How Texas A&M football’s win over Alabama changed the SEC forever

Jimbo Fisher, Nick Saban, Texas A&M football (Imagn Images)
Jimbo Fisher, Nick Saban, Texas A&M football (Imagn Images) /

The Texas A&M football team had a relatively forgettable 2021 season. After beginning the season as the nation’s sixth-ranked team, the Aggies would finish the year on the outside looking in. After dropping out of the Gator Bowl, A&M would end up being the first team left out of the AP Poll.

But the season didn’t have its upsides.

In fact, despite their own personal shortcomings, the Texas A&M football team may have had one of the most impactful victories in college football history. I’m talking about their seemingly random victory over the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in the middle of the 2021 season.

Was the Texas A&M football team’s victory random or did the Aggies set a new tone in the SEC?

When it comes to college football, a lot of random-ness can happen. Maybe I just made that word up, but my point holds true — seemingly every year, a clearly inferior team will knock off one of the best squads in the entire country.

As someone who lives in Big Ten country, I’ve seen the Ohio State Buckeyes fall to a subpar Big Ten team too many times. SEC fans will be familiar with Alabama’s seemingly frequent losses to Auburn, while other conferences see their best teams have the same fate.

But that’s not really what happened in College Station this season. Texas A&M didn’t just win the game — they dominated the Crimson Tide, giving Nick Saban his first-ever loss to a former assistant by a score of 41-38.

And while the Aggies trailed the tide in total yardage, that doesn’t tell the full story. In fact, when you look at the yards per play statistic, the Aggies held the edge with 6.5 yards per play to the Tide’s 6.4. Do you know how often Nick Saban actually gets outgained in terms of yards per play? Almost never. What Jimbo Fisher did was something that nobody had done thus far in college football.

In fact, the Tide actually played an extremely solid game — Fisher simply out-coached Saban.

And while nobody is going to credit Texas A&M for Georgia’s national championship, there’s no doubt about it — Fisher created the Saban-killing blueprint. Kirby Smart simply had a more prepared roster, which led his team to a College Football Playoff National Championship.

The scariest part? Fisher’s roster is only getting more talented, boasting the top-overall class in the 2022 cycle. With new NIL rules, Fisher might be able to out-coach Saban on the field and in recruiting. If that happens, it’s over for the long-time Tide coach.

Next. Should Fisher utilize the transfer portal more?. dark

Even after an eight-win season, the Aggies are changing the landscape of the SEC.