Season Report Card: Texas A&M Aggies
The Aggies undoubtedly had one of the most explosive offenses in college football this season. When you have a combination like Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans, it's hard to not score a lot of points.
However, what held Texas A&M back from being national title contender was its inability to stop virtually anyone on defense.
Still, a 9-4 season is nothing to complain about. Manziel's final year as an Aggie was a memorable one performance-wise, and despite numerous other schools trying to pry him away, head coach Kevin Sumlin chose to stay in College Station.
Let's take a look back and the grade the Aggies on their 2013 campaign:
Very few perfect grades are handed out during report card season, but A&M's offense was nearly flawless at times. The Aggies averaged 44.2 points per game -- good for fifth in the nation -- and they only scored less than 40 twice. Manziel and Evans are surefire first round picks (surefire Top 15 picks to be more specific), so it's easy to see how this offense continually kept opposing defenses on their heels. The final two games of the season against LSU and Missouri were struggles, but the rest of the season and come from behind win over Duke in the bowl game more than made up for it.
The Texas A&M defense? Well, that's another story. The Aggies finished 111th in the country in total defense (out of 126 teams), and was downright terrible against the run and the pass all season long. While A&M will have its hands full in replacing what Manziel brought to the table on offense, fixing the defense may be an even bigger task. Sure, this was an inexperienced unit, and everyone knew that heading in. But, it still doesn't earn them a passing grade.
Well, since the offense was perfect and the defense was the opposite of perfect, we'll just put the coaching grade in the middle. It's no secret that Sumlin knows what he's doing on offense. However, the defense has to get better yesterday if this team wants to ever contend for an SEC or national title. Everyone made jokes this season about the high-scoring games in the SEC, and whether or not defense still mattered the way that it use to. It does. A&M competed in pretty much every game, but not finding a way to cure the defensive woes definitely hurt this team's potential success.
The SEC West was a beast this season. Alabama was Alabama, Auburn came from out of nowhere to play in the national championship, and even though LSU was down, it was still one of the better teams in the country. Despite all of that, you can't help but feel like the Aggies could have been a little better than they were. Of course, with a few different bounces, they could have knocked off both Bama and Auburn in College Station. Manziel's final run as an Aggie wasn't exceptional, but going 9-4 is certainly nothing to scoff at.
What are your thoughts on the state of Texas A&M football? Let us know by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow @FanIQ or myself on Twitter!