The world, at least the maroon and white one we all live in, feels slightly off this morning doesn't it? Today was supposed to be the day we all looked back at last night's Texas A&M season opener. How did Johnny Manziel look in his debut? How did Kliff Kingsbury utilize Christine Michael and Trey Williams? Today was supposed to be the day that, with A&M's first game out of the way, Aggies everywhere could sit back, relax and enjoy the opening weekend of the season.
Kevin Sumlin no longer has a non-conference game before the curtain opens for SEC play.
But Hurricane Isaac, which at one point had caused almost half of the state of Louisiana to be without power, changed all of that. Instead of chatting it up about the opener, Aggies now have to sit back and watch the rest of the nation enjoy opening weekend.
Sure, you're going to enjoy it. Your plans for a full day of watching games on Saturday haven't changed. You're still going to put a little extra something in your coffee at eight tomorrow morning and think Notre Dame should play in Ireland every week. And as the sun sets Saturday you're still going to be with your friends, cold drink in hand, ready to see what Alabama's reloaded defense is going to look like this season. Like last season when A&M opened on Sunday, most of you are going to be happy that you get to sit back and enjoy the day, but not all of you.
In between yelling at your TV when the game inevitably starts to slip away from Navy and arguing with your friends over whether the third TV should be on Colorado and Colorado State or Iowa vs Northern Illinois at 2:30, in the back of your mind there will be that empty feeling. That pang of sadness when you remember that the season hasn't yet begun for the Aggies, and that A&M fans are completely alone on what should be a glorious opening weekend for college football.
However, the Aggies aren't completely alone. I'll admit it's unlikely that you know any Oregon State fans to commiserate with, but TCU's first game of the season was always scheduled for next weekend. Optimistic Aggie fans can look to Gary Patterson's words for encouragement as well. He told David Ubben of ESPN.com that there are some advantages to starting a week later.
"You get about three weeks to get in the routine academically before playing a ball game. If you’re a younger team, getting to study hall, getting your classes set, how you practice and get them into a routine of how things are going to go through the season," Patterson said. "Those are probably the biggest plusses."
A&M may not have the youth that the Frogs do, but with a new coaching staff and a freshman quarterback, another week of practice certainly can't hurt anything. The fears of many fans that starting linebacker Steven Jenkins, who was suspended for the Louisiana Tech game, would now miss the Florida game were put to rest this week as well. He and sophomore safety Howard Matthews will be playing.
“Neither guy was involved in our preparation for Louisiana Tech. That will remain the situation,” Sumlin said Wednesday. “A lot of things have changed since the storm. They will still be suspended for the Louisiana Tech game. That won’t change.”
And with another week to heal, it looks as though Cedric Ogbuehi should also be good to go for the Florida game as well. Though you'd like to have a game under your belt, there's something to be said for the fact that Florida will face an A&M team that is not only at full strength, but is mostly a mystery to the outside world.
So, while you woke up this morning with your usual coffee instead of that special hangover that only comes with the combination of Aggie football and Louisiana riverboat casinos like you expected, try to enjoy the weekend. When you watch your friends chest bumping or high fiving (do people still high five?), don't think to yourself "this should be me..." Think about this.
Next weekend, it's truly A&M versus everyone else. The multitudes of Longhorn fans and every other kind of fan in Texas expect A&M to fail, and they can't wait to see it. They know A&M's recent history against SEC teams, and they're already drafting their text messages in their heads for the aftermath of an imminent defeat.
But that game is now A&M's season opener. There's no more appetizer, no overture, no prologue to A&M's historic 2012 season. And perhaps that's the opening game that Texas A&M fans always really deserved. Because while next Saturday's tilt with Florida may not be the biggest game in Texas A&M history, it's definitely the biggest game for Texas A&M's future.