MINERAL WELLS — If you watched Monday night’s fiasco of what was billed as college football’s BCS National Championship Game – “No. 2” Alabama’s 42-14 rout of “No. 1” Notre Dame – you may agree with what I have to say in this space.
In my humble opinion, the current best team in college football was not in Miami playing in what is also popularly called the “Mythical National Championship Game.”
As much as Alabama’s accomplishments of winning back-to-back MNCs should be respected – and they are a great football team with a top-notch coach – I still say they were not the best college football team in 2012.
With Oregon and Kansas State slipping and allowing Notre Dame to play the Crimson Tide, college football fans on Monday were cheated out of a better matchup.
Notre Dame also had a fine season, but obviously proved it was not worthy of playing for a national title, mythical or not.
In my opinion, the best team in college football in 2012 was the Texas A&M Aggies, a team that went to the hallowed and sacred grounds of Tuscaloosa and soundly defeated what was called the best team in college football – and maybe ever – by respected media types and coaches-turned-media-types.
Now before you start howling that I am an Aggie fan trying to stick up for “Old Army,” then you don’t know me very well.
I am a TCU guy, and if you don’t know, TCU folks throw compliments around about the Maroon and Burnt Orange about as easily as they throw man-hole covers.
In other words, I am giving credit where I think credit is due.
If you saw the game – and I did – you saw that Alabama had no answer for “Johnny Football,” Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
Manziel, a redshirt freshman, dashed and darted through the ‘Bama defense for almost 100 yards, and then torched the back-pedaling ‘Bama defensive backfield for 253 yards through the air, completing 24 of 31 passes.
And in a game that was reminiscent of Alabama’s embarrassing Sugar Bowl loss to Utah in 2009, the Aggies scored on their first three possessions for a quick – and stunning to Tide fans – 20-0 lead.
The Aggies also did a number on Alabama’s prideful running game, limiting the then No.1 Tide to 126 yards on the ground and its poorest yards-per-carry average of the season.
OK, a good way to strike down my argument might be to remind me that A&M had two losses, two narrow defeats early in the season to fellow SEC members Florida and LSU.
Even though the Aggies had not peaked, they still only lost those games by a combined 8 points, and led the Florida game at the half and trailed the Tigers by just two at the break in that contest.
But if you watched the Aggies play last week in the Cotton Bowl ... do I really need to say more?
If there was a college football playoff this year and the Aggies made that tournament, I feel there is not a team out there that could stop the Manziel Express.
A&M has two offensive tackles – Jake Matthews and Luke Joeckel – who are sure-fire, first-round NFL draft picks this spring, and a third, center Patrick Lewis, a three-year starter who should also be drafted.
Alabama can’t say the same, and neither can any other team this year in college football.
But the heck with stats and rankings and won-loss records. I think I made some clean arguments, but there is one test we all can do and it doesn’t require a screen full of statistics.
Do the “eye ball” test. After watching A&M go into Tuscaloosa not intimidated and coming away with a win in perhaps the toughest of environments for a college football road team, and seeing how they dismantled a good Oklahoma team in the Cotton Bowl, who could have beat them?
Again, my eyes don’t deceive me. If I had a vote in the final Associated Press poll (not binding to the BCS), I would vote Texas A&M as my No. 1 team.
Sorry, Alabama, but you had your chance in November.