Are the Texas A&M Aggies Playoff Bound?

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Photo by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
TJ McAloon @tjmcaloon
October 12, 2016

There’s one team that stands alone at the top of the Texas football mountain peering down at all of the inferior programs that inhibit the college landscape. That squad hails from College Station, the Texas A&M Aggies. Not only are they the best team, but they will be the only representation from the Lone Star State in the College Football Playoff.

Head Coach Kevin Sumlin has this team primed in a great position after their first six weeks of the season. Being undefeated is one thing. But, their quality of wins separate them from the other team without a blemish on their season, the Baylor Bears.

Sumlin came in to the season with a track record of not being able to win a big game against a ranked opponent. Over those victories three of them were against a Top-25 team.

Sumlin said after their thrilling win over conference mate Tennessee:

“Whether we lost or won, the season wasn’t over. Even if we win, people will be talking about the slide coming. That’s not who we are. We pay attention to what we are doing and not the narrative that everyone else is saying. This team goes about its business, not interested in talking about it, or drama. Just interested in winning games.” (Sports Day Dallas News)

“The Slide” as Sumlin said is expected to happen after their bye week when the Aggies travel to Tuscaloosa, AL to play the number one team in the country, Alabama. However, he has taken an underdog Texas A&M team in to Bryant-Denny Stadium and have left with a victory. That was in 2012 with Johnny Manziel.

That stunning upset has some parallels to that November afternoon in 2012. That year Alabama was coming in to that game having played back to back games against ranked teams. This season, unlike four years ago, the Crimson Tide’s schedule has them on the road before playing Texas A&M each week; instead of having a home game in the lead up.

After losing to Sumlin, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said that he felt his team was “out of gas in practice and that it failed to play with the consistent focus it has maintained much of the season.” (USA Today)

If the Aggies can get past Alabama their schedule becomes lighter as there is currently only one ranked opponent left; a home game against Number 12 Ole Miss. A win over Alabama, and Ole Miss opens the door to the SEC west division title, a spot in the SEC conference championship game, and a place as one of the four teams in the playoff.

The stars are aligning for Texas A&M. After exercising the demons of not being able to beat a ranked opponent, it is time for them to get over the hurdle of taking care of business at home against SEC opponents. Beating Tennessee proved that they have the makeup to defend their home turf later on against Ole Miss and LSU.

Which is why they will be playing in the semifinals while Baylor, TCU, Texas Tech, Texas and Houston will be home watching them.

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