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To begin with, I have to thank everyone for their well wishes to my mother. As more than a few people noted, this site is fueled by the community; special thanks to all for that family spirit. It is deeply appreciated.

The most exciting news over the last two days has to be Jamaal Charles' statement that he intends to return for his senior season. Though players usually say as much, up until they declare, it's always nice to hear nonetheless. Interestingly enough, I was asked on Monday during an appearance on CFB Weekly about whether I thought Charles would return next season. We also talked about Texas' BCS Bowl possibilities, the resiliency of this Longhorn team, and the mood in South Bend about Charlie Weis.

As T+1 approaches, the Longhorns certainly appear to be in the right mindset heading into the game. Jamaal Charles, Colt McCoy and Frank Okam are all talking about how uninspired the team was last season in a game that ended in a 12-7 loss for Texas, its first in seven years to A&M. That game immediately succeeded the disaster in Manhattan, so I'm more willing than usual to buy arguments that the team was deflated. At the same time, one would have thought Texas would be exceedingly prepared for the conference opener against Kansas State this year, but the 'Horns were under-prepared. So who knows? There certainly can't be any excuses if the Longhorns lose this time - not even on the road.

While we're talking player quotes, Colt McCoy did the right thing by not taking the Kellen Heard bait. Asked whether the Agro thug had hit him with a cheap shot last season, McCoy declined to acknowledge as much, noting that Heard was just competing for his team.

We know better.

Ah, one of my favorite parts of the year: Aggie jokes. My personal favorite:

Q: Did you hear about the skeleton they found in the basement of the Aggie dorm?
A: Yup. 1958 hide n' seek champion.

Finally, with another big week of college football, which teams should you be rooting for if you want Texas to earn a BCS bid? It depends which bowl you want Texas to have the best shot at, but most importantly, pull for Hawaii to drop to Nevada on Friday night (10:00 p.m., ESPN). A Rainbow Warrior berth in the BCS would decrease Texas' chances should they beat A&M a week from tomorrow.

Update [2007-11-15 10:28:43 by HornsFan]: Old Tex 29 points out that whether or not Hawaii gets an auto-bid probably won't affect the Big 12. As I think through it, he's right. The key is that a conference can't have more than two bids, so the real competition is between Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas for the second BCS spot. The conference champ will get an auto-bid, while one of the remaining three is likely to receive an at-large invitation. Two will be left out. For now, Texas is the odd team out, so if BCS Bowling is important to you as a fan, you really want OU, KU, and MU to trip up this weekend. If either KU or MU lost this Saturday, then won the following Saturday, then lost in the Big 12 Title Game, Texas would be in good shape with a win over A&M. Alternatively, Oklahoma could lose one of its next two, then lose in the Big 12 championship game, also leaving Texas in good position.

--PB--