Texas A&M Football: Aggies Debut at No. 4 in College Football Playoff Rankings

Jan 9, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; General view of the college football playoff trophy during media day at Phoenix Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 9, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; General view of the college football playoff trophy during media day at Phoenix Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Texas A&M football fans were pleasantly surprised when the first 2016 College Football Playoff rankings were announced this week.

After nine weeks of college football there are just four remaining undefeated teams: Alabama, Michigan, Clemson, and Washington. There wasn’t supposed to be much of a surprise  when the top four sports of the college football playoff ranking were announced on Tuesday evening. And then the announcement came.

Texas A&M became the topic of conversation on the national stage as the committee put them into the field of four above an undefeated Washington Huskies team. The order of the three one-loss teams drew much of the debate from sport analysts around the country this week before the rankings were released.

Louisville, Ohio State, and Texas A&M were ranked 5th, 6th, and 7th in both the Associate Press Poll and the Amway Coaches Poll. Louisville lost to Clemson 42-36, Ohio State lost to Penn State 24-21, and Texas A&M fell to Alabama 33-14.

As things stand today, the narrative remains the four undefeated teams likely control their own destiny. If they all win out, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that those four schools would make it to the playoff.

The odds of all remaining perfect? Unlikely. If just one of those teams falters the door would remain open for the Aggies. Texas A&M’s only loss came to the number one team in the nation on the road. That puts the maroon and white in playoff contention, regardless of how the final resumes might play out.

The Big 12’s highest ranked team, Oklahoma, checks in at No. 14. Barring the utter collapse of a dozen of the nation’s top programs, it would appear that the Big 12 is out of playoff contention following Halloween weekend. Oklahoma looks primed to win the conference, but their two non-conference losses (Houston and Ohio State) will probably keep them from a playoff berth.

All told, five SEC schools made the cut. Alabama checked in at number one, followed by the Aggies at four, then No. 9 Auburn, No. 11 Florida, and No. 13 LSU.  The SEC, ACC, and Big 10 Ten all had five representatives this week.

RankSchoolConferenceWeek 9 resultNext opponent
1Alabama, 8-0SECByeat LSU
2Clemson, 8-0ACC37-34 W at FSUvs. Syracuse
3Michigan, 8-0Big Ten32-23 W at Michigan Statevs. Maryland
4Texas A&M, 7-1SEC52-10 vs. NMSUat Mississippi State
5Washington, 8-0Pac-1231-24 W at Utahat Cal
6Ohio State, 7-1Big Ten24-20 W vs. Northwesternvs. Nebraska
7Louisville, 7-1ACC32-25 W at Virginiaat Boston College
8Wisconsin, 6-2Big Ten23-17 W vs. Nebraskaat Northwestern
9Auburn, 6-2SEC40-29 W at Ole Missvs. Vanderbilt
10Nebraska, 7-1Big Ten23-17 L at Wisconsinat Ohio State
11Florida, 6-1SEC24-10 W vs. Georgiaat Arkansas
12Penn State, 6-2Big Ten62-24 W at Purduevs. Iowa
13LSU, 5-2SECByevs. Alabama
14Oklahoma, 6-2Big 1256-3 W vs. Kansasat Iowa State
15Colorado, 6-2Pac-12Byevs. UCLA
16Utah, 7-2Pac-1231-24 L vs. WashingtonBye
17Baylor, 6-1Big 1235-34 L at Texasvs. TCU
18Oklahoma State, 6-2Big 1237-20 W vs. WVUat Kansas State
19Virginia Tech, 6-2ACC39-36 W at Pittat Duke
20West Virginia, 6-1Big 1237-20 L at Oklahoma Statevs. Kansas
21North Carolina, 6-2ACCByevs. Georgia Tech
22Florida State, 5-3ACC37-34 L vs. Clemsonat NC State
23Western Michigan, 8-0MACByeat Ball State
24Boise State, 7-1Mountain West30-28 L at Wyomingvs. San Jose State
25Washington State, 6-2Pac-1235-31 W at Oregon Statevs. Arizona

The Aggies got everything they could have hoped for this week with a top four ranking. The committee recognized the strength of schedule as a defining statistic separating Texas A&M from Washington, Ohio State, and Louisville.

It won’t be as simple as win and you’re in, but for the Aggie faithful will be scoreboard watching in November. For now, the team will carry on with the mantra they’ve been reciting since day one, “It’s About Us”.

All they can do right now is take care of business against Mississippi State, Ole Miss, and UTSA. Win those, and the stage is set for what could amount to a play-in game for the Aggies on Thanksgiving night against LSU. No matter what happens, the Aggies have the attention of the college football nation.