Chapter 77

Meanwhile, Texas A&M…

It wasn't like Uncle Charlie and Tiny weren't preparing their team for the upcoming January 2 game. After all, there had been a curfew, and there had been two workouts. But while the Colonels were taking things somewhat seriously, there was a totally different attitude in the other camp, the camp, literally, that Texas A&M was occupying on the campus of the University of Dallas.

The University of Dallas? What and where was that? While the name would seem to have designated some big, municipal institution, the University only dated back to 1910 when the Vincentian Fathers had appropriated that name for what they had formerly called Holy Trinity College, which they had founded a few years earlier.

The University of Dallas where the Texas A&M Aggies "camped" in preparation for the game with Centre

Aggie coach, D.X. Bible, had brought his team to the rather isolated campus so that they could concentrate on football. They had been holed up in dormitories for several days while the Colonels were traveling. Their day began after breakfast with a 2-hour skull session, and then exercise. After lunch and a period of rest, there was a 2-hour, full­ scrimmage session devoted to defense. Coach Bible had a good idea of what Centre's offensive schemes were like from talking to coaches around the country who had met Uncle Charlie's team on the gridiron.

In the modern era, teams obtain game films of their opponents, and scout other teams. For the Centre game, Bible contacted coaches, and it was part of the profession to extend the courtesy of cooperating if one was asked. After all, the coach providing help today may be the coach needing information tomorrow. Bible had provided insight to "Uncle Charlie" regarding the Arizona team which his Aggies had met earlier in the season. 

Texas A&M kept up the 2-a-day routine through December 31, drilling, drilling and then drilling some more. There were no temptations. The team was virtually locked up in the former Catholic seminary, and except for the Aggies attending the alumni-sponsored reception along with the Colonels during the evening of the 30th from which they also left early due to a curfew, it was-football, football, and more football.

The upcoming game was tremendously important to Texas A&M for several reasons.

The paper back in College Station had published  that story which stated: The  great respect that tradition has kept alive in the minds of Aggie athletes for Charlie Moran, because of his glorious work with athletes at the A&M college of Texas, will be to stimulate their stamina and provoke them to a superhuman use of their strength when they meet his Danville team of "Praying  Colonels" at the Dallas Fair Stadium on January 2.

Certainly, that was true. It was almost that Uncle Charlie was coaching against himself! He was so well respected and fondly remembered that it was imperative that A&M make the ultimate effort- to honor him!

It was, "We can't let Uncle Charlie down. We must beat him! Then he will know that we have absorbed and upheld his ideals and standards!"

Also, Texas A&M was looking for respect outside of the South and Southwest. It wasn't that the school didn't have a good program going. D.X. Bible had things really rolling. His first team, in 1917, set the tone at 8-0-0. He missed the next year due to flying in the Army Air Force in France, but then resumed his winning ways when he returned to the campus for the 1919 season.

               1917    8-0-0
               1918    6-1-0 ( Bible missed due to Army service. )
               1919    10-0-0
               1920    6-1-1
               1921     5-1-2 ( Prior to Centre game. )

The 35-3-3 record was impressive, especially when considering that the only losses were to Texas in 1918 and 1920 ( Texas was undefeated both years) and LSU in 1921 ( the Tigers were 6-1-1. ) The ties were with LSU in 1920 and with Rice and Texas in 1921.

Obviously the Aggies were no pushover. However, Texas A&M wanted to receive recognition outside of the area where they played. Other than the game with Arizona, nearly all of their games had been with teams in Texas, and nearby Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Centre had developed such a national following that a victory over the Colonels would be front page news in newspapers from coast and coast.

Both teams spent New Year's Day resting. The Colonels had been kept up late by the revelers welcoming 1922 in at the Adolphus.

There was no such distraction out on the secluded University of Dallas campus.