Why Texas A&M should be voted #1 in the AP poll

If Alabama beats Notre Dame on Monday night, then Texas A&M should be voted number 1 in the AP poll next week. I know, I know. Nobody likes a split championship, especially if you’re an Alabama fan. Also, a two-loss team is a stretch for some voters. Nevertheless, I think A&M has made a powerful case for a number 1 ranking. Here’s why:

1. The Aggies beat the Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa. That ain’t easy, folks. But Johnny Football had the game of his life, and his team was clutch when it counted. They knocked off the number one team in college football, and it was impressive.

2. In addition to beating the #1 team in the nation, the Aggies also beat three other teams in the top 25 over the course of the season. Just tonight, they shellacked #11 Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. See video below.

4. The Aggies got better as the season progressed. I watched A&M’s first game against Florida. I was really interested to see how A&M would match up in the SEC. It was very clear to me in that game—and I said so at the time—that Manziel was special. Even though they lost, he was really impressive. As the season wore on, this freshman got better and smarter, and so did his team. And they kept winning. By the time they played Alabama in November, Manziel was at the top of his game, and they were peaking as a team. They are not the same team today that they were when they started the season. They are far better.

4. The Aggies’ two losses were to two highly rated SEC teams. Both games were squeakers. They lost to Florida (#24) by 3 points, and to LSU (#6) by 5 points. Even though they lost these games, they never got dominated. They were very close. If Florida and LSU would have played A&M in November, I think A&M would have won both games. A&M is at the top of their powers and would certainly beat both teams now.

5. Johnny Football.

6. Johnny Football.

7. Johnny Football. Is there any question that this is the best player in the country? I’m an LSU fan, but I love to watch A&M play because of him. He’s one of the most electrifying college football players I’ve ever seen. And he’s only a freshman! Which means that he’s going to be giving LSU fits for another three years. I’m not looking forward to that, but I am looking forward to some more Johnny Football in the SEC.

For all of these reasons, I think the AP voters should look really hard at giving Texas A&M the #1 ranking—if Alabama beats Notre Dame. I don’t think there’s a team in the country that could beat Texas A&M right now.


  • David Thomas

    The championship is for the WHOLE season. No team that lost to Florida, who just got plastered by, ahem, Louisville, deserves to be voted national champs, especially when they also lost to LSU who also managed to lose their bowl game.

    If ‘Bama beats ND (and here’s hoping they DON’T), ‘Bama is the champ. I would hear arguments for Oregon LONG before I’d hear the argument for A&M–as incredible as they ended things.

    Denny, I must say, this is likely the closest the two of us will ever get to alliance when it comes to who we are rooting for in a NC game.

  • Adam Cavalier

    In the words of brother Deion Sanders, “Com’n man!”

    This post is pretty hard to believe especially coming from a seasoned LSU fan! I know you remember the 2003 season when those media-darling, Hollywood surfer-boys from USC were voted #1 (actually, I think they tied in the AP with LSU) after beating Michigan in the Rose Bowl. It just shouldn’t happen. No crystal ball… No title…

    Also, if you don’t win your conference you shouldn’t even be considered in the national title picture (you should at the very least win your division!) [think of last year!].

  • Stephen Beck

    The offense surely got better as the season went on, but the season also included wins by 3 points over Ole Miss and 2 points over La Tech! They had two really good wins over Alabama and Oklahoma. If we’re going by points, then the defense gave up 28 points to FCS Sam Houston St (granted, SHSU is playing in the FCS Championship on Saturday, but it’s still FCS) and on the last game of the year, 29 to Missouri. The only SEC schools that gave up more to MIssouri were Kentucky and Tennessee! Also in November, TAMU beat Miss St who was ranked 15th at the time, but I believe the final 6 games (also the early Troy game) has shown who the Starkville Bulldogs really are. So to recap, your points:

    1. Beat Alabama
    2. Beat Oklahoma
    3. Squeaked by La Tech while they were ranked (it’d be interesting to have seen this game when it was scheduled in September before it got rained out)
    4. Good QB
    5. ?
    6. ?
    7. Profit!!

    Except for the loser of the title game, Oregon really does have the best argument for a #2 ranking. Alabama, UF, South Carolina had good out of conference wins, but with the collapse of the bottom half of the SEC this year, it was hard to trust most of the top 6 SEC teams actually being worth their rank – though I’m glad Georgia and TAMU got their bowl wins.

    • Denny Burk

      Don’t be hating on my alma mater LA Tech. They were ranked for several weeks in the BCS top 25 this season. They were no slouch of a team. That’s why A&M had their hands full when they played them!

    • adkind

      Consider that in the SHSU and Mizzou games they threw in second and third string players. Sumlin knew it was more important to protect his starters than embarass those teams.

  • twebb2

    Dr. Burk,

    Texas A&M should be voted #1 regardless of who wins on Monday. They’re the best team in the nation right now. Notre Dame hasn’t beaten anyone (except, of course, Oklahoma, who A&M dispatched with ease), and conventional wisdom holds that if ND played in the SEC, they wouldn’t even be a top 5 team in the _conference_.

    So, in my book, A&M should be voted #1 right now.

    BTW, I’m a Notre Dame fan.

    Peace, Tim Webb

    • David Thomas

      Tim, from one ND fan to another, a couple of items:

      1) At this point in the sport, the National Championship determines who had the championship /season/. Even if we grant for the sake of argument that A&M is the best team “right now,” it becomes moot when we consider this point. Once playoffs are introduced, that may get us closer to such a measure, but it’s not how that title is determined now–or ever, for that matter. A little thought will help us realize why this has been so with student athletes.

      2) To suggest that ND “hasn’t played anyone” is to equally insult Alabama, who has been determined to actually have a lighter schedule than ND. I am fairly incredulous that you fail to mention ND’s victory over Stanford, PAC-12 champ and team that took Oregon out of the title game.

      As an ND fan and grad, I am /very/ respectful of the SEC–just as I recognize the sky is blue. But let’s not pretend the SEC is /all/ there is. As noted, Florida, LSU, and Mississippi State all fell to “inferior” conferences.

      If Alabama, who beat LSU and Georgia (who beat Florida), wins Monday, then they are National Champs–ahead of Texas A&M who lost to LSU and Florida. /And/ they would have done something that no other team has been abvle to do this season: Beat Notre Dame. It’s pretty simple.

      • twebb2


        I still remember getting excited to watch the Irish play West Virginia after the 1988 season to win the national title. Even then, in an interview leading up to the game, Lou Holtz mentioned that neither the Irish nor the Mountaineers were the best team in the country at the end of the season: Florida State was. They had lost their first two games, then won out in amazing fashion. As I see it today, Texas A&M would beat Alabama again right now, and they would crush my beloved Irish.

        ND had the most difficult ranked schedule entering the season (as you no doubt know), but it didn’t turn out that way. Every week I heard “The Irish should lose this week” and when they one, “Oh, their opponent was overrated”. And yes, if you go back to after the Stanford game, that was the chorus, that Stanford was overrated. I live the in South, among many Sooner fans, and you should have heard it then.

        I did not insult Alabama… if anything, they’re virtually a dynasty. They get the benefit of the doubt because of how well they’ve played the last few years. Not to mention their talent – looking over the rosters, only two ND players would start on Alabama for sure (TE Eifert & LB Te’o). Maybe OT Zach Martin, maybe DE Stephon Tuitt, possibly OLB Prince Shembo or NT Louis Nix. That’s it. Alabama is flat out more talented across the board. Their coach, the best in the game, has had six weeks to gameplan. The reality is, they’re going to do the same thing that they did to LSU last year: it’ll be a shutout. I’m so bummed about this, I’m not even going to watch the game. 🙁

        Thank God it’s only a game. 🙂

        All of this, of course, is a backdrop for Dr. Burk planning to print up shirts that say, “LSU 24, NATIONAL CHAMPS [Texas A&M] 19”. 🙂

        Cheers, and go Irish, Tim Webb

  • tony wood

    You lose college football credibility when you make a post like this:) well this and rooting for LSU 🙂
    really though- 2 losses
    One of those to LSU, who you pointed out earlier in the season, was not living up to the hype.
    THe media would never split it and give it to another SEC team. They are suffering from SEC fatigue, listen to them. They might give it to a non SEC team just because they are sick of the SEC (and Bama).
    If it was anyone other than the Irish, I would be rooting for them(even though I’m an SEC guy, I’m sick of Bama). But I can’t root for the Irish.,

  • Char-La

    Ugh. Either the regular season counts for everybody or it doesn’t count for anybody. TAMU played 3 nationally relevant teams this year….& lost to 2 of them. I can think of several 1-loss teams that would love to get another shot at an opponent (Can you say Oregon’s OT FG miss vs. Stanford?). I’m no Alabama fan, but they managed to win what counted, to win when it counted, & will deserve to hold the crystal & the rankings if they beat the #1.

  • Robert Vaughn

    To me it seems there was no clearly dominant team this year. As I turned off the A&M/Oklahoma game last night (rooting for A&M but feeling sorry for Oklahoma), I thought that Notre Dame is probably glad that they are playing Alabama instead of the team that beat Alabama.

  • Bill Kaufmann

    Bill Kaufmann

    I watched the Cotton Bowl last night and I told my wife that it felt like I was watching the game on some kind of crack (though no personal experience with that implied)! As an Alabama fan I grew up on the Bear’s approach of steady 3 yards and a cloud of dust to methodically march down the field. I think those days are gone so I’m in need of re-calibration of watching college football.
    When the Tide wins on Monday night we will agree that they deserve the BCS Title. One thing I know for sure…come Tuesday Saban and the coaching staff will begin scheming Johnny Football. With A&M in the SEC West…they are now the team to beat in 2013.

  • John Thweatt

    I agree, but if we are going to stay in fantasy land let’s just give Auburn a mulligan for the year and go back to the last time they played Bama in T’town–they came back from 24 points and beat them…shoot let’s just award the National Championship to Auburn!
    By the way, regardless of who wins both team will claim another championship. Both seem to have a knack for claiming mythical championships!

  • kmostell

    From a Tide fan-Roll Tide-we proved who is the best team in the country. We beat the #1 team in a very lopsided game. Bama 13-1 A&M 11-2 enough said.

  • Greg Martin

    Alabama deserves the top spot. As far as Texas A&M’s season goes, the Aggies proved 4 things:
    (1) The SEC is a good fit for A&M. Most pundits outside of College Station criticized the Aggies’ move to the SEC before the season. They were demonstrably wrong.
    (2) The spread offense can work in a “big boy football” conference.
    (3) Playing an SEC schedule toughened up A&M in just 1 season, while their former Big12 foes like OU, Texas and Kansas State have grown soft.
    (4) Kevin Sumlin is one of the best head coaches in college football. Keep an eye on this guy. (And A&M needs to open the checkbook wide to keep him around for a long, long time.)

    Gig ’em Ags!

    Greg Martin
    Class of ’87

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