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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Alabama: A&M’s new rival

Up+and+Down
Photo by File
Up and Down

Texas A&M football has a new rival and its not in the state of Texas. 
Since joining the Southeastern Conference in 2012, the Aggies have already begun filling the history books with big-time wins on the road against top-tier SEC opponents. But none of them were more seismic or program-defining than when Johnny Manziel and the Aggies took down Nick Saban and big, bad No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 10, 2012. 
It was the day Manziel essentially won his Heisman. It catapulted the Aggies into the top-10, and they rode that momentum to finish the year with a stomping over former Big 12-foe Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. But most importantly, it gave A&M its SEC coming out party and provided proof that the Aggies can compete.
Alabama went on to win the national championship. The loss did not ultimately derail the Crimson Tide’s season, but a new rivalry was born that day in Tuscaloosa. 
The next year, the stakes were even higher. In a game hyped by the previous year’s drama, Manziel’s off-the-field issues and NCAA investigation, the eyes of all college football fans were on Kyle Field in 2013 for the then-dubbed “Game of the Century” between No. 6 A&M and No. 1 Alabama. It was Johnny Manziel vs. Nick Saban part two — except Saban got his revenge.
In an epic, high-scoring clash, A&M rallied from 21 down to get within seven on a 95-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans, which sent Kyle Field into hysteria. But Alabama did what it does best and closed the game out in the end. 
It finally came to a head in 2014. It was a year that began with A&M blowing out a then top-10 team South Carolina on the road. There was also the infamous Kenny “Trill” Heisman campaign, as he appeared to be picking up where Manziel had left off. The Aggies raced out to a 5-0 record before free falling through the last half of the season. It began with the loss at Mississippi State, but it accelerated in A&M’s return to Tuscaloosa, Ala. 
A&M got dominated in every phase, as they got shut out for the first time since 2003 in a 59-0 rout. It was the end of Kenny Hill, and from that point, the team underwent drastic changes as Kyle Allen became the starter and life started over for Aggie football.
Now, in 2015, the rivalry comes to a tipping point, as the Crimson Tide head to Kyle Field on Saturday afternoon for another top-10 showdown between the two programs. A win would potentially launch A&M into playoff contention and tied for first place in the SEC West. Without a doubt, it would be A&M’s biggest win at Kyle Field since beating Nebraska in 2010. 
Another chapter will be written in the short rivalry between the two. Regardless of the outcome, fans are in for a special game on Saturday. But one thing is certain as game time approaches — Alabama is A&M’s new rival. 
Andre Perrard is a sports management senior and a sports reporter for The Battalion.

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