Comparing Texas A&M and Missouri's Debut to Other Teams Who Switched Conferences

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterSeptember 10, 2012

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel
Texas A&M QB Johnny ManzielRonald Martinez/Getty Images

Week 2 was a historic week in the SEC, as the conference welcomed newcomers Texas A&M and Missouri with their first-ever SEC games.

Texas A&M proved that it was worthy of the SEC, battling Florida to the bitter end in College Station in a 20-17 loss to the Gators.

Despite the fact that the Aggie offense sputtered in the second half with only 49 total yards, there were some bright spots.

Redshirt freshman Johnny Manziel looked like the dual-threat stud that he was hyped up to be after winning the job over Jameill Showers this summer. The Aggies showed toughness that they lacked last season throughout the game, issuing several hard hits to the Gators.

The most noteworthy of which was Ben Malena's first-half run through Gator linebacker Josh Evans.

Missouri's debut wasn't as impressive. The first half of Missouri's game vs. Georgia was incredibly sloppy on both sides until a flurry late in the first half kick-started the offensive explosion from both teams.

But Missouri couldn't handle All-American linebacker Jarvis Jones, and the party quickly came to an end in Columbia after the Tigers fell to the Bulldogs, 41-20, on Saturday night.

But where do the games rank among other noteworthy conference debuts?

Nebraska got smoked in its first Big Ten game in 2011 to the tune of 48-17 in Madison against Wisconsin. The Badgers jumped out to a 27-14 halftime lead and never looked back in the second half in the blowout.

Verdict: Even in losses, Texas A&M and Missouri looked far more prepared than the Cornhuskers did in their debut.

Utah traveled to Los Angeles to play USC in its first-ever Pac-12 game in 2011 and fought hard in a losing effort. Trailing 17-14 late in the fourth, the Utes lined up for a potential game-tying 41-yard field goal on the last play of the game.

But Matt Kalil blocked it, and Torin Harris returned it for a touchdown as time expired for a 23-14 win (even though the final points weren't counted until two hours after the game ended).

Verdict: Utah's debut was much better than A&M's and Missouri's, especially considering the way that USC finished the season.

Colorado already had a non-conference game schedule with California in 2011, so its overtime loss to the Bears in Week 2 didn't count toward the Pac-12 standings. 

Colorado's actual debut in the Pac-12 was a 31-27 loss to Washington State in Week 5. Yes, that same Washington State team that finished 4-8.


Verdict: Maybe the Buffaloes should start over.

Penn State hosted Minnesota in its first football game in the Big Ten. Bobby Engram caught four touchdown passes, and the Nittany Lions rolled to a 38-20 win over Minnesota.

Minnesota was coming off of a down season, so it wasn't an overly impressive feat at the time. But it was a solid debut for Penn State.

Verdict: Better than Mizzou and A&M.

The 1992 round of SEC expansion brought the first-ever games for newcomers South Carolina and Arkansas.

South Carolina wasn't welcomed with open arms.

The Gamecocks got drilled, 28-6, by No. 14 Georgia in Columbia, S.C., to open the 1992 campaign. It would be the first of five straight losses by the Gamecocks to open their season, including four to SEC foes.

South Carolina wouldn't get its first SEC win until Oct. 17, 1992—a 21-6 win over No. 15 Mississippi State.

Verdict: I don't see either the Aggies or the Tigers losing four straight to start the season, but it could happen.

Arkansas entered the SEC with a little bit more turmoil.

The Razorbacks lost 10-3 to The Citadel in their first game of 1992, which cost head coach Jack Crowe his job. They then went on the road under interim head coach Joe Kines to fellow newbie South Carolina and destroyed the Gamecocks 45-7 in the first-ever SEC game for the Razorbacks.

The Hogs would finish the season 3-7-1 but did manage to upset No. 4 Tennessee, 25-24, in Knoxville.

Verdict: The Hogs were great in their first-ever SEC game. The rest of the season? Not so much.



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