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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

The intersection of Bizzell Street and College Avenue on Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.
Farmers fight Hurricane Beryl
Aggies across South Texas left reeling in wake of unexpectedly dangerous storm
J. M. Wise, News Reporter • July 20, 2024
Texas A&M LB Taurean York (21) speaks during the 2024 SEC Media Day at the Omni Hotel in Dallas, Texas on Thursday July 18, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
A&M predicted to finish ninth in SEC football media poll, three Aggies earn preseason honors
Luke White, Sports Editor • July 19, 2024

Texas A&M football is expected to finish in the middle of the pack in the conference this season, per the SEC football preseason media poll...

Bob Rogers, holding a special edition of The Battalion.
Lyle Lovett, other past students remember Bob Rogers
Shalina SabihJuly 15, 2024

In his various positions, Professor Emeritus Bob Rogers laid down the stepping stones that student journalists at Texas A&M walk today, carving...

Chancellor John Sharp during a Board of Regents meeting discussing the appointmet of interim dean Mark Welsh and discussion of a McElroy settlement on Sunday, July 30, 2023 in the Memorial Student Center.
Analysis: Chancellor Sharp’s retirement comes with new dilemmas
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • July 2, 2024

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp announced Monday he will be retiring on June 30, 2025.  A figure notorious in state politics,...

Word in the West: Division opponents have lots to say about A&M

SEC Media Days
SEC Media Days

HOOVER, Ala. – Texas A&M was the center of attention at SEC Media Days Wednesday afternoon, but discussions of the Aggies were heard all week by their Western Division foes.
Bielema, Arkansas pressing hard to beat the Aggies
Aside from Alabama, A&M is the only other SEC West team that Bret Bielema has yet to defeat during his tenure at Arkansas.
Two years ago at SEC Media Days, the Razorbacks’ head coach described their 2014 bowl win over both Arkansas’ and A&M’s long-time rival Texas ‘borderline erotic.’
Bielema stated Monday that a win over A&M couldn’t be described ‘much further than that.’
“That was in a small-group session and that was before I had a child, so I’ll just leave it all there,” Bielema recalled.
At last year’s SEC Media Days, Bielema said he told A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin ‘I might punch you’ after the Aggies’ overtime win in 2015.
The Razorbacks played a tight first half against A&M in 2016, but it was the Aggies who punched Arkansas in the second half in route to a 45-24 win, leaving Bielema still searching for that lucrative win.
“We’ve been so close,” Bielema said of the tight games against A&M. “Had a couple overtime games, things that we felt were going in the right way to have a change to get a victory over A&M.”
Arkansas gets a bye week before playing A&M in 2017 and Bielema was ecstatic that no Razorback opponent gets an off week before playing them.
“We have a bye week before we go play A&M in Jerry’s World at Cowboy Stadium,” Bielema said. “And the rest of our schedule lays out in a pretty good fashion.”
Orgeron thinks LSU’s Key could be as good as Myles Garrett
Myles Garrett gave the college football world a dazzling defender the last three years, but LSU head coach Ed Orgeron said he thinks the Tigers’ Arden Key has the potential to be as good as Garrett.
“There’s no question,” Orgeron said Monday of Key’s potential. “He’s a different player than Myles. I have recruited Myles. I have a lot respect for Myles. Garrett obviously is the number one player picked in the draft.  Can Arden reach that status and perhaps surpass it? Yes, he can.”
The 6-6, 255 pound linebacker/end set an LSU single-season record with 12 sacks in 2016 on his was to being named First Team All-SEC. Key, however, missed the A&M game after being suspended for a violation of team rules.
Mullen feels A&M has settled into the SEC
Dan Mullen and Mississippi State spoiled any special season for A&M last November, upsetting the No. 4 Aggies 35-28 in the first week of November.
That’s just how it goes in the Southeastern Conference and Mullen said he thinks after five years, the Aggies have acclimated to the sometimes tantalizing life in the league.
“You have seven teams that expect every single – every game you play, you go in expecting to win all seven teams that are on that side of the league,” Mullen said Tuesday of the SEC’s gauntlet. “I think they’ve adjusted really well in the league and bring a lot. I know they both bring a lot to the league with their style of play, the excitement, and obviously their fan bases.”
Mullen added that the Aggies have been a good fit for the league and have played well from the start.
“You go to the stadium, fix in, the passion the fans have, how they play, how Kevin’s built that program and how competitive they are in the West, which is a competitive league,” Mullen said.
Can anyone dethrone Alabama?
17 That’s the number of consecutive conference games Alabama has won.
Since A&M joined the SEC, only three teams have beaten the kings of the southeast, including the Aggies. Only one though has been able to win the entire division, Auburn in 2013, and the question remains: who can dethrone the Crimson Tide?
Alabama is comfortable in the position they’re in, as safety Minkah Fitzpatrick said they have a target on their back. The Tide in turn did show respect to their opponents vying to beat them.
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for a lot of teams in our league,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Wednesday. “LSU is very, very good. Ole Miss has beaten us a couple times in the last few years. Mississippi State has got a good quarterback coming back. Arkansas’s got a good quarterback coming back.  A&M’s always a very challenging team.”
Patterson priming for sophomore campaign
Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze made a bold decision to burn Shea Patterson’s redshirt when star quarterback Chad Kelly went down with an injury late last season.
In his first game as the Rebel’s starter, Patterson led Ole Miss to a 29-28 comeback win on the road against A&M.
Patterson and the Rebels fell in their final two games, however, but the three tough starts have given the sophomore signal-caller confidence going into 2017.
 “I look at it as an opportunity to do what I love. You don’t really know until you go out there and make that first play,” Patterson said. “Of course, in your head you’re like, ‘I can do this I can make this play,’ but once you go out there and make that first play it’s a reality for you. I think experience-wise, I learned a lot, getting out there in front of the crowds, getting the chemistry down with your teammates in a game situation. I think that will really benefit me going into this season.”
Stidham shaping into Auburn’s potential starter
A&M was in the mix to land quarterback Jarrett Stidham last year, but the Baylor-transfer found his way to Auburn and enrolled early with the Tigers in December.
The Aggies will now face Stidham, who could be the Tigers’ starter.
“Jarrett Stidham is a very talented young man,” Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said Thursday. “What he’s done since he’s been at Auburn, just his leadership. He’s really done a good job trying to win over his teammates and his work ethic.”
With dual-threat capabilities, Malzahn said he feels Stidham’s skill set will benefit him in the SEC.
“In our league, you have to escape. Things are going to break down,” Malzahn added. “The defensive lines are too good.  You have to have a quarterback that can escape pressure, keep his eyes down the field, know when to throw it, know when to run it, and protect the football and make good decisions.”

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