THE SPIRIT OF AGGIELAND HAS LEFT THE BUILDING
By mark rogers
October 22, 2009
Let me start off this article by saying that, technically, I have no allegiance to any FBS school.
I graduated from ACU. My parents graduated from ACU. If I have any college football allegiance, it's to the Abilene Christian Wildcats.
That being said and to offer full disclosure...my in-laws (mother, father, brother) are just about the biggest UT fans on the planet.
Now that that's out of the way...
Texas A&M is absolutely terrible.
They blew out New Mexico and UAB and squeaked by Utah State at home in their first three games.
Heading into a Week 4 contest with Arkansas, the Aggies had the #1 ranked offense in the nation...just a tad misleading.
They got it handed to them at Cowboys Stadium by a pedestrian Arkansas team even after leading the game early 10-0.
Then they lost a close one to Oklahoma State in College Station thanks to 11 penalties by the Cowboys (or that one would have probably been a blow out).
Which brings us to the 62-14 loss at Kansas State on Saturday. Yes, Kansas State.
A team which barely beat UMass and lost to Louisiana-Lafayette. They also just lost to Texas Tech 66-14, and the Aggies play Tech in two days.
But it's not just this year. It's turned into a chronic problem.
Since the 1990 season, Texas A&M, which has long been perceived to be a solid football school, has won two (2) bowl games.
They are 2-10 since their win over BYU in 1990.
The two wins were against TCU (2001) and Michigan (1995).
Since the 1996 season (a span which has seen one Aggie bowl win), 94 different FBS teams have won at least one bowl game including Toledo, Rice, Florida International, Idaho, UNLV, Wyoming, Troy, North Texas and Bowling Green. That's pretty good company to be in.
The Aggies last AP Top 25 finish was in 1999. The last AP Top 10 finish? 1994. That's 15 years ago.
They're easily the fourth best team in the Big 12 South over the last ten years. And you could put up a great argument that only Baylor has been worse in the last five years.
It seems like I hear people (normally Aggie alum) asking, "what has happened to our great football program lately?"
I don't think that's the question to ask because A&M should not even be considered an all-time great program...not even close.
They've had some good years, but when you look at the body of work? They're 13-17 in bowl games (2-10 since 1991) , have won 1 national title (1939), 1 Big 12 Title (1998) and lost a lot of games against "inferior" opponents.
And I don't mean inferior on the football field. Lots of "inferior" teams have defeated A&M with less money, less talent, less national prominence and less tradition than A&M.
The Aggies have a good home-field advantage...but who really doesn't?
It seems like the state-wide (and even national) perception, is that A&M is a good program that is having some down years. But I think it's an average program that had some really good years.
I polled a bunch of different people and asked how many bowl games A&M has won since 1991. The average answer was around five. As I stated earlier, the correct answer is actually just two.
It's perplexing to me how they're regarded as a great (even good) program. Maybe it's just the tradition and the strength of the alumni. But they have traditionally NOT put a good product on the football field.
I'm not saying they haven't had great players or won some really big games, but anyone with money, talent and a fan base can do that.
To give you some more perspective, let's look at what Texas has done (remember my full-disclosure statement at the beginning). I only use Texas because they began playing football one year before A&M (1893) and are the Aggies' biggest rival on the field (even though they're not even Texas' biggest rival) and a big recruiting competitor.
UT has the second most wins in FBS history. They've won 25 bowl games including five in a row. Texas has won four national championships, two Big 12 Championships and won 25 SWC Titles.
That's a great program.
And there are about thirty other programs I could compare A&M with that would make them look average if not way below average.
I'm not hating on the Aggies...just stating some facts.
I'm sure I'll get some comments from Aggies about how I don't understand tradition or the Spirit of Aggieland...and I probably don't.
But I do understand records and accomplishments, and it just seems like the Spirit of Aggieland spent a little too much time practicing how to cheer and never learned how to play football.