Texas A&M football: Aggies ranked too low in final AP Poll

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M football finished ranked in the AP Poll for the first time since 2013, but we can still have a gripe about where they finished.

When Jimbo Fisher was hired to lead Texas A&M football into the promised land, finishing ranked in the AP Poll was not among the long term goals of the program. However, if you isolate the 2018 season and only look at the short term, finishing ranked is a worthy achievement for the Aggies.

Related Story. Aggies were better than their record in 2018. light

Consider this: they hired a new coach, who was expected to coach a team of mostly another coach’s players who were recruited for an entirely different system, and they also had the fourth toughest schedule in the country, playing six top 30 teams according to the S&P+, four of those top 20 teams, and two of those just played in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Finishing 9-4 and ranked No. 16 in the AP Poll with this schedule and another coach’s players is a step in the right direction.

However, it still doesn’t feel good enough when you look at the teams ranked ahead of the Aggies. Let’s break it down.

No. 15 Syracuse

Best wins: No. 20 West Virginia by 16, NC State by 10,
Losses: No. 1 Clemson by 3, Pittsburgh by 7, No. 5 Notre Dame by 33

The Orangemen had a nice season. They nearly pulled off an upset of Clemson when Lawrence was forced out of the game with a concussion, and handled West Virginia (maybe overrated themselves) in their bowl game.

But there are two common opponents here. A&M lost to Clemson at full strength by 2, and manhandled NC State 52-13.

No. 14 Michigan

Record: 10-3
Best wins: No. 17 Penn State by 35, No. 21 Northwestern by 3
Losses: No. 3 Ohio State by 23, No. 5 Notre Dame by 7, No. 7 Florida by 26

Michigan fans probably have the best case against the Aggies here. They lost to three top 10 teams, but don’t have a better win than the Aggies, and the Aggies have two better in Kentucky (No. 12) and LSU (No. 6). It doesn’t help that Michigan didn’t look like they belonged on the field in their bowl game with Florida.

No. 13 Washington

Record: 10-4
Best win: No. 10 Washington State by 13
Losses: Cal by 2, Oregon by 3, Auburn by 5, No. 3 Ohio State by 5

Washington fans certainly have a gripe when the Huskies beat WSU on the road in their head-to-head matchup yet are three spots behind them. The Huskies’ losses to Cal and Oregon are both worse than the Aggies’ worse loss to Auburn, who also beat Washington, and the Aggies lost by less to Auburn at Jordan-Hare.

No. 12 Kentucky

None of these stats matter. Aggies won head-to-head

No. 11 UCF

Do I really need to explain this one?

No. 10 Washington State

Record: 11-2
Best wins: Stanford by 3, Iowa State by 2
Losses: USC by 3, Washington by 13

Washington State’s record was definitely a product of their schedule. They played one opponent that finished in the final top 25, Washington, and lost by 13 at home. Call me crazy, but that doesn’t scream Top 10 team.

No. 9 Texas

Record: 10-4
Best wins:  No. 4 Oklahoma by 3, No. 7 Georgia by 7
Losses: Maryland by 5, Oklahoma State by 3, No. 20 West Virginia by 1, No. 4 Oklahoma by 12

And now we get to the final team Texas A&M should be ranked ahead of. Admittedly, when you stack the two teams’ two ranked wins up against each other, Texas wins by a slim margin. But the losses are what matter here.

A&M lost to the top two teams in the country and two teams just outside the final Top 25. Texas lost to No. 4, No. 20, Oklahoma State which received three votes for the Top 25, and Maryland at home. Maryland didn’t play in a bowl. A&M’s schedule was more difficult. Not all records are created equal.

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It’s not hard to make the case A&M deserved to be in the Top 10 when it was all said and done.

Jeff Shull is the Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.