The Aggies handily took care of business against Auburn this weekend, 63-21, making Texas A&M bowl eligible in the month of October. I'll let Ben and Scott break down the devastation that A&M dealt on the field; instead I'd like to focus on this line: "Texas A&M is bowl eligible in the month of October".
Sidebar: There has been some confusion as of late about the whole 6 wins or 7 wins needed for the Aggies to be bowl eligible. The reason is that we play two FCS schools this year (South Carolina State and Sam Houston State) but you can only count one FCS win in your bowl eligibility count. A&M has wins over 5 FBS schools and 1 win over an FCS school already, thus we only needed 6 wins.
The last time A&M was bowl eligible this early in the season was October 20th, 2007 when Stephen McGee and Jorvorskie Lane combined for 297 rushing yards to defeat a Bill Callahan Nebraska, 36-14, in Lincoln.
Just for fun, I started looking over that year and a barrage of awesome story lines popped out at me. Coach Fran opened up the 2007 season with a 6-2 start. That looks good on the surface but that included a triple over-time win over Fresno State (see the Great Aggie Migration), a painful loss to Miami in a game Fran referred to as an "exhibition game", and the infamous secret newsletter scandal. It's quite interesting to think that one of our most successful starts to a season in the last decade was marred with so much controversy. Of course, the Aggies closed out the season losing 4 of their last 5 games and firing Fran moments after his only win the remainder of the season, a second straight victory over the Longhorns.
So in light of us being bowl eligible, let's take a look at our recent bowl selections. In my 7 years of experience as an Aggie, I've learned that there is one place A&M excels at: being selected in bowls above our skill level.
2006 - We jumped a 9-3 Texas team to get invited to the Holiday Bowl against Cal where this man ran for over 100 yards and 2 TDs in 2 and a half quarters to blow us out. Meanwhile, Texas cleaned house on a 6-6 Iowa team.
Sidebar: How did Marshawn Lynch get into Cal? That makes as much sense as my dog, Loki, cooking ME spaghetti.
2007 - In a year where Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas combined for an overall record of 45-9, the Aggies, now without a head coach, were just lucky to limp into a bowl game against Penn State. Add to that, the game turned out to be Joe Paterno's 500th career game, and the Aggies fell to a game-winning Penn State TD in the final 20 seconds of the game.
2008 - The season started with a home loss to Arkansas State... Yea, we didn't go bowling.
2009 - A&M, at 6-6, jumped an 8-4 Missouri to make it to the Independence Bowl where we took on a 7-5 Georgia. Good wholesome beat-down in the worst city on earth.
2010 - Aggies rode a 6 game win-streak to a 9-3 regular season and a matchup with LSU in the Cotton Bowl. Only problem is that there were four other Big 12 teams with better records (OSU, Nebraska, Mizzouri, and OU all had at least 10 regular season wins), but the Cotton bowl picked A&M because Aggies would fill the seats in Dallas. Aggies were wide-eyed and over matched in a game that got out of hand once the All-American, Von Miller, went down.
2011 - Finally we won a bowl game. Thank you Tim DeRuyter!
2012 Prediction? - Sorry guys, it's past my bedtime, but our good friends at Gigem247 have covered this brilliantly.