Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Texas A&M marks final true test for Crimson Tide

Unbelievable. Heart-stopping. Improbable. Incredible. Amazing. Any and all of these words provide a pretty clear picture of the type of game Alabama played against LSU Saturday.

It was one of those kinds of games that will live on for a long time, and, as it progressed, felt like it should have been the way the original “Game of the Century” ought to have been played. But I don’t have to tell you that – you more than likely saw that for yourself.

Regardless, Alabama is sitting pretty as the clear-cut favorite to be the Southeastern Conference West representative in the SEC Championship, and has just passed its biggest test of the season to do it.

Except, has it really?

This week, Alabama’s last true test of the season comes in the form of the Texas A&M Aggies. And, much like LSU, A&M has a lot of intangibles going for them in this game the Tide needs to be wary of.

For LSU, those intangibles were the fact they were playing a night game at home. They had an extra week off to prepare for the Tide, and they were still sore from Alabama’s drubbing in the national championship last year.

On the other side, A&M is facing Alabama a week after its most physical, emotionally-charged game of the season. The Aggies also want to prove they belong in the SEC, and what better way to do that by beating the biggest, toughest bully on the playground?

Their offense will also come into the game with confidence, not only from their own performance, in which they put up 38 points on Mississippi State, but because of what LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger did to the Alabama defense: He went 24-35 and 298 yards, an embarrassment for any defense, let alone Alabama’s.

Another factor that could play into the game is A&M’s Johnny Manziel, easily the most prolific threat in the SEC, and certainly a more dangerous offensive opponent than the Tide has faced all season.

Manziel’s style of play doesn’t really seem to fit in the SEC. He’s run for nearly 1,000 yards and 15 touchdowns but has also thrown for over 2,500 yards and 16 touchdowns to only six interceptions. More than anything, he looks like he needs to be in Eugene, Ore., helping the Ducks with their ridiculously fast-paced offense.

I know Mettenberger had an extra week to prepare for the Tide defense, but after seeing how well he played against the Tide’s vaunted defense, you can only wonder what kind of impact a guy like Manziel could have.

Am I saying Alabama should be worried? No. They’re still the most talented team in the nation. That hasn’t changed. But the spot they find themselves in is a precarious one, and they can’t afford to be caught up in their own hype with a dangerous opponent like A&M coming into town.

Alabama hasn’t done anything yet so far this season, and nothing’s guaranteed unless they keep winning. That’s the kind of attitude Alabama has to take into Saturday’s game to be successful, or otherwise there might be another unbelievable, heart-stopping, improbable, incredible, amazing game to talk about after Saturday.


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