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Meineke Car Care Of Texas Bowl Preview

Rest In Peace: OL Joseph Villavisenscio, #67 for the Aggies. He died in a freak car accident after spending quality time visiting some children who really needed some cheering up just before Christmas. By all accounts he was a quality man who will be missed. Both the Aggies and the Wildcats will be wearing #67 stickers in his honor at the game. My condolences go to his family, friends, and teammates.


Texas A&M Aggies Make The Wildcats Underdogs (Again)

First, Northwestern did make it into a bowl - the Meineke Car Care Of Texas Bowl (MCCOT Bowl).

Second, Northwestern did *not* jump Ohio State in the bowl order - which I predicted.

Third, Northwestern *did* jump Purdue and Illinois - which I predicted.

Fourth, Northwestern *jumped* Penn State in the choices. I’m a bit surprised.

So, here’s where we are: instead of playing a 6-7 UCLA in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco (like Illinois is doing), we’re playing a 6-6 Texas A&M football team that was ranked in the preseason Top Ten. They are considered far better than their 6-6 record would indicate. Thus, the Wildcats are 10 point underdogs.

10 point underdogs might sound low considering the Aggies’ reputation. But their head coach got fired a few weeks ago, they have an interim coach who is headed elsewhere after the game, and the aforementioned tragedy.

Northwestern is sick of losing bowl games. Making it into a bowl game is no longer enough - the Wildcats must seal the deal.

Everyone is expecting an offensive performance by both teams. They both have high powered offenses and iffy defenses. To a large extent, the game will be decided by whose defense shows up just enough to trip the other side’s offense a few times.

Cue the scenarios:


The Good:

Both teams show up ready to play. On paper, the Aggies should win on sheer superior physical talent. But Northwestern has heart and really wants this badly. They also have the superior intellect. Sometimes football is more chess than checkers…

During the bowl break, the Wildcats install some trickerations. The Aggies are larger and little faster. But they aren’t smarter. Coach Fitz uses a trick play to perfection to get a quick seven. The Aggies respond with sheer force. The game stays close through the half, with the Wildcats taking a three point lead into the lockers.

Recall the trickerations I mentioned above.

The Wildcats fall behind in the third quarter. The Aggies get a four point lead. But the Northwestern defense remembers what they accomplished against Nebraska. Their heart carries them beyond their physical abilities. The offense gets the ball back and scores a couple of times, establishing a lead. The Aggies are once again stopped with a 3-and-out. The offense comes out and starts to grind out a long drive. They make very slow progress. But when it appears that NU will be halted, Coach Fitz pulls another rabbit out of the play hat. The lead is extended. The very next NU offensive series shows that there are yet more rabbits in the play hat.

Northwestern does something they haven’t done in a long time...they run up the score just a little bit. The killer instinct that has been missing is found with a vengeance. The final score: Wildcats 48 - Aggies 28. And the game was not as close as the score would imply. Monkey #63 is finally off the Wildcats’ backs and receives a permanent home in the Cats’ trophy case. The Northwestern faithful are delirious.


The Bad:

I’m cutting to the chase. ANY loss is BAD. There are no more “moral victories.”


The Probable:

Both teams show up ready to play. On paper, the Aggies should win on sheer superior physical talent. But Northwestern has heart and really wants this badly. They also have the superior intellect. Sometimes football is more chess than checkers…

During the bowl break, the Wildcats install a couple of trickerations. The Aggies are larger and little faster. But they aren’t smarter. Coach Fitz uses a trick play to perfection to get a quick seven. The Aggies respond with sheer force. The game stays close through the half, with the Wildcats taking a one point lead into the lockers.

Recall the trickerations I mentioned above.

The Wildcats fall behind in the third quarter. The Aggies get a six point lead. But the Northwestern defense remembers what they accomplished against Nebraska. Their heart carries them beyond their physical abilities. The offense gets the ball back and scores a couple of times, establishing a lead. The Aggies are once again stopped with a 3-and-out. The offense comes out and starts to grind out a long drive. They make very slow progress. But when it appears that NU will be halted, Coach Fitz pulls another rabbit out of the play hat. The lead is extended one more time.

Northwestern turns a little conservative, much to the consternation of the NU fans. But like the Nebraska game, they manage to hang on by sheer force of will. The final score: Wildcats 35 - Aggies 28. Monkey #63 is finally off the Wildcats’ backs and receives a permanent home in the Cats’ trophy case. The Northwestern faithful are delirious.

Let’s get the win!

Go Cats!

BJ Mitchell (Former NUMB Spirit Leader)
NUMBSpiritLeader@gmail.com
Twitter: @nuspiritleader.

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