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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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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

It’s all part of the plan

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During A&M’s first two seasons in the SEC, the first opponent the Aggies faced in conference play went on to play in the Sugar Bowl.
In 2012, A&M lost by three points to Florida, who would finish 11-1 in the regular season. In 2013, the Crimson Tide barely survived Kyle Field 49-42 and would also make the trip to New Orleans after narrowly missing the SEC Championship game.
This year’s opener came in the form of the then-No. 9 South Carolina Gamecocks. Would that game follow in the same vein? The answer was emphatically “no.”
After the Aggies shocked the world by hanging half a hundred on legendary coach Steve Spurrier, they set themselves up for success in a big way. Oddly similar to the hallowed 2012 season, A&M’s schedule sets it up to make a run at a SEC Championship.
Despite what many considered a lackluster performance against Rice this past weekend, a letdown game couldn’t have come at a better time for the Aggies. After two dominant performances to start the season, the Owls offered a nice wake- up call for an A&M team that perhaps had begun to rest on its laurels a bit. Even still, it’s always nice to be disappointed in a four-touchdown victory.
However, the gradual step-up in competition from here on out, with the exception of the SMU game, favors A&M. Arkansas will serve as the Aggies’ second SEC game, just like 2012. While the Razorbacks are nowhere near the disaster they were when they last came to Kyle Field, A&M should still be a favorite to down the Hogs in Jerry World.
Then the Aggies travel to Starkville, Miss., to face Mississippi State on their turf. What was a quiz against Rice will quickly become an exam, as Dak Prescott and the Bulldogs will look to move the ball around and challenge A&M to defend the spread. Same song, different verse as the Ole Miss Rebels travel to Kyle Field the following weekend.
When A&M travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Oct. 18, there is a decent chance that the Aggies could be 7-0 and a hot pick to make the inaugural college football playoff. If your déjà vu alarm isn’t going off at least a little bit, you might want to check it.
While the Aggies caught many people off guard when Johnny Football ran amok across the southeast two years ago, people expect A&M to score plenty of points this time. I don’t think that will keep the Aggies from doing exactly that. Nick Saban couldn’t do it, and he had a whole year to plan for it.
Nevertheless, a lot of things have to happen for the Aggies and Tide to clash in a battle of undefeated SEC West titans. Alabama traveling to Oxford is no gimme, as A&M fans almost found out each of the last two years. Both of the Mississippi schools will be looking to exact revenge for the destruction Johnny Manziel heaped on them, and Arkansas played the Aggies tough last year.
However, if you were to ask me, “So you’re saying there’s a chance?” I’d be lying if I answered anything but yes.

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