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Playing Nice: Texas A&M

Former Aggie defensive lineman and BBQ extraordinaire Jay Arnold previews the regular season finale against Texas A&M

Chick-fil-A Bowl
Photographic proof that, actually, Texas A&M does know how to get to Atlanta...under Kevin Sumlin at least
Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Ah Thanksgiving, a wonderful time of year full of food and football.

Thanksgiving weekend also means it’s time for LSU-Texas A&M and speaking of food and football we’ve got maybe the best in the biz out there to preview this year’s game. Joining us this week is our friend and former Aggie defensive end Jay Arnold. Jay’s a great guy and has an excellent substack called Barbecue, Beats, and Bets where he talks ball, music, and shouts out BBQ spots around Texas. You can (and should!) subscribe to it here.

1. Look I want to be delicate here but what in the Sam Hill is going on in College Station, USA?

There are a lot of issues in College Station right now - The injury bug, stale play calling, a lot of youth, and locker room problems. Basically everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong and it’s resulted in a disastrous season.

2. It’s easy to laugh at Jimbo, I do it on a daily basis, but what’s the mood surrounding the 95 million dollar man? Any buyer’s remorse? And his buyout is too expensive to actually move on from...right?

I think there is definitely some buyer’s remorse, if not for the initial contract, definitely for the extension. I actually don’t think the buyout is too expensive mostly because A&M boosters are both impatient and frivolous but it would take back to back seasons of this magnitude of failure for them to decide to pursue other avenues.

3. A&M has been playing a ton of freshmen this season. Is that the silver lining heading into 2023? Take your lumps in ‘22 and then watch the kids take the leap and wreck shit in ‘23?

I think that’s the hope but there are just so many issues that go beyond just youth. We’ll see if Jimbo addresses them in the off-season. If not, the Aggies could be in for another rough year in 2023.

4. Last year LSU played spoiler for any New Year Six hopes Texas A&M had in the regular season finale; if A&M were to return the favor on Saturday, how would the Ags beat LSU?

I don’t see any realistic way Texas A&M defeats LSU. The Aggies biggest issues have been dual threat quarterbacks and protecting the passer. In Jayden Daniels and Harold Perkins - LSU have two players tailor made to take advantage of weaknesses that A&M has. Add in that Devon Achane is banged up and calling it an uphill battle would be an understatement. If the Aggies did miraculously spring the upset it would take a plethora of LSU turnovers and Conner Weigmann having a fantastic performance.

5. It’s Thanksgiving so say something nice about Texas

Austin is a lovely place to visit! I’ve had a lot of good times in the Texas capital and the barbecue over there is fantastic. Also, Bevo is kind of a cool mascot.

6. Give some barbecue recommendations in the College Station area for the Tiger fans out there making the trip

Within an hour there are some fantastic barbecue options - LJ’s in Brenham, Truth also in Brenham, Brett’s Backyard BBQ in Rockdale, Snow’s in Lexington, Fargo’s in Bryan, and 1775 Texas Pit BBQ in College Station are all worthy of stopping by. Can’t go wrong with any of them! Just make sure you check lines and waits before committing - particularly at Snow’s if you do decide to make that trip.