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History Repeating: The Texas A&M Game

NCAA Football: Kent State at Auburn Julie Bennett-USA TODAY Sports

Three and Oh and looking down the barrel of our October schedule. Auburn is in a pretty good place as it heads into its Toughest Test Since The Last Test® Saturday vs the Fightin’ Texas Aggies.

Full disclosure: I really don’t like the Aggies. I was told as a kid I wasn’t allowed to go to school there, because “we aren’t aggies in this house.” They’re weird, y’all. From the flat misery that is College Station to the Yell Leaders who are really just male cheerleaders dressed as house painters to the ROTC on steroids led by a dog and carrying swords—it is a strange place.

I need this win. In the words of my dearly departed Jarrett Stidham:

Stidham never lost to the Aggies, and that’s one reason I love him.

I need to know going into the game that everything is going to be alright. I need to be able to enjoy myself as I watch an Auburn win and not be worried we might lose or choke away a fumble in the fourth quarter like that one time.

Fire up the engines on the time machine. Throw caution and the inside zone to the wind! Pull the plug on the bathtub of linear time and plunge into the pitch black drain of doubt! Or let’s just find a thing that happened a long time ago and shoehorn it into a sports metaphor.

The Battle of Palikao

on September 21, 1860, Anglo-French forces fought the Qing dynasty at Palikao as part of the Second Opium War. The name “Second Opium War” makes this sound like the raddest war, or at least the second raddest war, ever fought. It wasn’t! In actuality, Britain and France were attempting to impose their will on China, which at the time was the world’s largest economy. The outcome of the second Opium war was a weaker China up which, arguably, led to the rise of the Japanese Empire and the War in the Pacific during WW2.

Anyway, the Battle of Palikao... British and French forces had been trying for two years to get to what is now Beijing. They decided to sail from Hong Kong upriver and were taking fort after fort along the way. They make it to Beijing, then the negotiators they sent to try to “open up” trade with China were captured so a negotiations obviously were over. The Anglo-British forces switched into battle mode and literally called in the cavalry.

They attacked the Chinese army, who was massive, from the front with the cavalry coming from the left, forcing the Chinese army to go over bridges . The Chinese army was annihilated. The allied army’s concentrated firepower was too much for them as they were forced into a weaker position.

The Auburn-Texas A&M Game

On September 21, 2019, Auburn travels to Texas A&M. Is Auburn supposed to be there at all? Arguably no. Texas A&M shouldn’t be in this conference and these two teams shouldn’t play outside of the Cotton Bowl. One thing you need to know about the Aggies is they have a ton of money and their stadium is HUGE. They will make sure you know both of those things within seconds of interacting with them, so don’t worry about bringing it up.

So, Auburn will be in a strange land taking on a massive enemy with tons of economic resources. Sound familiar?

Based on this careful study of the Battle of Palikao, I can only surmise the game will take place like this: Auburn will use its defense to attack the Aggies up front. This hopefully will make Texas A&M become a passing team and Kellen Mond will make mistakes. The cavalry, Auburn’s offense will have to put pressure on the Aggies by scoring Touchdowns in the early goings of this game. If they do, it will because Texas A&M falls victim to the firepower of Bo Nix, Seth Williams, and Anthony Schwartz.

Bingo Bango Bongo. If all this goes to plan then Auburn wins, Gus is named “count of Polikao,” and later he becomes Prime Minister of France.

Can’t wait.

Auburn 39

Aggy 31