January 16, 2007

March is when champions are made

It hasn't been pretty since No. 8 Texas A&M has entered Big 12 conference play. With a top 10 ranking, goals begin to reach the clouds and fans expect them to be reached regardless of the reality of the expectations.

But so far the Aggies have lived up to them, even if they've done so in ugly fashion in wins over Kansas State, Baylor and Colorado, the latter two on the road. But the bottom line is that those games have all been wins, which has given A&M its first ever 3-0 start since the Big 12 was formed prior to the 1996-97 season.

The Aggies never started 2-0 before this season. Last season was the first year A&M had ever won its conference opener. That's nine seasons of starting out winless in the Big 12. The last time A&M opened its conference schedule with a win was in 1995 in the Southwest Conference.

And that is just one reason why what has happened at A&M is so remarkable. It's a common story in Aggieland these days to hear about the turnaround. Head coach Billy Gillispie turned a winless conference team into a 21-win NIT quarterfinalist in one season, and then a NCAA second round team as a 12-seed in his second year.

But even more remarkable is how quickly things change within and around a program that once was dismal and now seems destined.

Within it, the affects have already been seen on the recruiting trail. Gillispie's first true class in which he was able to first recruit players as high school sophomores turned into arguably the best class to ever set foot on campus at A&M and earned top 20 honors.

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!