If anyone had any doubt left about the bluff called Texas A&M, Alabama ended those with a crushing 59-0 win against the Aggies, rebounding from a rough couple of weeks and proving once again that they’re more than worthy to be considered among the candidates in the SEC to make the College Football playoffs.
Just a one point win over Arkansas, a loss to Ole Miss. Alabama had plenty to prove against the sliding Texas A&M, and they did exactly that. A humiliating result for the Aggies, who suddenly look like the team that simply can’t do anything without Johnny Manziel, losing for the third straight time and getting shut out for the first time since Kevin Sumlin took over. Their season isn’t over, but there’s really nothing substantial left to play for.
The problem right now for the Crimson Tide is their record – they have one loss, while Ole Miss and Mississippi State are undefeated. That will change by the time the season ends due to the Egg Bowl being played and Alabama still host the Bulldogs themselves, but they can’t afford to have any more slip ups. It was good to get a potential rival out of the way in a game that was nothing like the two epic games between the two teams in 2012 and 2013, when Manziel was the quarterback.
The hype over Kenny Hill is gone. One good game against South Carolina, another team that was poorly valued going into the season, doesn’t make for a breakout sensation. Texas A&M couldn’t move the ball, and although they had just one turnover, they finished with only 172 total yards, eight first downs and just 2-of-13 on third down, all lows during the Kevin Sumlin era. Hill failed to throw a touchdown for the first time this season, and he was sacked five times by the Tide’s defense.
Blake Sims didn’t need to be great, but still did a very good job with 268 passing yards and three touchdown passes. Amari Cooper was huge once again, catching 8 passes for 140 yards and a couple of touchdowns. T.J. Yeldon had a huge game as well with two rushing touchdowns and another one receiving, finishing with 159 yards from scrimmage on only 16 touches. Alabama finished a drive with points nine time (eight of them touchdowns) and still managed to punt the ball four times. They were playing against a team that was incapable of doing anything.
This was the fourth largest win ever for anyone over a ranked AP poll team at 59 points difference. The record belongs to Florida State with their 63-0 win over Maryland (#25 at the time) last season. This Alabama win is tied with three others from 2001 (Miami over Syracuse), 1988 (Florida State over South Carolina) and 1944 (Army over Notre Dame). They outgained the Aggies by 430 yards, and it was the fourth time this season they outgained its opponent by at least 425 yards.
So while Alabama, who will surely rise into the top 5 due to the losses Notre Dame and Baylor endured meaning we’ll have three teams from the SEC West in the top 5 which isn’t new (Alabama-LSU-Arkansas not too long ago), show that they have a playoff-worthy offense, Texas A&M continue their October slip, averaging only 17 points per game through the last three and averaging more than 200 yards less per game compared to the first five games of the season.