2013 Cotton Bowl: The 12th Man Quarterback Sees Must-Win Finale

So much negative history abounds leading up to the 2013 Cotton Bowl matchup between the Texas Aggies and the Oklahoma Sooners that it’s downright frightening. Let’s look at a few of the facts around which I’ve found it difficult to wrap my head.

Fact: The Aggies have won only 1 of their last 8 Cotton Bowls.

Fact: The Aggies have won only 1 of their last 10 season finales.

Fact: The Aggies have won only 6 of their last 25 season finales.

Fact: The Aggies have won only 4 of their last 20 season finales played inside the state of Texas.

Fact: The Aggies have won only 2 of the last 13 and 1 of their last 9 vs. the Oklahoma Sooners.

Fact: The Aggies have yet to win in Cowboys Stadium in 4 tries.

Fact: The Aggies didn’t have Number 2 quarterbacking or Kevin Sumlin head coaching in a single one of these above-mentioned games.

[Related >> Seven other Heisman winners have played in the Cotton Bowl, how have they fared?]

Is that all you’ve got? Then it’s time to push back in Aggieland. The key to continued failure boils down to one game, and this is it. Status quo has never built championships when you possess this kind of final-game legacy. Seniors hate leaving on a bad note and it doesn’t help morale. Look at Alabama: Tradition be damned, it’s time to redirect and refocus and bag this special quarry before the sun goes down.

Image courtesy David ‘Moon’ Walker

You have to leave the field with your heads held high and huge smiles on your faces. You need to look good on TV. You need to be brimming with confidence. All the Mommies and Daddies in high school land and the junior colleges need to feel the excitement with their stud kids watching along with them. You’ve got to come off the field a winner. You’re in the SEC now and you’re playing the rubber game for the conference, which is 3-3 in the bowls. Prove you’re better now than Florida or LSU could ever envision being.

This is your destiny.

2012 has been the year for the Aggies to turn over a new leaf, start fresh and eliminate old demons. They’ve even drawn up plans for renovation and expansion of Kyle Field; The sky really isthe limit!

Obviously the Aggies are way below the .500 mark as they head into yet another season finale and find themselves looking up from a deep well of muddy orange clay and green slime. It’s been quite ugly digging themselves further and further into the pit of no return. Needless to say, the Aggies have little reason to believe the upcoming set of results will differ from the previous.

But the one thing the Aggies would appear to have going for them is the magical season they have now in progress. Momentum has swung their way after a quarter of a century, and at this point at least, there seems to be no stopping them.

Coach Kevin Sumlin leads the Aggies to double-digit Wins in first season

Oklahoma’s defense is certainly susceptible, as it’s given up over 30 points in its last three games. A&M’s offense is certainly an explosion waiting to happen, methodical in its striking abilities, and continues to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Superman himself leads the show, and reporters will be allowed to probe and prod him immediately following the game, for the first time in his career, in attempts to get inside his head.

“What did you see out there, Johnny? What are you feeling? What was your primary point of attack? Did you ever expect to score 70 points and throw for 700 yards against this outstanding Oklahoma team? Will your entire offensive line return to protect you next year? How does it feel to hand Landry Jones his first bowl loss in four tries? Do you think Damontre Moore will go in the first round? When do you plan to go pro, Johnny? You’re already a third of the way there to tie Corey Pullig’s all-time leading win total as an Aggie QB … when do you expect to catch him? How are you and your girlfriend going to celebrate this record win tonight? Where will you go, by the way? Are y’all hooking up with Romo and Jerry later on? Will you be hosting Saturday Night Live anytime over the next few weeks? Do you remember Bill Murray? Can you win the Heisman again? How much did you miss Coach, uh, what’s his name, Johnny?”

[One star offensive lineman has already committed to playing in College Station in his senior year]

His legend grows, and as reporters continue to query the young man, his formula for success is finally presented. Johnny reveals that by articulating the letters and numbers of the formula, “3X2(9YZ)4A,” he is instilled with the power of super speed; speeds so fast he is even capable of flying for short distances (what once was referred to as a long jump, but now cubed).

This is when he becomes Johnny “Quick” Manziel. This formula envelops Johnny in an invisible aura that protects his body, helmet and uniform from friction. It grants the anti-gravity powers that enable Johnny to actually fly. That’s right, I didn’t stutter. To revert back to his normal state, Johnny whispers the counter-acting formula, “Z25Y(2AB)6.”

Although he says it’s still a work in progress, he hopes to have it perfected prior to the 2013 season following a few more trips to California to meet with his physics coach.

Fact: Johnny Manziel needs 278 yards running and passing to overtake Baylor’s Nick Florence for No. 1 in the Nation in Total Offense.

Fact: A&M needs over 800 yards to pass Baylor in total offense, but should easily finish in the Top 5 and be one of only four teams nationally to surpass 7,000 yards (currently sitting pretty with 6,628).

Fact: During this bowl season, the highest ranked offense has covered the spread in 68-percent of the games (17-8). Entering the Cotton Bowl matchup, Texas A&M’s offense ranks third in yards per game while Oklahoma ranks 10th. The Aggies are favored by three.

Fact: Both teams are perfect on the road this season and are riding five-game winning streaks.

Fact: The Sooners boast the Big 12’s top pass defense.

Edge: I’d be forgettin’ about the previous quarter century and the ‘Sooners Hex’ and go ahead and have yourself a big ol’ night in Big A, or Big D, or wherever you might end up. When in doubt, call a cab, but beat the hell outta Oklahoma first, even if it takes a game-winning field goal as time expires to do it.  We need this win, Taylor Bertolet. You can do it! We’ve even had a place kicker named MVP before in a bowl game; Tony Franklin in the ’77 Sun Bowl! No pressure!!

The next quarter century starts NOW, Ags! Own it!

And Go Gig Somebody!

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