COLLEGE STATION -- Coach Jackie Sherrill joins us, and coach, the Aggies are officially in the SEC. How big of a day is this for this university?
Big. It's really hard for people to understand the whole levity of it. It's a bigger deal for the SEC than what people realize. It increased the SEC by 40 percent, television package. In other words if the television package is worth $100 million, which we hear it's probably going to be worth more than that, but now it's worth $140. So if you're Mike Slive you go to the negotiation table, you've got a lot to go with. But for A&M, and even the conference, you've got the largest, both Florida and A&M have 50,000, you're the most endowed. You're number 12 in the country, A&M is. Vanderbilt's number 23, and that's the closest anybody is and the rest of them are way down the list. Academically it's strong. For A&M, they are going to the front of the class. They're not going to the front of the class football wise, right now, but for all the other things for the school itself, and the biggest thing is you're no longer under the thumb of Texas.
Now you have coached the Aggies obviously and you've coached in the SEC, as an outsider looking in and knowing both sides of the coin what does A&M need to do to compete more in the conference championship realm?
Same thing that we've needed for the last ten years: we need speed. We need speed defensively. When you go back to the 80's, when you looked at A&M as one of the premeire defensive teams in the country. Period. You had Aaron Wallace, 4.4. You had John Roper, 4.5 with 4.3 speed. Everybody inside, Sammy O'Bryant ran a 4.7, 4.6. Then you had Sadler. You had Jay Muller and then you go on and on, we didn't have anybody up front that ran below a 4.9. And I'm talking about some big guys who weighed 280, 285. We don't have that kind of speed and have not. The difference when we're going into the SEC, everybody's got that speed. Even Mississippi State for the last two years have had a number one draft choice defensively. Defensive line. Talent wise, comparitively, they're probably down to the eighth or ninth team in the conference in talent. So you understand, it gives you an understanding, of what kind of talent. Your answer, a long way, is recruit, recruit speed.
A&M has always played, well, I say always, A&M has traditionally always played on Thanksgiving.
And they will, and that will probably be there and that's because it's driven by TV.
And the opponent will be?
I'm not official, so I can't, me I would say LSU. Now I said that on radio in Arkansas recently and they didn't like it.
Well I understand because the schedule has LSU and Arkansas playing.
You've got to understand, when you go behind closed doors, as AD's, and the conference TV package, even though you'd like that game to be there, if you could get LSU-A&M nationally, who are you gonna watch? A&M-LSU or Arkansas-LSU? And it's very simple.
Coach Sherrill I cannot thank you enough for your time, we appreciate it and we look forward to seeing you as the Aggies get ready to start in SEC.
Well, I do too. I appreciate being on but I'm excited. The think I like about where A&M is, you understand you have a challenge, but A&M's never backed down from a challenge. The old saying, "never been licked." We may lose a little battle we hadn't ever lost the war.