Aggies knocked down but not out after tough loss to Mississippi State
If you went by the reaction from social media, it would appear as though the sky is falling in College Station since No. 4 Texas A&M suffered a 35-28 upset loss at Mississippi State on Saturday. From “here we go again with late-season collapses” to the “Kevin Sumlin’s gotta go” crowd, the naysayers are out in full force.
It isn’t completely without merit since the Aggies were pretty bad on Saturday. It was a game that no doubt gave many Aggies fans cause to reminisce over the last couple of seasons, which after hopeful starts ended in abject failure.
— SportsDayDFW (@SportsDayDFW) November 5, 2016
Almost equally shocking, a day later came the news that the AP Poll dropped the Aggies just three spots, from seventh to 10th, after the stunning upset to a Bulldogs team that entered the game at 3-5 and near the bottom in the SEC West standings.
— Jason (@jason1040) November 6, 2016
Thank you Texas A&M and Mississippi State for making ridicule of the playoff committee very easy this week
— BUFFALO CHILL CODY (@edsbs) November 5, 2016
A&M loses to a terrible Mississippi State team and only drops three spots in the AP Poll. Still Top-10. Lol.
— Tyler Horka (@TexasTy95) November 6, 2016
Granted the only poll that counts is the College Football Playoff rankings that come out on Tuesday, and the Aggies will likely tumble much harder in it, but all is not lost in College Station.
At 7-2, the Aggies may not be a Playoff-worthy team, but they remain very much in the hunt for a major bowl. CBSSports.com still projects Texas A&M to go to the Sugar Bowl while 247Sports has the Aggies playing in the Citrus Bowl.
So there is still a lot to play for, and those calling from Sumlin’s head are being a bit overdramatic.
Now, if injuries to QB Trevor Knight and DE Myles Garrett — the cornerstones of each side of the football for Texas A&M — prove to be severe, there could very well be reason for concern.
Knight injured his right throwing shoulder diving for the end zone late in the first quarter on Saturday. He played very sparingly in the second quarter and reinjured the shoulder during that period before watching the rest of the game from the sidelines over the final two quarters with his shoulder in a sling.
More will be learned about his availability later in the week. The same for Garrett, who has been nursing a left ankle injury suffered on a low block by Arkansas’ Dan Skipper.
If those two stalwarts miss significant time, then there’s concern. Garrett has already missed two games and was used sparingly on Saturday, and the defense suffered greatly as a result .
Looking ahead, the Aggies have a real chance at bouncing back. They’ll be heavily favored in Saturday’s game at Kyle Field against an Ole Miss team that lost QB Chad Kelly for the remainder of the season with a knee injury.
A victory over a wounded and already slumping Rebels team that has lost three of its last four and struggled against Georgia Southern last week could give the Aggies a much-needed shot in the arm and a little momentum heading into the season finales against Texas-San Antonio and LSU.
College Station will be home to all of those final three games, and Texas A&M will be hoping to find salvation there.