Plans for a “2016 No. 4 Team in the First College Football Playoff Rankings” banner are in the works and should be ready for its unveiling at Kyle Field in College Station for Texas A&M Aggies’ next home game.
Cheap (but just so much fun) shots at the Aggies aside, it’s a good time to be Kevin Sumlin and an Aggie. He’s not going to be fired, and in the first college football rankings his Aggies are No. 4.
The Aggies have four regular-season games remaining, only two of which they may lose - at home against Ole Miss on Nov. 12, and Nov. 24 against LSU.
LSU has won the last five meetings against A&M; the last time the Aggies defeated the Geauxs was 1995. But .... LSU will come to Kyle Field just five days after its game against Florida on Nov. 19, which had to be re-scheduled because of weather conditions.
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It is all set up for Texas A&M to be the first team from the great state a Texas to make the BCS Plus 2 (sometimes referred to as the College Football Playoff).
The must-watch reality TV show that is the College Football Playoff rankings starring a host of ESPN talking heads and Texas Tech athletic director Kirby Hocutt, who chairs the selection committee, continues its tradition of torturing fan bases by giving them the hope they will make the cut.
It would be wonderful for Texas if the Aggies are in but it is not set up for them to gain inclusion.
First it was TCU and Baylor that were kicked around in 2014 only to be rejected in the final minute, and now the Aggies are in line to be teased to the end. As it is set up today, the Aggies would have been better off to remain in the Big 12 for entry into the playoff than in the SEC.
There are five power conferences that can gain access to the four-team college football playoff money pit - Big 10, SEC, ACC, Pac 12; apparently the Big 12 still registers as a power conference. A second team from one conference, while never verbally ruled out by a selection committee member, has a much more difficult time than a conference champion to join the fun.
With the heavily cultivated bias that exists nationwide in favor of the SEC, the Aggies currently have the best chance of becoming the first No. 2 team from one league to reach the final four. But in order to pull this off means the selection committee will have to look at the faces of the people they know who are the leaders of, for example, the Pac 12 and Big 12 and justify their exclusion.
Hocutt has said the committee is open to accepting two teams from the same league. In theory, that sounds wonderful.
In practice the politics of telling the winner of the Pac 12 - in this case most likely No. 5 Washington - that the Huskies are out over a team that did not reach its conference title game is a stretch.
If the winner of the Pac 12, or any other league is undefeated and can’t get in, what’s the point?
Had the Aggies not (justifiably) shot the middle finger at Texas and remained in the Big 12 their path to a football Final Four would have been much easier. The league has so many junk teams the Aggies could have run it.
If the Aggies were in the Big 12, they would be first in the league and in a far more secure position in this playoff world.
Of course, an Aggie would rather die on 6th Street in Austin than admit going to the SEC was anything other than the best move. Because the recruiting is better, and the money is better. When was the last time a University gave an alum, or fans, some of that money?
The Aggies are in the SEC and there is no way to define this season as anything other than a success. They have but one loss and are in the discussion for a spot in the playoffs. To his credit, Sumlin got it together and he has a good team.
But as TCU and Baylor both discovered, A&M will remain a discussion team for the playoffs. Politics will eventually evict the Aggies from this discussion, but that does not mean they can’t raise a banner (sorry - that’s too much fun not to do).