Texas A&M Bowl Projections Heading Into Week 13
COLLEGE STATION - Texas A&M had the chance to boost their resume "between the hedges" against No.4 ranked Georgia. Fan favorite and all-time scoring kicker Rodrigo Blankenship would hit all four field goals, ultimately leading to a 19-13 victory in favor of the Bulldogs.
The Aggies (7-4, 4-3 SEC) will still have a chance to play the upset role against No.1 LSU. Should they fail, they'll finish 7-5 on the year. Some would call it a lost season, but facing three No.1 opponents and five top 10 ranked teams is no easy task. Now, A&M should plan for improving for the future.
A 7-5 campaign isn't the kiss of death come bowl season. Thanks to the SEC slowly dismantling each other on a weekly basis, A&M still could finish in the top half of the standings. That would likely put them in a reliable spot come selection Sunday following the conference championships.
As it stands right now, the Aggies likely will be playing one of the early January outings as part of the non-New Year's Six Bowl schedules. Three bowl games will feature a school from the SEC, meaning A&M could be in the running to face a likely Big 10 opponent.
The question is which bowl would make the most sense?
Should A&M pull off the upset in Tigerland, the team would finish 8-4, making them a prime candidate to play in the Outback. One of the more favorable matchups of the non-New Year matchups, the Outback Bowl usually features teams who finished near the top of their rankings in conference play.
If the Aggies lose Saturday, the Gator Bowl and Citrus Bowl could be other options. The Citrus Bowl in Orlando usually features a team with a similar record, meaning both the Aggies or Auburn could land here. The Gator Bowl in Jacksonville shows a team who perhaps struggled early but finished the season on a higher note.
All four of Texas A&M's losses have come to top 10 ranked opponents. A loss to LSU would mean three of the five came against the top-ranked team in the country at kickoff. Matching the resumes of all four teams vying for those three spots, perhaps Auburn could make the case of receiving a better game. Outside of them, it would be hard to argue with the Aggies' placement come New Year's Day.
As for who they would face? That could take a few more weeks to decide. With Ohio State clinching the Big 10 East, Penn State likely would be a candidate for one of these matchups. Either Wisconsin or Minnesota probably would hold the second spot with the ladder potentially representing the conference in the Rose Bowl.
Iowa should be the last team in the mix with either an 8-4 or 9-3 record. The Hawkeyes are out of Big 10 contention but still could finish in the top half of the final rankings with a victory over Nebraska. They likely will play in one of these three games.
A&M's resume should push them into the conversation for a game after the New Year, but crazier things have occurred. Both the Texas Bowl and Liberty Bowl could be options depending on the score out in Baton Rouge.
A&M will be bowling once more, but the location and opponent could be a surprise to all. For now, it's anyone's guess where the Aggies will stand come Selection Sunday.