About Travis Normand

Attorney, Husband, and Father. - Interests: College Football, Rugby, Cigars, Freemasonry, History, Research, Writing, LOAC / IHL, Law, and much more.

Texas A&M’s First Orange Bowl

by Travis Normand

As you are likely aware, Texas A&M just won the 2021 Orange Bowl by defeating the University of North Carolina on January 2, 2021. However, while this was A&M’s first Orange Bowl victory, it was A&M’s second Orange Bowl invitation.

The Aggies first played in the Orange Bowl following the 1943 season (on January 1, 1944); but A&M lost to LSU in that game. At the time, the Aggies probably didn’t know it would take them until 2021 to earn a second Orange Bowl invite.

In any event, the 1943 Aggies were affectionately referred to as the “Kiddie Corps.” In 2009, Rusty Burson wrote about the Kiddie Korps, their season, and their Orange Bowl appearance. His article is as follows:

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College Football’s Grand Slam (updated)

by Travis Normand

January 4, 2021

Notre Dame was unable to win its second grand slam title as the Irish were defeated by Alabama in the January 1, 2021 Rose Bowl game (played in Arlington, Texas).

However, Alabama (Rose), Oklahoma (Cotton), Ohio State (Sugar), and Texas A&M (Orange) all picked up a bowl victory that counts towards a grand slam title (whether it is their first, next, etc.). See the last table in this post for a full list of teams needing only one more win for a grand slam title.

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College Football’s Grand Slam

by Travis Normand

December 23, 2020

Notre Dame has a chance to win another grand slam this 2020-2021 season!

There might be a better name for this, and if I think of one, I will update this post. On the other hand, if you think of one you would like to share, please let me know by posting in the comments below.

Of all the bowl games, there are four that have always been considered as the biggest and best. Those four bowls are the: (1) Rose Bowl; (2) Cotton Bowl; (3) Sugar bowl; and (4) Orange Bowl. Which got me wondering, how many college football programs have won all four of these bowl games?

I did the research and found the answer; and the following is a break-down of those programs that have pulled off what I am calling the “College Football Grand Slam!”

There are nine (9) programs that have won all four of the major bowl games, and have thus won a “College Football Grand Slam.” Those nine programs are: Alabama, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, and Texas.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S GRAND SLAM WINNERS

SchoolNumber of Grand Slams Won
Alabama4
Georgia2
Georgia Tech1
Miami1
Notre Dame1
Ohio State1
Oklahoma1
Penn State1
Texas2
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2020 Texas A&M vs. Tennessee

by Travis Normand

The Texas Aggies travel to Tennessee this weekend where they will play the Tennessee Volunteers for only the fourth (4th) time in program history.

The series between Texas A&M and UT is as follows:

  1. December 28, 1957: Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Florida) – Tennessee won 3-0;
  2. January 1, 2005: Cotton Bowl (Dallas, Texas) – Tennessee won 38-7;
  3. October 8, 2016: Kyle Field (College Station, Texas) – Texas A&M won 45-38; and
  4. December 19, 2020: Neyland Stadium (Knoxville, Tennessee) – ?

This game against Tennessee on December 19th will be the latest regular season game ever played by Texas A&M.

Before this game, the latest regular season game for the Aggies was on on December 8, 1934 when A&M defeated Michigan State (26-13) in San Antonio, Texas, and then again on December 8, 1944 when A&M defeated Miami (70-14 in Miami.

Further, as far as I know, there are only four college stadiums and/or fields that are named for someone who attended Texas A&M (even if their attendance was only for a couple of days). Those four stadiums / fields are: (1) Kyle Field; (2) Boone Pickens Stadium; (3) Joe Jamail Field (since renamed); and (4) Neyland Stadium. Texas A&M has played and won in three of these stadiums / fields, with the exception being Tennessee’s Neyland stadium.

(To read my previous post regarding the similarities between Texas A&M and Tennessee, which was written before the 2016 game, click HERE.)

College Football Playoff: “Firsts,” “Nevers,” & “Not Yets”

by Travis Normand
December 9, 2020

I am posting these here in order make them easier to ‘track,’ and to see if any of these change this season.

As of the 2020 college football season, and before the 2020-2021 playoff, the following are still true:

(1) A 2-loss team has never made the college football playoff (and so far, being a Power-5 Conference Champion has not been sufficient to overcome the 2-loss barrier, see 2016 Penn State … at least when there is another team from the same conference with only 1-loss);

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Following the COVID-Football Pandemic-Playoff (2020)

by Travis Normand
First Published on December 2, 2020

If you follow this site, you have seen my other College Football Playoff related posts before. If not, you can find most of those posts under the “Playoff” category; or you can go to this link (which is my comprehensive and on-going playoff post).

I have decided to start this new post for all of my notes related to the 2020 Playoff. Once the playoff is over on January 11, 2021, I will probably add the more important aspects from this post to the comprehensive post.

For those of you reading this for the first time, this is not an editorial style posting. This is merely my unedited notes from each week of the playoff rankings, which helps me (and others) track what the rankings/committee are doing, and whether they are following any precedent. Enjoy!

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The Longhorns’ Thanksgiving Tradition … is Wrong!

by Travis Normand
November 29, 2020 (Original Publication Date)
(Updated for editing December 2, 2020; and added introduction on December 4, 2020)

Update again on September 14, 2021: After writing and posting this almost a year ago, I tweeted it to the sports information guys who work in the Longhorn athletic’s department (see below). When their 2021 Football Media guide was released, I checked to see if they made any changes to this historical information and they had not (see the 2021 Guide, Pages 167-176). Oh well, maybe next year?

In any event, scroll down past the following tweets to find the beginning of the original post.

Dated: December 17, 2020

*****

[INTRODUCTION: I went back and re-read parts of this post only to realize that it is not the most “exciting” thing to read. However, it really wasn’t meant to be. Mainly, this post is my research, and proof, of what I would consider a fairly decent sized error in the 2020 Texas Longhorn’s Football Media Guide; but that in and of itself is not necessarily exciting (and I am sure there are some who will disagree as to my characterization of this error). If I had to add some editorial content to prepare the reader for what this is about, and potentially make it a bit more exciting, I would preface this post by saying: “The Longhorns think so highly of their ‘Thanksgiving Day Tradition’ that they felt it important to include a section in their media guide about it; however, it is readily apparent that the Longhorns should do a little more research into their own history before they claim to have a ‘Thanksgiving Day Tradition.'” – See Table 2 below.]

Mistakes happen in college football media guides all the time; after all, no one is perfect and typos are often missed (this blog is no exception). However, there is a fine line between a typo or mistake, and misinformation based on ignorance. Having said that, I recently noticed an interesting section in the 2020 Texas Football Media Guide (hereinafter, sometimes referred to as the “2020 Media Guide”). The section I found, which is discussed below, appears to be more than a simple typo, and is much closer to misinformation caused by the author’s ignorance.

Across the bottom of page 183 of the 2020 Media Guide is a section titled “Thanksgiving Day Tradition.” When I found this section, I began to wonder how long it had been appearing in Longhorn football media guides. After a review of the media guides I had available, it appears as if this section shows up at least as far back as the 2006 Texas Football Media Guide (and every year since then).

In fact, it appears on page 173 of the 2006 Texas Football Spring Guide; page 177 of the 2007 Texas Football Spring Guide; page 165 of the 2007 Texas Football Holiday Bowl Guide; page 187 of the 2008 Texas Football Spring Guide; page 217 of the 2008 Texas Football Fiesta Bowl Guide; page 209 of the 2009 Texas Football Spring Media Guide; page 222 of the 2010 Texas Football BCS National Championship Guide; page 202 of the 2010 Texas Football Spring Media Guide; page 202 of the 2011 Texas Football Spring Media Guide; page 206 of the 2011 Texas Football Holiday Bowl Media Guide; (online PDF) page 178 of 275 of the 2012 Texas Football Media Guide; (online PDF) page 65 of 162 of the 2012 Texas Longhorn Media Guide – Supplement; (online PDF) page 200 of 278 of the 2013 Texas Football Media Guide; page 220 of the 2013 Texas Football Alamo Bowl Guide; page 195 of the 2014 Texas Football Texas Bowl Guide; (online PDF) page 167 of 229 of the 2015 Texas Football Media Guide; (online PDF) page 77 of 89 of the 2016 Texas Football Media Guide; page 189 of the 2017 Texas Football – Texas Bowl Media Guide; page 167 of the 2017 Texas Football Media Guide; page 212 of the 2018 Texas Longhorns Football Media Guide; page 198 of the Texas Football 2019 Sugar Bowl Media Guide; page 162 of the 2019 Texas Football Media Guide; page 193 of the 2019 Texas Bowl Media Guide; and page 183 of the 2020 Texas Football Media Guide.

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