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"Covering College Football Coaching from Miami to Honolulu"

 

 MIKE SHERMAN

     

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MIKE SHERMAN

Age:  54

School:  Texas A&M

Alma Mater:  Central Connecticut State, 1977

Conference:  Big 12

Salary:  $1,800,000

Official Bio:   www.aggieathletics.com

Years Coaching:  1

Career Record:  0 - 0  .000

Years at School:  1

Record at Texas A&M:  0 - 0  .000

2007 Record:  0 - 0   .000

2007 Cost per Win:  $0

Attorney/Agent:   

Contract: 

 

December 2008 Buyout:  $11,100,000

COACHING RECORD - WINNING - LOSING RECORDS

Year School Record Bowl
2008 Texas A&M 0-0  
Career   0-0 .000
  Texas A&M 0-0 .000

2008 SCHEDULE

Date Opponent Location 2008 CHS Prediction Result
8/30/08 Arkansas State College Station, TX W  
9/06/08 at New Mexico Albuquerque, NM L  
9/20/08 Miami College Station, TX W  
9/27/08 Army  College Station, TX W  
10/04/08 at Oklahoma State Stillwater, OK L  
10/11/08 Kansas State College Station, TX W  
10/18/08 Texas Tech College Station, TX L  
10/25/08 at Iowa State Ames, IA L  
11/01/08 Colorado College Station, TX W  
11/08/08 Oklahoma College Station, TX L  
11/15/08 at Baylor Waco, TX L  
11/27/08 at Texas Austin, TX L  
         
   Coaches Hot Seat Prediction   5-7  

 

Coaches Hot Seat Analysis

There are places in America where an American citizen can stand and have his breath taken away by the beauty and power of an object, a sight, or an event.  In our mind some of those spots in this country are:  Hard against the Hudson River by the World Financial Center in New York City with the remains of the World Trade Centers behind you and the Statue of Liberty standing tall in New York harbor; Gazing skyward at our greatest President's at Mt. Rushmore just outside of Rapid City, South Dakota; Wandering around Gettysburg Battlefield and being stunned at the sacrifice made in that place for the sake of our Union; Standing on the front steps of the Lincoln Memorial looking East towards the Capitol Building with the giant statue of Abraham Lincoln behind you; The Northwest Piazza at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello looking towards UVA, the Appalachian Mountains and imagining what Jefferson must have thought on that very spot; in the Marin Headlands looking down at the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge with the city of San Francisco just beyond; and so many other great places; and finally relevant to this discussion, standing in the south end zone of Kyle Field just before a Texas A&M football game.  If you ever get down about America or concerned about our country's future, just schedule a trip to a Texas A&M football game in College Station, Texas, and one of best spots to stand for that game is just behind the south endzone at Kyle Field the two hours before kickoff.  Watch the A&M fans and alumni pour into the stadium, most with an unflinching optimistic outlook upon the world and the Aggies chances to win that day's game regardless of the opponent.  Experience and soak-in the entry of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets and the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band as it enters the field playing the Fightin' Texas Aggie War Hymn and as they later play the Star Spangled Banner (and the themes to movies Patton and the Green Berets during the game).  Marvel at the Texas A&M fans reaction to the Aggie football team as it takes the field, which are steadfast in their support of "their boys" whether the team is winning or losing.  Yes, all of that adds up to a mighty powerful tonic that is Texas A&M football, and after seeing all of that one could easily put on a helmet and pads and whip anyone on that field (or at least think they could whip anyone!).  All of those A&M traditions, and many others are a powerful part of what should be a strong Aggie football program, but for some very obvious reasons the Texas A&M football team has consistently been one of the most underperforming football teams in the entire country.  Before we debate the semantics of why and how Texas A&M got to where it is today, let's look at an event that surrounded the last great head football coach at A&M, Paul "Bear" Bryant.

 

In Allen Barra's terrific book on Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant, The Last Coach, Allen Barra, Barra chronicles Bryant's arrival in College Station in 1954:

 

The Last Coach, Allen Barra, excerpt (pgs. 160-161):

"The new head coach wanted to begin work the moment he arrived, and the prestige-starved "Aggies" were happy to accommodate him.  It was already dark when he reached the A&M campus.  He was driven immediately to an outdoor theater where thousands of Aggie students and alumni - a conservative estimate was three thousand, but some who were there claim there was as many as six thousand - had carefully laid out, according to school tradition, a gigantic bonfire.  Some schools called this a "pep rally"; at Texas A&M, says Gene Stallings, a freshman who was in the crowd that night and would one day become Bryant's successor at both Texas A&M and Alabama, "We called it 'Yell Practice.'"  Would the new coach care to address the fans?  Hell, yes, he would.

 

It was also a tradition, Bryant was told before taking the stage, for a speaker to take off his coat when addressing an Aggie crown.  Bryant was happy to comply.  As he walked up to the microphone, he took off his hat and tossed it down with a flourish, then threw off his coat and pulled off his tie.  Unbuttoning his cuffs, he announced, "I'm Paul Bryant, and I'm rolling up my sleeves so we can get to work."  The crowd went berserk.  Then he paused and waited for the crowd to grow silent.  He held the microphone in both hands and spoke softly into it:  "Boys, it's time to win some damn football games."

 

The crowd erupted again.  Several of Bryant's future players were among them.  Don Watson, a halfback, was in awe, "I just saw God!" was his first reaction.  The Aggies weren't the only ones mesmerized; Bryant had surprised himself with his performance.  "It was like voodoo.  Those Aggies went crazy......Ten Aggies can yell louder than a hundred of anybody else."  Bryant scooped up his coat and tie and walked off the stage.  He slapped Aggies PR director, Jones Ramsey, on the arm. "I sure as hell lit a fire tonight," he said.  "I'd never heard of him until that night," said Stallings, "and he gave me goose bumps.  I knew right then and there that things were going to be different."

The Last Coach, Allen Barra, excerpt (pgs. 160-161):

 

Yes, Paul "Bear" Bryant was the last great head football coach at Texas A&M, and A&M's inability to ever replace Bryant's presence in College Station is the reason the program finds itself in such sorry shape today.  Jackie Sherrill and RC Slocum were good head football coaches at A&M, but they did not hold a candle to the impact that Bryant had upon the Aggies in his short 4-year stint in College Station.  A&M tried with a couple of Bryant protégé's in Stallings and Sherrill, but the hiring of Franchione from Alabama was a terrible fit with Aggie culture and attitudes, and we really wonder if the same is not true for Mike Sherman.  Coach Sherman has one big advantage over Franchione, in that he was an assistant coach at A&M for seven seasons, so he certainly understands the very unique demands of coaching football in College Station, but can a man raised in the suburbs of Boston really fit in and turnaround things at Texas A&M?  We have our doubts, but we are willing to give him, as is A&M we are confident, a few years to prove his mettle in not only one of the toughest conferences in college football, but also one of the toughest divisions in the game (Oklahoma Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Baylor).

 

Mike Sherman proved at Green Bay that he is a good/above average "pro" football coach, but he is not the type of coach we would have hired at Texas A&M.  The type of guy we would have gone after would have been in the mold of a Paul Bryant, who could lasso up all of the power of the Corps of Cadets and the Texas A&M fans and alumni and translate that power onto the football field.  We are not going to put out a list of coaches that we would have tried to hire after the firing of Franchione, but there are a half-a-dozen or so coaches that would have brought a lot different style of coaching and a very different style of energy to College Station, than what Mike Sherman showed up with.  Mike Sherman has a 8 year contract with Texas A&M and a great football coach at A&M would win at least 3 Big 12 Championships and play in the Big 12 Championship Game 4 or 5 times during 8 years in College Station.  Can Mike Sherman do that?  Can he go toe-to-toe with Bob Stoops, Mack Brown, Mike Leach, and now even Art Briles at Baylor and put A&M at the top of the Big 12 South?  If those questions cannot be answered with the absolute affirmative YES!, then Texas A&M has hired the  wrong head coach to lead their football team.

 

We certainly wish Mike Sherman, and the very good staff he has put together, the best of luck at A&M, and here is how we see the 2008 season playing out.

 

Coaches Hot Seat Bottom Line

We predict that Mike Sherman and Texas A&M will have a 5-7 record in 2008.  Mike Sherman faces a very tough slate in his first season with the Aggies, and we believe that A&M will struggle to get to a .500 record.  The season opens easy enough with Arkansas State at home, so the Aggies will be 1-0 after one game.  Week 2 is a very tough out-of-conference game with a trip to Albuquerque to play New Mexico.  The Lobos bounced back in 2007 with a 9-4 record, and we believe that UNM will have enough to beat the Aggies in this game.  After two games, A&M is 1-1.  In 2007, Texas A&M went to Miami and got embarrassed by the Hurricanes, and we believe that the '07 game will have an impact on this season's match-up between A&M and Miami.  The Aggie crowd will be fired up for this game, and the Aggies will send the Hurricanes back to Miami would a convincing loss.  After three games, A&M is 2-1.  In Week 4 the Corps of the Cadets meets The Corps as Army travels to Army to play A&M.  This will be an entertaining game off the field, but a solid beating on the field, as A&M sends Army back to West Point with a loss.  After four games, A&M is 3-1.  The Big 12 season begins in week 5 with a trip to Stillwater to play Oklahoma State.  OSU has been improving, if only slightly in the last couple of years, and the Cowboys will be ready this time around for A&M.  We see Oklahoma State getting a convincing win in this game, which would send the A&M record after five games to 3-2.  In week 6 Ron Prince brings his Kansas State team to College Station and the Aggie fans will be up to help get their Aggie football team back to .500 in the Big 12.  In a closer game than expected, we see A&M getting a win in this game, which would run the A&M record to 4-2 after six games.  In Week 7 the evil Red Raiders and Mike Leach come to town and this might turn into a very ugly game for the Aggies.  Texas Tech is loaded for bear in '08, and everyone knows how much the Red Raiders like beating the Aggies.  We see a big win for Tech in this game, which would take the A&M record to 4-3 after seven games.  Week 8 will be a surprisingly tough trip to Ames, Iowa to play Iowa State, and in a very close game we see the Cyclones getting the win in this game.  After eight games, A&M is 4-4.  Week 9 brings Dan Hawkins and Colorado to College Station and this will be another very close Big 12 game for the Aggies.  We see A&M pulling away in the 4th quarter to get the win over CU, which takes the A&M record to 5-4 after nine games.  In week 10 the mighty Oklahoma Sooners come to College Station, and they just might be on a run to an undefeated regular season record.  Mike Sherman and his staff will look across the field as the Sooners warm-up and think, "That is what we need to look like when we are warming up."  Oklahoma will play around with the Aggies for a couple of quarters, but will pull away in the 2nd half, which will send the A&M record to 5-5 after ten games.  Week 11 looks to be an interesting game as A&M travels to Waco to play Baylor.  Baylor hasn't beaten A&M since 2004, but this is not your momma's Baylor team anymore.  Art Briles is now heading the Baylor football program, and by week 11 he will have Baylor playing much better football than they played during the best days of the Guy Morriss era.  That Art Briles is now at Baylor is just another obstacle that has been put up in front of Sherman in his plans for the A&M football program, and it would not be a good sign if a first year coach at Baylor beat a first year coach at A&M, especially with A&M having 3 times the talent on their side of the field.  We see a very close game, with Baylor getting the win in the 4th quarter, which takes the A&M record to 5-6 after eleven games.  Week 12 is of course the year end battle against Texas, with this year's game being played in Austin.  Texas is another football program that A&M will be looking to match in the coming years, and there is just too much talent on the Longhorns side of the ball, and the home field advantage, for Texas to lose this game.  After the loss to Texas, A&M finishes the regular season with a record of 5-7.

 

In the last 5 football seasons, Texas A&M has a 32-29 (.525) record and Mike Sherman is not going to change attitudes or turnaround the Aggie football program in 1 season.  The important thing for Sherman is that he make continuous progress with the Aggie football program, and that year 2 be better than year 1.  There is enough talent at A&M right now to compete in and win 10 of the 12 games on the '08 schedule, and this is where very good coaching comes into play.  Can Mike Sherman have an immediate impact upon Texas A&M football or will it take a couple of years to get his system and players into place?  We think the latter.

 

2008 Coaches Hot Seat Prediction:       5-7

 

Will Mike Sherman be back for the 2009 season?      YES

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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