There’s optimism in Aggieland, question marks in Austin and a crowded trophy case in Tuscaloosa. Here’s a playlist of songs that relate to A&M, an old rival and the SEC.
You’ve Got a Friend in Jimbo by Reverend Horton Heat (2002): We start with perhaps the perfect song for what many Aggies believe to be the perfect coaching hire. The good reverend paints a loving portrait of the kind of friend everyone needs.
Lyrics: “When murky water stands in your above-ground pool / And some evil thing is living in your barn / When it’s 4 a.m. and you’re all alone / And no one really gives a golly gosh darn / … You’ve got a friend in Jimbo / You’ve got a friend in him / The biblical name for him is James / The nickname for James is Jim / The nickname for Jim is Jimbo / What very, very special things he'll do / Yeah, you've got a friend in Jimbo / If he's got a friend in you."
Getting Better by The Beatles (1967): Flash back, if you can allow yourself, to the UCLA nightmare last September, when the Aggies blew a 44-10 point lead in the third quarter and lost 45-44. There were plenty of fans who were “mad at my school” or “hiding me head in the sand.” And now?
Lyrics: “I’ve got to admit it’s getting better / A little better all the time (it can’t get no worse) / I have to admit it’s getting better / It’s getting better / Since you’ve been mine.”
Florida State fans
I Am a Rock by Simon and Garfunkel (1965): It’s not cool to mock Seminole supporters who felt abandoned by Fisher’s departure in December. Possible exception: those fans and pundits who puffed out their chests and scoffed at the notion that Fisher would even consider a move to Aggieland. Ridiculous! Ludicrous! Preposterous! And here we are!
Lyrics: “I’ve built walls / A fortress deep and mighty / That none may penetrate / I have no need of friendship / Friendship causes pain / It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain / I am a rock / I am an island / ... And a rock feels no pain / And an island never cries.”
Smells Like Nirvana by “Weird Al” Yankovic (1992): The LSU coach’s thick drawl — and “thick” may be a massive understatement — often turns his public addresses into audible adventures. (USA Today once ran this headline: “LSU coach Ed Orgeron gives perfect pregame speech and we can’t understand a word of it.”) It calls to mind The Kingsmen’s misinterpreted Louie Louie, and Weird Al’s marbles-in-my-mouth spoof of Nirvana.
Lyrics: “Now I’m mumblin’ and I’m screamin’ / And I don’t know what I’m singin’ / Crank the volume, ears are bleedin’ / I still don’t know what I’m singin’ / We’re so loud and incoherent / Boy this oughta bug your parents.”
Woo-Hah!! Got You All in Check by Busta Rhymes (1996): If coaches had walk-up music like in baseball and wrestling, this would be fantastic and unexpected accompaniment for Saban. The Alabama coach, fresh off his sixth national championship, has a resume that is worthy of Busta’s boasts.
Lyrics: “Wake up every morning, yo I must succeed / Nationwide ruckus make the world stampede / … When I step up in the place ay-yo I step correct / Woo-hah! I got you all in check / ... Throw your hands up in the air, and never disrespect / Woo-hah! I got you all in check.”
Furnace Fan by Robert Earl Keen (2003): Good luck to coach Sumlin in his new gig at Arizona. Despite the fact that things didn’t work out here, we’ll always have 2012. But Sumlin has gone from one hot seat to another — the scorch of the Aggieland microscope to the extreme temperature of every possible seat in Tucson. (It hit 112 there in July.)
Lyrics: “I understand why lizards live in sunny Arizona / Why people do and call it home I’ll never understand / It’s hotter than a furnace fan out in Arizona / 110 ain’t nothing when you live out there you see.”
Somebody to Love by Queen (1976): It was one of the more puzzling moments of the summer: At Big 12 Media Days, the Texas coach was asked how many “elite players” are on the roster who can be “difference makers” and win championships. Herman sat there for a full 10 seconds, which seemed like an hour, before finally starting an odd shrug of an answer: “Some.” Despite all the Herman Hype in Austin, the man needs some more. Can somebody, anybody help coach Herman?!?
Lyrics: “I work hard every day of my life / I work ‘til I ache my bones / At the end (at the end of the day) / I take home my hard-earned pay all on my own / I go down on my knees / And I start to pray / ’Til the tears run down from my eyes / Lord, somebody, ooh somebody / Can anybody find me somebody to love?”