Posted by Bryan Fischer
Have you heard? It's the opening week of the college football and that means the return of actual football. Yep, players between the lines, bone-jarring hits, 100-yard returns called back by flags and touchdowns galore.
Perhaps no coach is welcoming an actual game more than Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman, who has had to deal with the Aggies-to-the-SEC sideshow around his program for most of fall camp. Speaking on the Big 12 conference call on Monday however, he told reporters that the chatter about conference realignment isn't creeping into his players' minds.
"Those distractions only come if you allow them to become distractions," Sherman said. "They have not been a distraction for us because I told them a couple of times that things happen, we can only control what can control: how we prepare for this season. All that outside stuff, we let other people take care of that."
Entering his fourth year at the helm in College Station, Sherman did drop a bit of a hint as to where the program would be playing college football in the future though - in a roundabout way.
"We have a bunch of seniors on this team that will never play in that conference," he said. "They, at this point, could care less. They're concerned with winning this season."
Note that Sherman only mentioned seniors not playing in the SEC. It might be reading into his comments some but from all indications, the Aggies are as good as gone and their head coach is well aware of where his underclassmen will be playing next year. Still, it sounds as though the team is indeed focused more on running routes than running East.
"We've developed a mentality of where we just live in the present and don't worry about that stuff," Sherman added. "I don't think it's just coach-speak, if you talk to one of the players, they'll tell you the same thing. They're going to class today for the first time, they've got girlfriends, they have lives and they have football. Those distractions are made by people on the outside."
"When it's settled, it's settled. I'm not really worried about it. That whole schedule, in football years, is 10 years down the road. I'm not even concerned about it."
The A&M is ranked 8th in the country and will host SMU on September 4.