There are a ton of clichés in the world of sports. Some of the most common, if not the most played out, are “one game at a time”, “giving 110%”, the ever popular “practice makes perfect”, and “we left it all on the field”. I have a cliché however that is not quite as over used, or at least it is not one I hear uttered often. But this week it rings true. What cliché am I referring to? “Don’t let the same team beat you twice”.
Two teams in particular need to heed these words heading into their week eight matchups. The defending National Champion Miami Hurricanes, who had control of their own destiny before falling to the Auburn Tigers in week seven, and the Texas A&M Aggies who did everything but win their week seven matchup with the LSU Tigers.
Miami could have won the SEC but couldn’t get things going against Auburn. They fell behind early and despite a valiant effort to try and come from behind, Auburn was too strong on that night. So now Miami ends the regular season with a lot to play for and everything to lose. They can still win the SEC but they can no longer do it without help. To win consecutive conference titles they will need to hope the Tide Rolls…or at least squeaks out a win in the Iron Bowl. However, a win over in-state rival Florida State the Canes will still guarantee themselves a spot in the playoffs as the SEC number two. Now the Hurricanes need to “put the past behind them” and take care of business.
Over in Aggieland Texas A&M had their souls crushed by the “oldest play in the book”. After finding their way into the endzone to seemingly win the game, and the conference, a simple draw play to try and get the drive going got them all the way to the endzone 69 yards later. LSU had spoiled the party with one big play in a game of many. All is not lost for the Aggies, however, because unlike Miami they do still control their own destiny. A win over arch rival Texas put the Aggies in the playoffs as Big 12 Champions. Even with a loss A&M will back into the playoffs as the Big 12 number two.
The common theme here is that both squads had the chance to win their respective conferences last week. They could not. And dwelling on the past could cost both teams this week. My advice to both the Hurricanes and the Aggies, learn from your mistakes but forget everything else that happened in week seven. Going into big rivalry games with your heads hung because of the week before is going to get you snake bitten again. So let’s break out all the clichés. Take it one game at a time, give it 110%, and leave it all out on the field in week eight. But most importantly…don’t let the same team beat you twice. Get over it quickly and get the next one. The playoffs may depend on it.