Texas A&M Football: Winners and Losers from the Week 13 Game vs. Missouri
The No. 9 Texas A&M football team dominated in a 59-29 victory over Missouri on Saturday. The win extended the Aggies' winning streak to five games, and gave the Ags their first 10-win season since 1998.
The win over Missouri also snaps a three-game losing streak for the Aggies. Texas A&M played Missouri for the third year in a row at Kyle Field. The Tigers had won the two previous games on the Aggies' home field.
With the win, the Aggies completed a surprising first season under first-year head coach Kevin Sumlin. This is a look at the winners and losers from the A&M versus Mizzou game.
Winner: Kevin Sumlin's Bank Account
Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies shocked the nation by winning 10 games in their inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference.
With multiple SEC teams in the market for new coaches this offseason, expect Sumlin to get a rather large raise and a contract extension from A&M. Sumlin currently earns just under $2 million per season, which ranks him just above Kentucky's former head coach Joker Philips.
Sumlin should expect a raise to put him over the $3 million per year threshold. Sumlin is one of the top coaches in America and he is about to be paid like it.
Loser: Missouri's Program Reputation
Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel built the program up from also-ran status into a solid football team that went to bowl games every year and always played hard. The Tigers physically dominated North Carolina in the their 2011 Independence Bowl victory.
Their reputation took a hit this season starting at the SEC Media Days when some Missouri players referred to their fellow SEC brethren as "average."
Mizzou defensive tackle insulted Georgia's style of play before the Bulldogs blew out the Tigers in their own house.
A program that could formerly be characterized as all substance has deteriorated into a bunch of tough-talking players who fail to back up their bravado on the field.
Winner: Spencer Nealy
Texas A&M senior defensive tackle Spencer Nealy is the heart and soul of the football team. The former walk-on has worked his way into becoming a starting defensive tackle in the SEC.
Nealy left it all on the field in his last game ever at Kyle Field. He had seven total tackles with two tackles for loss. The player who has often been compared to Chris Farley did an ode to Farley's SNL "Chippendales" skit after his second tackle for loss of the game.
Nealy has become a fan favorite because he plays all out on every snap. He played inspired football in his final home game.
Loser: Missouri's Bowl Streak
With the loss to A&M, the Tigers dropped to 5-7 for the season and 2-6 in conference play. Their 5-7 record will prohibit them from going to a bowl game, and they had been to a bowl game seven seasons in a row.
This means that all of the younger players in the program will be at a disadvantage because they will not get to participate in the extra bowl practices. There are only five SEC teams that will not play in bowls and Missouri is one of them.
Winner: Johnny Football
Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel had another outstanding game with 372 yards passing and 67 yards rushing. He threw three touchdown passes and added two rushing touchdowns.
Manziel finished the regular season with an SEC-record 4,600 total yards. He shattered the former record of 4,327 yards set by Cam Newton during his Heisman season in 2010. Newton accumulated that total in 14 games. Manziel has done it in 12.
The two rushing touchdowns give Manziel 19 for the season which ties an A&M record. He will have a chance to break the single-season record in the Aggies' bowl game.
Loser: Sheldon Richardson
Sheldon Richardson is a junior defensive tackle who has gained a reputation for making outlandish statements to the media.
This is the first season that Richardson has started for the Tigers and he has done well, accumulating 70 tackles with 9.5 tackles for loss and four sacks on the season. Many consider him a future first-round draft pick.
Richardson was not a factor against A&M. Ben Malena and Christine Michael gashed the Tigers' defensive interior for long gains. Richardson had one tackle in the game, but it was during garbage time against the Ags' backup offensive line.
Winner: Mike Evans
Redshirt freshman wide receiver Mike Evans became the third Aggie to reach 1,000 receiving yards in a season with his 99 yards against Missouri.
Evans had eight receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown against the Tigers. He is the third Aggie receiver in the past three years to surpass the 1,000-yard threshold.
For the season, Evans has caught 75 passes for 1,022 yards and five touchdowns. He should compete for All-Conference honors as a freshman.
Loser: Aggie Depth
The Aggies do not currently have the depth on defense to allow their starters to rest. The A&M defense gave up 22 second-half points as the starters tired.
The Aggies inserted their backups on defense late in the third quarter, and they struggled to keep the opponent out of the end zone for the second straight week. The Aggies are going to need to bring in a number of defensive recruits who are ready to play in the 2013 recruiting class.
They got very lucky with injuries in 2012 with very few players missing games. They played 12 straight games without a bye and their only major loss of the season was Steven Campbell to concussions.
The Aggies need to improve their depth if they want to compete for an SEC and national title in 2013.
Winner: Malcome Kennedy
The Aggies' sophomore wide receiver had a breakout game against Missouri. Kennedy had his first career 100-yard receiving game, with seven receptions for 110 yards against the Tigers.
Kennedy has been very solid for the Aggies during the second half of the season. He caught the touchdown pass that provided the margin of victory against Alabama.
With Ryan Swope graduating and moving on to the NFL, expect Kennedy to take over one of the slot positions for the Ags in 2013 and become a difference maker.
The Aggie Football Program
The future for the Aggie football program looks as bright as it has in a long time. The Aggies won 10 games for the first time since 1998.
The have a team led by freshmen at the skill positions. The Aggies' leading rusher, passer and receiver are redshirt freshmen. Depending on who declares for the NFL Draft, the Ags could return the top offensive line in the country.
If Damontre Moore returns, the defense will bring back seven starters. Kevin Sumlin is one of the top coaches in the country and he is bringing in a top-15 recruiting class.
The Ags' immediate and long-term prospects look very good.