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

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

The Battalion

Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M pitcher Evan Aschenbeck (53) reacts after throwing the final strike out during Texas A&M’s game against Mississippi State on Saturday, March 23, 2024, at Olsen Field. (Chris Swann/ The Battalion)
Down but not out
Neil Jhurani, Sports Writer • May 23, 2024

A warm, summer evening bestowed Hoover, Alabama on Wednesday night when the No. 4 Texas A&M Aggies faced the No. 15 Mississippi State Bulldogs...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Column: Swift Change

 
 

As I watched this magical 2012 Texas A&M football season unfold, I couldnt help but recall my first Aggie bowl game several years ago. A&M played Tennessee in the Cotton Bowl and I would witness my first live taste of SEC football. It was men against boys the Vols were comically bigger, faster and stronger than the helpless players on A&Ms sideline. The Aggies, quite frankly, didnt stand a chance.
A&M would lose 38-7. Rocky Top blared through the rafters as the Aggies somberly filed out of the stadium, 12th Man towels in hand. Yet somehow, despite the on-field misery, I was hooked. That day, I fell in love with college football.
Still, I was left to wonder: just when would A&M get to that level? Season after season the Aggies were mired in mediocrity, failing to get out of their own way. Bob Stoops Oklahoma teams and Mike Leachs Texas Tech teams among others ran circles around an underachieving program searching for a return to prominence and sense of identity.
Id always heard the stories of the old Wrecking Crew and, like all of us, witnessed the SECs rise to dominance from afar. I watched Les Miles pick up where Nick Saban left off at LSU. I watched Urban Meyer dominate at Florida. I watched Saban return to the SEC and wreak havoc with a potent smash-mouth formula at Alabama. Wouldnt it be great, I thought. If A&M could play like that against those teams.
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine A&M moving to the SEC before 2010, but when the prospect was on the table, the transition made too much sense not to happen. I, like many other Aggies, was devastated at the Universitys initial hesitation to join the League of Champions. When it finally happened, there was little doubt the potential for the A&M football program had skyrocketed enormously.
Enter head coach Kevin Sumlin, strength and conditioning coach Larry Jackson, defensive coordinator Mark Snyder, offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Johnny Manziel. Former head coach Mike Sherman left a winning foundation, but his final season would encapsulate A&Ms decade-long struggle of possessing the talent and resources for success without the results to show for it. Aggies could only hope Sumlin would keep A&M competitive in the vaunted SEC and maybe just maybe take the program to the next level.
Sumlin and Co., with the assistance of now-Heisman winner Manziel, answered the call in spades.
Who wouldve thought A&M would win 10 games in its first season in the SEC? Who wouldve thought the Aggies would march into the defending national champions own house and knock off No. 1 Alabama? Who wouldve thought the player leading the charge would be the first freshman to win the Heisman in the history of the award? Not many, but it happened.
Now looking back, its difficult not to appreciate what this 2012 Aggie football team accomplished against unlikely odds and a sea of doubters. The Aggie offense is blowing up scoreboards and setting records as the A&M defense surpasses all previous expectations. The Aggie coaching staff, meanwhile, now holds the recruiting cards in arguably the nations most talent-rich state.
Seven years ago, I could hardly fathom at the conclusion of A&Ms clash with the SECs most prominent program I would see the men in maroon leaving in victory. I wouldnt believe that instead of Yea Alabama trumpeting proudly in the distance, much like Rocky Top in 2005, I would hear a triumphant Aggie War Hymn. Id scoff at the notion that an Aggie redshirt freshmans name would be called as the winner of the Heisman Trophy.
My, have things changed. What a privilege it was to experience it.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *