Yale’s 2004 Prank on Harvard – One of the Greatest! (via ESPN.com)

by Travis Normand
November 25, 2016

The following feature aired on ESPN’s College Gameday in 2014. I could have sworn I had posted it here soon after it originally aired. However, I came across the video again today and after a quick search, it appears I did not post it. So, in case you have never seen this, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to watch it.  This is why I love this game.

From ESPN.com:

Revisiting Yale’s 2004 Prank On Harvard

A decade after two Yale students pulled off an elaborate prank on Harvard during the 2004 edition of “The Game,” they revisit the plan and execution that has turned them into legends.

Click HERE to watch the video:  http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=11917734

Great Quotes from College Football History

by Travis Normand
November 7, 2016

This post is a little random but will serve as a collection of some of the greatest quotes (in my opinion) from college football coaches and personalities.

[1] In 1968, Woody Hayes’ Ohio State team won its rivalry game against Michigan by a score of 50–14. Late in the game, Ohio State held a 44–14 lead and yet still scored one final touchdown.  Instead of kicking an extra point, Hayes opted for a two-point conversion (which was unsuccessful). When asked later why he went for two points, Hayes replied, “Because I couldn’t go for three!

[2] In 1981, after the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, Bowie Kuhn, offered lifetime MLB passes to the returning hostages from the Iran hostage crisis, Carroll Hoff “Beano” Cook asked/said, “Haven’t they suffered enough?

[3] In July 2015, at SEC media days, Arkansas head coach Brett Bielema was asked how it had felt ending the previous season by defeating the Texas Longhorns 31-7 in the 2014 Texas Bowl. On their final possession, Arkansas had taken three kneel-downs after a first and goal in order to run out the clock and end the game. “It was a proud moment,” said Bielema. “Borderline erotic.

Hopefully more to come….soon.

Happy Birthday College Football – 147 years old! (Nov. 6, 2016)

by Travis Normand
November. 6, 2016

Happy 147th Birthday College Football!

It was 147 years ago today (November 6, 1869) that the Rutgers College Queensmen defeated the College of New Jersey (now Princeton) 6-4 in what is considered by many as the first American football game (college or otherwise).

If you start by counting the 1869 season as the first college football season, then 2016 is the 148th season. In 2018, college football will be 149 years old and it will be the 150th season; while 2019 will see college football turn 150 years old.

2016 Texas A&M vs. Alabama: The history and connections between the schools

by Travis Normand
October 19, 2016

[If this post reads like a Facebook fan posting, that is because it is.  I originally posted this on Facebook as a fun informational type of fan post.  However, due to the response I got, I figured I would share it here as well.  I have modified it slightly from the original Facebook post.]

In honor of this weekend’s game between No. 6 Texas A&M and No. 1 Alabama, I am posting some random facts that connect the two schools together. Plus, I made a similar post before the A&M vs. Tennessee game, and we saw how that ended up.

One of the most obvious connections between Texas A&M and Alabama is that of famed Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant who was the head football coach at Texas A&M from 1954 to 1957.  Bryant attended Alabama where he played football from 1933 to 1935.

Bryant’s 1954 season was his first at A&M. He started the ’54 season with a training camp in Junction, Texas. The camp was extremely tough and the players from that camp were given the nickname of the “Junction Boys.” Bryant’s first A&M squad finished 1-9 in 1954, while his 1956 squad won the Southwest Conference (SWC) Championship.

In 1957, Texas A&M running back John David Crow won the Heisman Trophy and became the first and only player to win the award while playing for coach Bryant. John David Crow would end up coaching at Alabama from 1969 to 1971 under Bear Bryant before returning to A&M as an athletic director.

At the end of the 1957 season, Bryant left A&M to become the head coach at Alabama. Bryant’s final game at A&M was a loss in the 1957 Gator Bowl to Tennessee.

A&M and Alabama first met on the gridiron at the end of the 1941 season. The Aggies were SWC champions but lost to Alabama, 29-21 in the Cotton Bowl.

The Aggies and Crimson Tide would not play again until the January 1968 Cotton Bowl (at the end of the 1967 season). The Aggies were SWC champions again and were able to even the series with Alabama at 1-1.

The 1968 Cotton Bowl featured a significant connection between the schools, other than the Aggie victory.  Bear Bryant was the head coach of Alabama, while Gene Stallings was the head coach of A&M. Stallings had been a player at A&M under coach Bryant and was one of the “Junction Boys.” After playing football at A&M, Stallings had been a defensive assistant under Bryant at Alabama from 1958-1964. However, in 1965 Stallings returned to A&M as head coach of the Aggies, where he eventually defeated his mentor in the 1968 Cotton Bowl.

Gene Stallings and Bear Bryant, 1968 Cotton Bowl

Gene Stallings and Bear Bryant, 1968 Cotton Bowl

At the conclusion of the game, Stallings’ Aggies had defeated Bryant’s Crimson Tide 20-16. The coaches met at mid-field, and in what can be described as a truly proud moment, Bryant hoisted Stallings onto his shoulder and carried him off the field.

Stallings later returned to Alabama as head coach in 1990 and won the first SEC championship game (and thus an SEC championship), as well as a National Championship, in 1992.  In doing so, Stallings became the second member of Texas A&M’s Association of Former Students to win a conference and national title at a school that is currently a member of the Southeastern Conference (SEC) (Robert Neyland was the first at Tennessee).

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Kirk Herbstreit calls Austin a ‘cesspool’

by Travis Normand

During ESPN’s College Gameday broadcast on October 8, 2016, Kirk Herbstreit was extremely critical of the University of Texas’ treatment of head coach Charlie Strong. Herbstreit went so far as to call Austin a cesspool and said that Coach Strong should be relieved to be released from the situation.

Direct link to the video at ESPN.com: http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=17744439

 

2016 Texas A&M vs. Tennessee; The history and connections between the schools

by Travis Normand
October 7, 2016

[If this post reads like a Facebook fan posting, that is because it is.  I originally posted this on Facebook as a fun informational type of fan post.  However, due to the response I got, I figured I would share it here as well.  I have modified it slightly from the original Facebook post.]

In honor of this weekend’s game between #8 Texas A&M and #9 Tennessee, I am posting some random facts that connect the two schools together (regardless of how much of a stretch some of these facts may be).

I should start by mentioning that General Robert Reese Neyland Jr. (famed Tennessee coach and stadium namesake) is an Aggie and is listed as a member of the Association of Former Students.

Neyland played football at Texas A&M for head coach Charlie Moran (who played on the 1897 Tennessee football team). According to the 1911 Longhorn (Texas A&M yearbook) Neyland was a member of the 1910-1911 Texas Aggie football squad and was listed among the freshman class.

On what appears to be page 222 (the page is not actually numbered) of the yearbook, in the last paragraph, it gives credit to the substitutes “for the important part they played in producing the champions of Texas.”  Among the substitutes mentioned is “Neyland.”  The 1910 Texas A&M football team was known (at the time) as the Champions of Texas due to the fact that they went 8-1, defeating every Texas team they played (with their only loss being to Arkansas).

Neyland left A&M after receiving an appointment to West Point in 1912.  He was appointed by Congressman Sam Rayburn, and graduated from West Point in 1916. Neyland won a national title while playing on the 1914 Army football team.

Later, while working as an assistant football coach at West Point in the early 1920’s, Neyland got help from his former A&M football coach Charlie Moran. Moran (a former Tennessee football player) helped Gen. Neyland land his next coaching job which happened to be at Tennessee.

In 1939, Neyland was the head coach of the Vols and Tennessee went undefeated and un-scored upon in the regular season. In fact, Tennessee outscored their opposition 212-0. I believe that Tennessee is the last major college football program to shut out every regular season opponent.

1939 was also the year that Texas A&M won the AP National Title. A&M won their title despite Tennessee’s accomplishment of shutting out every opponent that very same season.

However, it may be the Tennessee Volunteers who got the last laugh in 1939. The Vols finished the regular season (pre-Bowl game) ranked #2 (behind #1 A&M). While #1 A&M defeated #5 Tulane in the Sugar Bowl, the #2 Vols played and lost to #3 USC in the Rose Bowl. This loss to USC prompted the Dickinson Ranking System to award their 1939 national title to USC instead of A&M, and thus technically A&M “shares” the 1939 title with USC (thanks to Tennessee).

Like Tennessee’s 1939 team, Texas A&M was also undefeated and un-scored upon in 1917 and 1919. The Aggie head coach during those seasons was Dana X. Bible (a Tennessee native). Bible was also the coach at A&M in 1921-1922 when the Aggies defeated Centre College. Centre’s head coach at that time was none other than Charlie Moran.

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