Texas A&M returned a Heisman winning Quarter Back in Johnny Manziel and he leads an offense that averages almost 50 points per game. They survived autograph gate and after the first month of the season are 4-1 and ranked 9th in the nation. There is no doubt the Aggies are a very good football team but when it comes to the national championship are they a contender or pretender?
Unlike like Georgia or Alabama the Aggies are not battle tested, Rice, Sam Houston State and SMU are cupcakes compared to the SEC and even Arkansas is in rebuild mode. Thus far the Aggies only real test has been week 3 against #1 Alabama and although that was quite a game they failed that evaluation.
The Aggies jumped out 14-0 at home on the #1 team in the nation, championship teams make sure they don’t blow that initial surge; they close the door and get the win especially at home. Rather the Aggies porous defense allowed 28 unanswered. Sure the A&M comeback, led by Manziel, was impressive, but if the Aggies had a stitch of defense and could have just held the Tide to a couple of field goals the Aggies would have won that game easily. The A&M offense is one of the most potent in the nation but as they learned on September 14th you can’t outscore everybody.
If you’re an Aggie fan we’re sure your thinking, wait what about Georgia they give up a ton of yards and points too! That’s true, but the Dawgs played 3 games against top 10 teams and won the shootout twice. The Aggies have given up yards and points freely to the likes of SMU and Sam Houston State, BIG DIFFERENCE.
Looking forward the other thing that hurts the Aggies is their schedule. They’ve already lost to Alabama, meaning even if the Tide lose down the road they still have the tie breaker against A&M. The Aggies also still have to travel to Baton Rouge to face #10 LSU in one of the most hostile environments in all of sports. It’s a long until November 23rd but as of right now you’d be hard pressed to pick the Aggies over the Tide especially with the game at Tiger Stadium.
Overall Status: Pretender
Based on their lack of defense against far inferior competition, the fact that they already do not control their own destiny (as do Alabama or Georgia) and their remaining schedule the Aggies will fall short of the SEC Title Game and therefore the National Championship Game. Like Georgia and LSU they will be in the pool for the second BCS slot that will almost certainly go to an SEC school. Who gets it depends on A) Who loses again, if at all and when. If the Aggies fall short of the BCS they are almost a lock for the Cotton Bowl for the second year in a row.
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