Blogging about college football by an Oklahoma Sooners fan.

Media leaves motivation in Sooners' stockings

Texas A&M Aggies

On Monday, Jordan Esco of Crimson and Cream Machine called his readers’ attention to a piece from Robert Cessna at the Bryan-College Station Eagle that attempts to... well, I’m not exactly sure.

I think the article is saying that while both teams in the Cotton Bowl may have the same record, Texas A&M’s version of 10-2 is clearly superior to the one sported by Oklahoma. I’m taking that from the headline and bits and pieces of the article, because it's far from clear to me.

Anyway – assuming I’m reading Cessna’s intentions correctly – they’d call this one “bulletin board material” back in the day. Whether or not Bob Stoops maintains a bulletin board in the OU locker room, though, I imagine the Sooners have picked up on the idea that Cessna’s opinion isn’t unique among the punditry.

A&M has rightfully received acclaim as one of the surprise teams of the 2012 season. It absolutely deserves plaudits for vastly exceeding expectations and scoring a monumental upset of Alabama in Bryant-Denney Stadium. The Aggies proved all of their doubters wrong and did so decisively. Yet, while outperforming expectations represents a notable achievement in and of itself, it strikes me that there’s an important line to be drawn between that and recognizing a team that “accomplished so much,” in the Cessna's words, this season.

A&M’s victory against Alabama represents the marquee win for any team in college football this year. Crimson Tide aside, however, A&M beat SMU, South Carolina State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi State, Sam Houston State and Missouri. The best win of that group is... Louisiana Tech? Ole Miss?

There were also the close losses to LSU and Florida, of course. Can’t bring those up without also noting that the Aggies nearly dropped the Tech and Ole Miss games, too, however.

I’d agree wholeheartedly with any claim that this is not one of Stoops’ better teams. I have plenty of concerns about this matchup for the Sooners. Most of them involve the Aggies’ big uglies manhandling OU’s defensive line and linebackers (when they’re actually on the field). Johnny Manziel is the kind of mobile, playmaking quarterback that has given OU fits. I worry about Landry Jones’ predictably unpredictable lapses behind center.

But A&M’s resume shouldn’t strike fear into any Sooners’ hearts. In fact, count on Stoops, who’s 11-2 in his career against the Aggies, using it to try to put a chip on his team’s shoulder.