I am not trying to be dramatic, but nothing less than the hopes and dreams of every Texas A&M football fan are riding on the game this weekend.
Okay, maybe that was dramatic. How about this: nothing less than the football-related hopes and dreams of every Texas A&M football fan are riding on the game this weekend?
Still too much? Okay, fine. This is a very important weekend for Texas A&M football’s goals in 2023 and moving forward. Does that work? Good, because I’m not changing it again.
Anyway, it’s true. This weekend is a huge turning point for this season and therefore this program. A win sets up another big game next week with Arkansas, with a visit from Alabama looming. You’ve defended home field, you’re undefeated in the SEC—though you have that out of conference loss to Miami on your ledger—and you’re looking at a huge game in two weeks that could spark real program and recruiting momentum.
A loss, though…
Why this game is so important for Texas A&M football
Narratives are perhaps more powerful in college football than any other sport, due in large part to the sample size you’re working with. Win/loss record is obviously the most important statistic in the game, but with so few games in a season compared to most other sports, that binary outcome goes further than anywhere else to shape the way people think and talk about your team, coach, program, etc.
So what does the narrative look like for Texas A&M football with a win?
Well, it helps get the Aggies back on track. Most college football fans were not tuned in to the ULM game; they were, however, tuned into the Miami debacle. College Gameday leads right into this broadcast; even though you’re in the noon window, you’ll have eyes on you. Weigman will once again have a chance to show his talent, and nothing gets neutral viewers intrigued like impressive quarterback play in a win. I think the loss to Miami overshadowed some of the amazing things Weigman was doing in that game as far as his throws. With only Arkansas on the schedule between the Aggies and Bama, and the Tide’s game with Ole Miss on deck right after A&M-Auburn, anticipation starts building for a showdown in College Station.
But what would the narrative look like for Texas A&M football with a loss?
If you lose, you’re 2-2. Winless against Power 5 teams. All the old demons from last year are back in full force. Hugh Freeze in his first year is all of a sudden seen as ahead of where Fisher is in his sixth. Even though there’s been no issues so far, I’d bet good money that we’d see several articles predicting the quick demise of the Fisher-Petrino dynamic. Voices in the ears of your top recruit targets—including one slated to commit a week from tomorrow in 5-star ATH Terry Bussey—would get louder and louder. Confidence is low headed into an Arkansas matchup that is always too close for comfort. Any and all margin for error is gone. Your season, in other words, is on the precipice.
That’s quite the swing for just one game. But it’s the situation Texas A&M football is currently facing. Let’s hope they take care of business against the Tigers handily, because if not…
Well. We’ll cross that bridge if we come to it.