Texas A&M-Commerce-21, Minnesota State Mankato-42…….Morning After Thoughts.

Going to do more than my typical 5 thoughts today. Just what is on my mind.

  1. Overall-We got beat by a better team yesterday, and congratulations to MSU-Makato on their season. I hope they win the National Championship. They have a great team and a great program. Did calls not go our way? Sure, but today we just ran into a team that was better than we were today, and there is no shame in losing to them. I really would have liked it better had some our players not engaged in the unsportsmanlike conduct and mouthing off. I excouriated Tarleton’s fan base for promoting their players to behave like that and I hope that we see that as something not to be proud about. I am also glad to say that even when MSU when up by 4 scores, we did not give up. We went down the field and scored and tried to onside it and did not give up. That is culture.
  2. Offense-Story of the year. Moved the ball between the 20’s and didn’t score when we got there. You lose games like that.
  3. Defense-Mankato did their jobs on offense better than we did ours on defense. They mixed some drives. Again, they were better than us today in that regard.
  4. Special Teams-A mixed bag. Some good, some not so good.
  5. Overall-A game we could have won, but made way too many mistakes to win. MSU was better at doing their jobs than we were at doing ours and when you play the caliber of a team like Mankato, you cannot turn the ball over and not make routine plays. They were better than us today in just about every facet of the game.
  6. Going forward-Despite today, we have a lot to be happy about this season. David Bailiff was obviously the right man for this job, and Tim McMurray is who got him here. The culture that was installed (or should I say, reinstalled) when Colby Carthel was here was taken and built upon by this staff looks like it is here to stay. David Bailiff wants to be here, and he wants to win a National title here. That is more than good enough for me.
  7. Ch-Ch-Changes-There are some things that this new crew has brought to the school and the Lion football experience. Having the players walk from the Football facility at Whitley Gym through the tailgating area and getting players to see their fans and families is something I really like.
  8. Culture-Today being the exception, our coaches seem to have coached some of the problematic elements of our team out. This year, we were far more disciplined and just tougher physically and mentally than in previous years. We blew out the teams we were supposed to blow out and knuckled up to the teams we knew would be challenges and still won. Goes too coaching.
  9. The Hawk-Next year, we will get to enjoy a brand new football facility that has new locker rooms and overall a Best in Class feel. Every year we see our stadium get the attention it needs and even though it has been massively improved in the past half decade, there are still things that need attention. That shows you how much disregard the previous administrations had for athletics and why so many programs fell to mediocrity before Ryan Ivey arrived in 2013 and Tim McMurray took over in 2015. When it comes to facilities, Tim knows what he is doing and I trust his judgement on what needs to be fixed and/or renovated and when.
  10. Next year-Everyone, be ready for this team next year. With the talent we have coming back along with the Freshman class coming in, be ready for a potential trip to McKinney. Next year, I expect us to raise the trophy in McKinney.
  11. The next few notes are things I want to see happen in Division II football writ large. First, Get instant replay. Today, and in our losses in to CSUP and Tarleton in the regular season, having instant replay is a must. We just have to have it.
  12. The reason we need instant replay is because the quality of officials in Division II is not good. Just because football is played on a smaller level here does not mean smaller level officials. The coaches, players, and fans deserve better than what we have gotten in the past. That being said, I believe that if instant replay becomes a thing, officiating will become better quality. Humans have error, cameras do not lie.
  13. Playoffs-It is long past time to scrap regional rankings. They are pointless and just a bad idea. Take the top 25 teams in the AFCA polls along with 3 at large bids (the three teams that are just outside the top 25) to give you your field of 28, and seed according to geography and then rank. Also, expand the Bowls and put some money into them. (By the way, Congrats to Eastern New Mexico, who won the Corsicana Heritage Bowl today).
  14. Finally, new rule, no more Lone Star conference schools with no football program. We have a strong conference across the board, but it is time to get at least 2-3 schools to get football programs. That does away with a lot of scheduling concerns and the inability to get quality D2 games in.
  15. It may not feel like it, but the it won’t be long until the Spring Game, but get out there and Support our Basketball teams, Track teams, Golf team, and our Softball team. There is a lot to be excited about in Commerce, America when it comes to sports.
  16. Finally, stay tuned…….The Lion Wire will be having a special announcement soon regarding our site and its continued growth.

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