Alabama’s 29-24 loss to Texas A&M drew several from outside the South. We’re giving you a sample of what they wrote:
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Hey, Texas A&M. The Southeastern Conference called. And bring your playbook.
You may have Johnny Football, the most exciting player in college football since RG took his III to the NFL, and you may have proved everyone wrong about your ability to compete in the toughest league in the game. But you also may have ended the SEC’s streak of six consecutive BCS championships.
To put it in terms you may understand in your part of Texas, they don’t cotton to that around here.
No. 15 Texas A&M stunned No. 1 Alabama 29-24, and the Aggies may have to rename themselves the Trojan Horses.
“You trying to make me the villain?” Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin asked. “Well, there’s 120 other teams that are happy. No one is going to ask me anymore if we deserve to be here.”
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The “Roll Tide” chants inside Bryant-Denny Stadium in the fourth quarter were loud enough to wake up Alabama football ghosts from Birmingham to Montgomery.
Surely Alabama was still going to win. Had to. It’s science. SEC normalcy. As expected as grown men in jerseys and jeans in the stands on Saturdays.
Down with eight minutes left, no problem. AJ McCarron would orchestrate The Drive, Part Deux and the Tide defense would get a stop. This is the monster Nick Saban had created, after all.
But Texas A&M had something stronger, a potent concoction that flipped college football’s most powerful league on its head for a day and left an elite defense wondering what the heck just happened.
Texas A&M 29, Alabama 24.
No huddle 1, Nick Saban 0.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – You could argue that Texas A&M has earned more important victories than it did Saturday in its 128 years of playing college football. That’s a lot of history.
Maybe some victories were more important during the Aggies’ undefeated seasons of 1917 or ’19 or ’27 or, certainly, of ’39, when they were undisputed national champions. Or maybe in 1957, when they were regaining national prominence with running back John David Crow becoming the university’s only Heisman Trophy winner. Or maybe you could even argue the 1999 victory over Texas was more important from an emotional standpoint, coming a few days after a tragic bonfire accident, with even the Longhorns band playing “Amazing Grace” to honor the 12 who died.
But you couldn’t argue it on Saturday.
Memorable play after memorable play came down to one play that will never be forgotten in Aggies lore, an interception by sophomore defensive back Deshazor Everett on fourth-and-goal from the Texas A&M 2-yard line with 1:36 remaining.
That preserved the Aggies’ 29-24 victory over Alabama, the nation’s No. 1 team, proving without question that Texas A&M is not out of its league in inarguably college football’s best league, the Southeastern Conference, and elevating a local legend into national prominence as quarterback Johnny “Football” Manziel, a mere freshman, scrambled onto the short list of Heisman candidates.
Even Paul “Bear” Bryant would have had to appreciate this game.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — In July, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin stood behind a lectern at a hotel about an hour’s drive from Bryant-Denny Stadium and tried to maintain his patience as reporter after reporter asked him how scared the Aggies were of diving into the shark tank of the SEC. OK, they didn’t ask quite so directly. But the line of questioning was consistent.
Do you have to make any adjustments going against the SEC defenses?
What is your assessment of playing in the SEC West this year, especially with this division producing the last three BCS national champions?
Even in the midst of you playing against Alabama, LSU, Arkansas, this is your first year in the SEC. What are your realistic expectations this season?
After Sumlin bearhugged his players Saturday to celebrate Texas A&M shocking top-ranked Alabama with a 29-24 win that will echo far beyond the SEC, he should have readdressed those questions. These would have been his answers had someone magically stripped him of the ability to use coachspeak.
The Eagle of College Station, Texas
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — A goal-line stand punctuated by Deshazor Everett’s interception gave 15th-ranked Texas A&M a 29-24 victory Saturday over top-ranked Alabama in one of the biggest wins in school history.
A&M, making its first trip to Bryant-Denny Stadium as a member of the Southeastern Conference, jumped to a 20-0 lead, but needed a goal-line stand to hold on as Alabama threatened to take the lead on a 54-yard reception by Kenny Bell to the A&M 6.
The Aggie defense stiffened, forcing a fourth-and-goal from the 2. Everett cut in front of the intended receiver for the interception and A&M was able to run out the final 96 seconds with the help of Alabama jumping offsides with A&M in punt formation punt with 40 seconds left.
The loss probably cost Alabama (9-1, 6-1) a chance to defend its national championship.
The New York Times
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — At some point Saturday, the glare was supposed to be too much for the Texas A&M Aggies, the new arrivals in the Southeastern Conference, who were not supposed to be ready for the ferociousness of this kind of SEC road game. It was Alabama’s top-rated defense against this phenomenon called Johnny Football, and surely the Aggies would compete for a quarter or two, and then go away once their redshirt freshman quarterback, Johnny Manziel, had his face mask shoved into the turf at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Manziel, a target throughout the second half for Alabama’s blitzing defense, did not crumble under a pile of anxiety before 101,821 frothing fans, and neither did the rest of his team. Instead he accounted for 345 yards rushing and passing, and the Texas A&M defense, shredded in the second half, made a goal-line stop with 1 minute 36 seconds to play as the 15th-ranked Aggies stunned No. 1 Alabama, 29-24.
Texas A&M improved to 8-2 over all and 5-2 in the SEC, and the only losses in its first season in the conference were by 3 points to Florida and by 5 to Louisiana State. All along this season, the Aggies were expected to be fodder for the rest of the SEC, but now they are the rude newcomers who might have ended the conference’s run of six straight national titles. Alabama (9-1, 6-1) got to the national title game with one loss last season, but this year the Crimson Tide will need considerable help, with Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame still unbeaten and the season winding down.