He resurrected Wichita State and had a Sweet Sixteen appearance of his own. He's also part of the extensive Larry Brown coaching tree and is a favored son at his alma mater Kansas, so his bloodlines are impeccable and Aggie basketball continues to roll on the national scene.

3. Monday, November 26 - Texas A&M Hires Mike Sherman
Just three days after a second straight win over Texas and the abrupt resignation of Dennis Franchione, Bill Byrne found his man in former Green Bay Packers head coach and general manager Mike Sherman. Not only did Sherman have a well-respected track record and network of contacts that will work well in recruiting, but he spent seven years in Aggieland as an assistant coach under R.C. Slocum in the program's best days in the late 1980's through the early 1990's.

2. Saturday, March 17 - Texas A&M 72 v. Louisville 69, Round 2 NCAA Men's Tournament
A&M needed a win over Rick Pitino and a surging Louisville to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1980. The selection committee rewarded the Aggies' special season by forcing them to play basically a road game in front of a raucous Cardinal crowd in Lexington, Kentucky. It was a nailbiter the whole way, but A&M made their free throws down the stretch and Louisville didn't. Hello Sweet Sixteen. Hello San Antonio!

1. Saturday, February 3 - Texas A&M Men's Basketball 69 @ (6) Kansas 66
The top Aggie sports moment belongs to the Aggie basketball team when they became the first team from the Big 12 South to ever win at historic Phog-Allen Fieldhouse. Acie Law's bomb from three-point range with under a minute not only gave the Aggies the lead for good, but this high drama played out in front of a national TV audience and with Dick Vitale and the ESPN Gameday crew in attendance. Thus, this was the arrival of Texas A&M on the national basketball scene.




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