HOUSTON – What a disaster. Texas A&M, previously ranked No. 4 in the College Football Playoff rankings, dropped to Kansas State in the Texas Bowl on Wednesday night.
The Aggies had an opportunity to put their past behind them, but failed to come up with key stops against Bill Snyder’s team. Despite having all the five-star prospects and top players all over the roster, the Aggies once again leave the college football season as a decidedly mediocre team.
Here’s where things went wrong:
Texas A&M blew into the game with a flawless 75-yard touchdown drive to open. For that one series, the Aggies looked like the No. 4 team in the nation and the real SEC contender they appeared to be early in the season. It took almost no time at all for that momentum to be squandered. Texas A&M had a punt on the next drive, but Trevor Knight threw a costly interception on the first play of the third drive. Kansas State used it to take a 13-7 lead a few drives later. Texas A&M managed to take a 14-13 lead, but the momentum was gone. Kansas State methodically moved against the defense, with a few big plays too.
This Texas A&M team was not who we thought they might be. The Aggies got to 6-0 for the first time under Sumlin this year. They even earned the No. 4 seed in an iteration of the College Football Playoff. However, this is just another underwhelming 8-5 team that Kevin Sumlin will have to explain to an impatient fan base.
What now? Trevor Knight had a great year at Texas A&M, but now the Aggies are trouble. Jake Hubenak will probably step in at quarterback next year, but he was unimpressive in his limited time this year. The Aggies went 1-2 in games where Hubenak played heavy minutes, including losses to both Mississippi schools. The Aggies will need to find a way to keep offensive continuity despite losing so many of their top weapons.
When the Texas A&M offense was humming, it was brilliant. The Aggies had four touchdown drives, all capped off by Trevor Knight. Those drives were for 90 yards and three of 75 yards after a touchback. However, things were awful on all other drives. The Aggies mustered just 17.5 yards per drive on non-scoring drives, with 63 coming on a final failed drive. Things have to be more consistent for Texas A&M to really have a shot at really being an elite team. This is unacceptable.
What it means
Texas A&M is in trouble. The Aggies have tried so hard to separate themselves from the Big 12 and move onto being an elite SEC program. However, when faced against the fourth best team in their old conference, Texas A&M fell short. Kevin Sumlin will likely enter 2017 as one of the coaches on the hottest seats in the SEC. At this point, it’s unclear where expectations should realistically be.