A&M Finishes Strong in First SEC Season
By Donovan Tennimon
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After opening the season with a loss to Florida, Texas A&M won 10 of its last 11 games.
It is safe to say that Texas A&M exceeded all expectations by going 10-2 and 6-2 in the SEC during its first year in the conference. What makes this achievement even more remarkable is that the Aggies did this with a new coaching staff and a redshirt freshman quarterback. The SEC is regarded as the best conference in college football mainly because of its wealth of dominating defenses. Texas A&M set new conference records for offense this season, and may have produced the school’s first Heisman Trophy winner since John David Crow back in the 1950s.
The Aggies easily led the SEC in scoring offense (averaging nearly 45 points a game) and total offense (averaging 552 yards per game). Quarterback Johnny Manziel is the main reason for the offensive productivity. He led his team in both rushing and passing, accumulating 1,181 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground, while completing 68% of his passes for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns. His total offensive production of 4,600 yards is a new SEC record, surpassing Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton. Manziel scored more touchdowns by himself (43) than seven teams in the SEC.
After opening the season with a loss to Florida, Texas A&M won 10 of its last 11 games. It is the Aggies' first 10-win season since 1998. The Aggies won games in a variety of ways. They blew-out some opponents like SMU, Arkansas, Auburn, and Mississippi State. They also found ways to win close games, as was the case on the road against Ole Miss and Alabama.
Texas A&M is ranked in the top 10 of every major poll, and its only two losses came to teams also ranked in the top 10. Both of Texas A&M’s losses were by five points or less and half of its wins came against teams heading to bowl games – SMU, Ole Miss, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, and Alabama. The Aggies went undefeated on the road with a record of 6-0 away from College Station.
While the dream of a BCS bowl is gone, the Aggies may get a chance to face an old rival in the Cotton Bowl. Rumor has it that Cotton Bowl officials would love to set-up a Texas-Texas A&M showdown. The Aggies would certainly be the favorites and would love to avenge last year’s close loss at home when the Longhorns walked away with a 27-25 victory. Manziel winning the Heisman Trophy and an 11-2 record with a win over hated rival Texas in the Cotton Bowl would be an incredible end to a remarkable season.