The Texas A&M Aggies defeated top-ranked Alabama on Saturday, recording a monumental win for a program in its first season with head coach Kevin Sumlin and its new conference, the SEC. The victory snaps a 13-game win streak for the Crimson Tide and likely eliminated them from the national title race. It also gives the Aggies, now 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the SEC, an (extremely unlikely) opportunity to win the SEC West in the event of an Alabama Iron Bowl loss in two weeks.
First off, let's give Kevin Sumlin his due. Ten years ago yesterday, Kevin Sumlin guided the Texas A&M offense to a win against #1 Oklahoma at Kyle Field. Tonight, he led the Aggies to win against #1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa against Satan himself, Nick Saban. What can't the man do? He and his coaching staff has taken a team that was 7-6 last season in the Big 12 and missing their NFL Top 10 Draft Pick quarterback and all-time leading receiver. He was bringing in a new Air Raid offensive system to which the Aggie players weren't recruited for. And while it might have been okay in the Big 12, his squad would play their first season in the SEC, a league in which they should win but 5 games.
Special praise was reserved for the Aggies' senior class, which was not recruited to play in Sumlin's system but has adapted well, allowing A&M to rise to fourth in the nation in scoring offense:
These seniors weren't recruited to play for Kevin Sumlin. They weren't recruited to play in the Air Raid or Mark Snyder's 4-3 Under defense. And they weren't recruited to play in the SEC. They didn't have to buy into the coaches. They didn't have to care about this season.
But everyone was all-in from the get go. Every single person in the football department responded and stepped up. It wouldn't be easy, but when is it ever for Texas A&M? It takes one hell of a coach and staff to get players acclimated to not only a new scheme and new conference this early. But Kevin Damn Sumlin was the man for the job.
Texas A&M hosts Sam Houston State next week before closing their regular season against Missouri.