DOWN TO THE WIRE

No moral victories for the Aggies, but plenty was learned in loss to Crimson Tide

The Aggies are on a bye after losing to Alabama. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Going into Tuscaloosa last Saturday night, the Texas A&M Aggies were 24-point underdogs to the #1 ranked Alabama Crimson Tide. Much was made of this matchup in the preseason due to the fireworks between Head Coaches Jimbo Fisher and Nick Saban. Nick Saban accused Fisher of “buying” his #1 overall recruiting class, Jimbo went on to call Saban a, “narcissist.” The two teams were preseason top ten and expected to be undefeated going into week six. Unfortunately, the Aggies have not held up their end of the bargain, as the Ags had already dropped two games prior to Saturday night. Despite the considerable point spread and disappointing start for the Maroon and White, this game proved to be what the college football world hoped for.

From the opening kick, the Aggies came to play. More so on defense than offense to start, which has been a theme for the Ags all year. After a scoreless first quarter both the Tide and Aggies picked it up in the second, with Alabama striking first. A&M’s defense picked up the offense, forcing two fumbles and setting up the Ags in great field position. They were able to capitalize and went into halftime only trailing by three. This set up a spectacular second half which saw Texas A&M take Bama down to the final play of the game, only trailing by 4 points at the 2-yard line, with 3 seconds left on the clock. Jimbo Fisher and the Ags elected for a short pass at the goal line, which fell incomplete securing the Crimson Tides' win 24-20.

Jimbo Fisher would be the first one to tell you there is no such thing as a moral victory, however, if you're on that football team or a fan like me you find yourself asking, where has that been all season? If the Aggies play like they did this past Saturday in every game there's a good case to make for their record to be 5-1. The offense looked better, but still not great as they continued a streak of only scoring 2 offensive touchdowns against power five opponents. The defense was its usual self, forcing 4 turnovers and only allowing 24 points to the #1 team in the nation. If the Aggies could find a rhythm and find a way to show up with that intensity for the rest of the season, they could definitely salvage what has easily been the most disappointing season for Texas A&M since 2013.

At the end of the day, a 9-3 record in year 5 under Jimbo Fisher should not be acceptable. Every former student, donor, player and coach wants A&M to be a top-5 program in the nation, so 9-3 should not be acceptable. But in the context of what has already happened, that would be a hell of a coaching job by Fisher to take this young roster and have a chance to notch win number 10 in a decent bowl to cap off 2022. That would set up what many believe to be a make-or-break year in 2023, with an experienced, elite recruiting class leading the way, the Aggies definitely will be a preseason top-10 program. But in order to set that up, the Aggies need to take a moral victory from the Bama loss, play inspired and motivated the rest of the way and attempt to remain perfect in their remaining SEC schedule. With the Aggies hitting their bye week, now is a perfect time to heal up and prepare to make that run.

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