Texas A&M football: Aggies have plenty to play for vs. LSU
Now that the cupcakes have been digested, attentions turn to the 2021 regular-season dessert.
In what seems like a blink of an eye, the regular season is headed into its final week with some tasty matchups. It doesn’t seem possible, but on Saturday, Texas A&M will close its slate with a game at Tiger Stadium to face LSU.
Back when the Aggies were members of the Southwest Conference, this was one of the most heated rivalries in the South. The teams played every year from 1960-75, then picked up again in 1986 and played each year until the Aggies moved to the Big 12 in 1996. Of course, now that the 2 are in the same division of the same conference, they have played each year for the last 10.
Saturday will mark the 60th meeting between the rivals, with LSU holding a 34-22-3 edge. At Tiger Stadium, the series is a little more 1-sided, with the Tigers holding a 26-10-1 advantage. LSU has won the last 4 games in Baton Rouge, while Texas A&M will be looking to come away with a victory at Tiger Stadium for the first time since 1994.
Those numbers might be a little deceiving when you consider that from 1923-86, the teams played 27 of 29 games in this series at Baton Rouge. None were played in College Station. The teams met in Miami for the 1944 Orange Bowl faced off in Dallas in 1955.
The teams played at College Station in 1922 and didn’t return there until 1987. Maybe that’s because the Aggies were 3-0-1 vs. LSU at College Station in a series that started in 1899. LSU finally got its 1st victory on the Aggies’ home turf in that 1987 clash, a 17-3 decision.
But it’s back to Tiger Stadium on Saturday to wrap up the regular season.
The 8-3 Aggies are looking to win 9 games for the 3rd time in 4 years under head coach Jimbo Fisher, and they are hopeful for a 9th regular-season win for the first time since 2012.
A victory would solidify Texas A&M’s bid for one of the better bowl games. Obviously, it won’t be the Playoff invitation they had hoped for, but the Aggies can still be in line for a New Year’s Day game in Florida. Like most publications, we are projecting the Aggies to land in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando.
To do so, however, the Aggies must accomplish a feat they haven’t been able to this century: win at Tiger Stadium.
But breaking streaks this season is something the Aggies seem to have a knack for. They beat Auburn for the 1st time ever at College Station, 20-3 on Nov. 6. And their 41-38 victory over Alabama on Oct. 9 was the Aggies’ 1st over the Tide at College Station.
Exorcising those demons at Kyle Field could be the prelude to what might turn out to be a similar fate at Tiger Stadium. Though the Aggies have tasted victory on the bayou before, it has been on rare occasions, and it hasn’t been enjoyed in more than a quarter century.
Changing the culture is what Fisher has stressed since stepping onto campus. Another opportunity to strive toward that goal presents itself on Saturday. The Aggies will be attempting to defeat the Tigers for the 3rd time in 4 years. That hasn’t happened since they won 5 straight from 1991-95.
A victory would keep the momentum going into the postseason, as well as continuing the process that Fisher hopes eventually produces a championship for Texas A&M.