Aggies and Vols: Can They Keep History From Repeating?
Heading into the 2016 campaign, the narratives were set in stone for two SEC teams – Tennessee and Texas A&M.
Tennessee is getting all this hype from the media and will fall flat on its face.
Texas A&M might start well, but it won’t finish well; just look at the last two years.
Yet, with those two long held narratives staring them straight in the face, the Vols and the Aggies are undefeated, ranked in the top ten in the country and are on a collision course on Saturday for the only game in the nation featuring top ten teams.
Tennessee has found different ways to escape with wins. It played horribly at home against a pesky Appalachian State squad, but held on to win in overtime in the opener. It fell behind Florida 21-0 at home, yet stormed back with 38 unanswered points to beat the Gators for the first time since 2004. Last week at Georgia was its biggest Houdini act as quarterback Josh Dobbs threw the Hobnail Hail Mary to Jauan Jennings to beat Georgia 34-31 in Athens. If Tennessee can leave College Station with a win, it’ll be undefeated heading back home to face No. 1 Alabama the following week. Tough though that might be back in Knoxville, there isn’t a ranked team nor a team with a winning record remaining on the Vols schedule.
Texas A&M is 5-0 to start the 2016 season, but it’s been here before. It was 5-0 last year before losing five of its last eight games to finish 8-5. It started 5-0 in 2014 as well, before losing five of its last eight games to finish 8-5. This year, though, just feels a bit different. The Aggies have a bye week then a trip to Tuscaloosa to face Alabama after this one against Tennessee. However, it only has one road trip over the last five weeks of the season with both Ole Miss and LSU coming to College Station.
The winner of this one sits on the brink of not only fighting for the SEC Championship and a playoff opportunity, but eliminating a pair of nagging narratives.