After the buildup and letdown of last Saturday’s game against the Florida Gators, I honestly didn't have the drive to write anything about it. I thought about jerking my knee and letting out some frustration that night, but decided a night’s sleep would do me right. That one night turned into six, but hey, here I am.
I may have been 1,600 miles from Kyle Field, but I don’t remember an Aggie game draining me like that one did. I have witnessed my fair share of disappointing losses over the years, but none killed my buzz more than Saturday. Why?
We can spin the narrative any way we want – the potential we saw in Johnny Manziel, the strong effort turned in by the defensive front, the electric atmosphere – but at the end of the day, a loss is a loss, and the Florida loss largely resembled so many losses of the recent past.
I’m all for finding the silver linings in tough situations, and let’s not get too beaten down, because we all saw a few on Saturday. Based on one game, I’d say there is hope for a respectable season in 2012. A&M has the talent to compete against most teams in the SEC. They proved that on Saturday.
I was worried the Aggies would come out and lay an egg, and play right into the prophecies of A&M not being ready for the SEC. I was happy they didn’t. But why did this loss still sting so much?
After some thought, it’s the big picture that is eating at me: has a program this big, with this much potential, ever been so starved for a statement win?
Think about it. When was the last time the Aggies came out and really kicked ass from start to finish? When was the last time they actually surprised us?
They did once in 2010, beating a good Oklahoma team at home. (I don’t consider Nebraska a signature win – Taylor Martinez got hurt, and the final score was 9-6. Good win that was fun to witness, but not necessarily dominant.) They did once in 2007, sending Fran off to the badlands with a sound victory against Texas.
So in the last five years, the Aggies have a whopping TWO statement wins, where the offense and defense both played to their potential and delivered the fans with something to really get excited about.
A&M has had so many chances for so many more: against Arkansas and Oklahoma State the last three years, Texas the last two, and LSU in the 2010 Cotton Bowl. That’s nine incredible opportunities to show the nation just what this program is capable of, and ultimately nine major letdowns.
It’s not necessarily the losses themselves that irk me. It’s that I know this team can win these games. It has the talent, it has the coaches, and it has the fan support. It’s the wasted opportunities that hurt the most – when your team is capable of great things, but for some reason just can’t get it done.
Saturday against Florida was another opportunity for a statement win. The table was set. Win the game, and you’ve officially put the SEC on alert that you’re a team to really be reckoned with. Lose the game, and all of a sudden the climb just got significantly steeper.
The SMU game is a chance to take a step in the right direction. I’d like to see the Aggies come out and absolutely smoke the Mustangs on Saturday, and then take out some more frustration on South Carolina State the following week.
I’m tired of this program running in motion. I’m ready for them to take on a destructive mentality, to absolutely obliterate opponents. Do that these two weeks, and then make it happen against Arkansas on September 29th.
We need it.