Late recording artist Jim Croce said it best: “You don’t tug on Superman’s cape.” Johnny Manziel may not be everyone’s favorite role model, and some of his actions have had the maturity level of Miley Cyrus (without the skin), but one thing is certain: He can straight up play ball and is one of the best college gamers of all time at this point.
Rallying the Texas Aggies to yet another road win, Manziel was not at his best; however, when the game was on the line, Manziel and the Aggie offense delivered yet again. Superman did prove that he is human with a pick and a fumble, but also showed why he is the reigning Heisman winner as well; he left a stunned Grove crowd in Oxford reaching for Mayor Bloomberg sized Hotty Toddy, as the Aggies prevailed cardiac style 41-38 over Ole Miss on the last play of the game.
The Rebel putdown continued an improbable 10 game road winning streak for the Aggies, and only added to the confidence and legend of one Johnny Football, Kevin Sumlin, and the still in contention for everything Aggies. The even more impressive thing is that Texas A&M has pitched the road win streak with an abhorrent defense that would make Baylor or West Virginia cringe. The Aggies’ offense is simply outscoring people, and the defense has a knack of getting improbable stops when you least expect it, but they need it the most. You must give credit to Sumlin and company for getting it done when it matters most.
This contest was virtually a replay of the 2012 game that saw the Aggies again rally late to top the Rebels in Oxford. Texas A&M coach Sumlin expressed his relief and feeling after the game with, “Unless the SEC messes the schedule up, we don’t want to come back here again.” Sumlin then added, with a smile, “I hope the conference doesn’t fine me for that.” You could hardly blame arguably the hottest coaching commodity in the nation for smiling.
Watching Texas A&M rally and win yet again has only pushed Sumlin’s value exponentially higher, nationally. Look for him to be at the top of everyone’s wish list as the checkbooks open. I suspect there were many in Los Angeles paying particular attention the late game heroics of Sumlin’s crew, and the win last night didn’t dampen their views at all. This will begin heating up the later into the season it gets, and reach a crescendo when A&M near the LSU game.
In the meanwhile, the Aggies return home to the friendly confines of Kyle Field for the next three SEC contests, which will have the Aggies as heavy favorites with Vanderbilt, Auburn and Mississippi State trekking into the Lone Star State. The Aggies should rise in the polls, and in the last two weeks of the season, that 10 game road streak will be in peril as the Aggies trudge into inhospitable Baton Rouge to face a very good LSU team, and then to Columbia to face old Big 12 foe and newly minted SEC East leader Missouri.
The Aggies seem to be living on the edge and it continues working, but at some point, will the lack of defense cost Texas A&M? Or can the Manziel led Aggies simply score their way to BCS glory? Conventional wisdom says no, but it doesn’t seem like Sumlin, Manziel or the Aggies have really counted much on conventional things during their remarkable run. It should be interesting to see how it plays out.