"I didn't come to Alabama to win 10 games a year and be a contender. I came here to win championships. Conference championships and national championships. I love it here because that's just not what I want, but what this fanbase expects."
--Alabama Head Football Coach, Nick Saban
“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on it’s ability to climb a tree, it will spend it’s whole life believing it is stupid.” — Albert Einstein
A lot of people were predicting a pretty rough season...I think have played some pretty good ball.
And, Johnny Manzeil is one heckuva exciting player to watch....even more impressive when you consider he's a true freshman!
Johnny is too small to play NFL ball unless he grows 2 inches and adds on 25 lbs., even then he'd be small so my guess is he is at A&M for 4 years. But he will be a great college QB.
As for A&M now being in the SEC Elite, gotta tap the brakes on that one. However, as I said and thought with A&M going into the SEC...
A&M will win the SEC before Pig goes, and is well positioned to be a real threat to LSU and Bama on a consistant basis. As for the West division, I see Alabama and LSU continuing to fight for top honors, with A&M running a close 2nd/3rd, but A&M will almost always be ahead of the Miss. schools, Pig, and Barn. Likely comparable to UGA and USC, still trailing Florida, above Tenn. and the rest. Barn can be good on ocassion, but I'd expect A&M to be more competitive than Aurbun on year-in year-out basis.
So, I wouldn't consider A&M SEC Elite, but I'd consider them the #1 candidate knocking on the door to join the elite club, and A&M will compete and win in the SEC at a better/higher level than the other 3 latest newcomers Pig, USC, and Missouri.
One big win doesn't make A&M elite (even though if A&M played Florida right now they would probably beat the Gators as it is not Manziels first game this time around).
Still think Bama will finish 12-1 as SEC Champions. Murray is not a good QB and UGA will struggle to score 20 points.
And, Johnny Manzeil is one heckuva exciting player to watch....even more impressive when you consider he's a true freshman![/QUOTE]
Not that it matters a great deal but he's a redshirt freshman. Still exciting to watch (frustrating Saturday) but he won't play QB at the next level IMO. Could be a reciever - kick/punt returner with a bit more muscle weight. I guarantee he's not 6' and 200 lbs. though. More like 5-8/5-9 at 185-190 maybe.
As long as we beat Auburn, Texas A&M will finish third in the SEC West (Tied for second with LSU, but LSU beat them). Then again, LSU may lose again and put Texas A&M in second in the West. I don't think that makes them elite unless they hammer out a few ten win seasons in a row. They are certainly playing well right now, and they have a chance to finish with eleven wins on the season if they win their bowl game. That's pretty dang good, but I agree with others who say it has to be done for a few years to be considered elite.
Whether they are ever considered 'elite' or not, I have decided I officially hate the Aggies. I will always hate them. If we beat them every time for the next fifty years, it will never be enough to make up for what they did to my soul (and our team's season) last Saturday.
"I don't like to lose. I don't expect to lose." - Nick Saban
Is South Carolina "elite" because they beat Bama in 2010?
They lost two of their three big SEC games. Not 'elite' yet.
TAMU is not one of the elite today. They are positioned to consistently be factor so long as Manziel is at the helm. Using the platform of competitiveness Manziel provides them, they should be able to enhance their recruiting too. The biggest misnomer coming into the game last week was that TAMU didn't have the horses to hang with Alabama. I disagreed because all of their skill positions were high quality and their OL was great on the bookends (and solid enough on the interior). Defensively, they made up for deficiencies with aggression which is always a tough cookie when that team's offense can put you into a hole quick. They might not be top to bottom talented as Alabama, but their top 40 wasn't so far off Alabama's level they couldn't compete.
TAMU has a bit more growth to get to elite status. This season may be a flash in the pan - I doubt it but who knows - because they have a unique talent at QB paired with NFL quality OTs that are likely gone after this season. Sumlin might have just had the perfect mix this year and may never replicate it as successfully again. Again, I doubt it but look at Franchoine he looked great when coaching Tomlinson at TCU and inheriting an admittedly very talented Alabama squad. He never recaptured that glory again in his career. I've thought Sumlin was the next great up-and-comer and TAMU has the ability to be elite in the SEC, but one year isn't a trend. Auburn won a title in 2010 and it certainly didn't trend for consistent contention in the SEC.
4. South Carolina
5. Texas A & M
7. Miss St
8. Ole Miss
One thing that I think TAMU has at an advantage is that Sumlin coached under Sloccum and I think he believes in restoring the TAMU "Wrecking Crew" mentality on defense. I don't think they'll ever be an elite PPG defense because of the pace they play, but I think they will be a hard hitting defense that forces turnovers and QB hurries/sacks. I think we kinda saw that identity emerging last week.