A top regarded quarterback. An upstart program taking on an established, traditional power. The traditional power is considered by some to be almost a bully, with its swagger, record of national championships, and high NFL draft choices.
You are sitting there thinking, "Minnich, why are you another jabbering voice, talking about Alabama @ Texas A&M?!?".
I am not talking about Alabama @ Texas A&M. I am talking about 1991, Houston @ Miami (FL).
I know I am showing my age here, but the build-up and hype to this coming Alabama @ Texas A&M game is reminding me so much about the early season game that brought Houston down to Miami to take on the mighty Hurricanes.
Considering how his NFL career flamed out, it seems improbable to remember that David Klingler was a highly-touted quarterback as he began his senior season at Houston. It seemed entirely likely that Klingler would be in contention for the Heisman Trophy, after the outstanding junior season he had completed.
Unlike Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, who seems to revel in being a college football bad boy, Klingler was more of a low-key individual. The bad boy, as I recall, was Houston's head coach at the time, John Jenkins.
Jenkins, with his run-n-shoot, or what he termed "a multiple adjusting passing offense", had managed to get under the skin of college coaches and fans by running up the score on teams during the 1990 season. For example, Houston whupped SMU, fresh off its death penalty phase, 95-21.
The reason I bring that up is because even though Miami (FL) had established itself as a program known for taunting, showboating, and all other aspects of the game that I despised, I recall actually wanting to see Houston thrashed by the Hurricanes. I recall watching the game with my college roommates as we were headed out to the bars on a Thursday night, enjoying how discombobulated the Houston passing attack was taken apart by the Hurricanes' ferocious defensive line.
Unlike Houston, Texas A&M is the home team; Alabama is the visiting team. Like I hoped in 1991, I am actually hoping the traditional bully shows the cocky wanna-be program it still has a lot to learn. As Yogi Berra said, it certainly seems as though "It's deja vu all over again.".