During the month of June, BON authors will memorialize the final days of the UT-A&M rivalry through a series of perspectives, as seen through The Eyes of Texas, to include essays, personal reflections and commemorations of significant note.
There once was a time when Dennis Franchione was considered one of the nation's up-and-coming young coaches. It was a time when Vince Young could only run and Reggie McNeal was the Heisman contender who had slayed #1 Oklahoma his freshman year rather than the guy who led the Aggies to a 77-0 shutout by Oklahoma the following year. You may not remember it, but it was also a time when people sometimes got their news and analysis from something called The Sporting News.
Matt Hayes was a writer there in the summer of 2005. He was paid to write and some time during that summer he came up with the idea to write the worst, most wrong preseason preview article since Carthiginian columnists predicted big things for the home team during the Third Punic War. You could call his article the Aggy of Sport Journalism.
The Horns were preseason #2 and most people who watched Young's 2005 Rose Bowl performance put him near the top of the preseason Heisman race. Maybe it was the way he led the Aggies to four losses in their final five games in 2004, but Matt Hayes saw big things to come for the Aggy signal caller.
You can read the article in its entirety here, but we've picked out our favorite tidbits after the jump:
First off, we have this gem:
Young is a Heisman Trophy favorite, but he's not the best quarterback in his conference. Or even in his division.
Then we've got:
Yet, with all of that, one thing stands clear: Young is style; McNeal is substance.
Crystal clear to me, but I'd like to hear from a football savant.
"No one in this conference scares you more than Reggie McNeal," says Iowa State coach Dan McCarney.
No wonder he has won nearly 40% of his games as a head coach! So, Matt, how would you sum up the comparison between Young and McNeal?
Anyone who has followed Texas quarterback Vince Young and Texas A&M quarterback Reggie McNeal knows there is no comparison. McNeal is a complete quarterback; Young is not. McNeal can make all the throws, and he can be dazzling and deflating when he scrambles away from pressure. Young is a tailback trapped in the body of a quarterback, the first guy you pick when choosing sides because God knows you don't want to tackle him.
In case you've forgotten, and we know you haven't, Vince Young would spend the four months following this article
- Becoming the first player to ever rush for 1,000 yards and throw for 3,000. Leading the NCAA in passing efficiency. Having a 500 yard rushing and passing performance against Oklahoma State. Winning Texas a Big 12 title. Winning Texas a national title.
Though Young's NFL career has had its, um, ups and downs, he has been to the Pro Bowl, took his team to the playoffs and won Rookie of the Year in 2006. Just as a reminder, how did Real Deal McNeal fare in 2005?
- Under 2,000 yards passing and 53.2% completion percentage. An overtime win over Baylor and a 28 point loss to Iowa State. A DNP in his final collegiate game against Texas.
But hey, at least McNeal almost made the Edmonton Eskimos in 2011. As we near the end of our association with Texas A&M, we salute Matt Hayes and the other crappy sportswriters of America. We truly will miss the hyperbolic, poorly formed opinion of national writers every summer playing up The Next Big Thing in Aggyville before The Next Big Thing in Aggyville takes a season-long nose dive .
Sadly it'll take a lot of crap to bet on the wrong horse this badly again though.