The Texas A&M football team lost to the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide 49-42 on Saturday. Despite the loss to the Tide, the Aggies will still play in a BCS bowl in 2013.
In 2014, there will be a playoff system in college football. The way the system is set up right now, who plays in which bowl games is basically a popularity contest judged by voters in the media.
A one touchdown loss to the number one team in the country will not be considered a bad loss by most pundits. The Aggies still have all of their preseason goals within reach, they will just need some help in some areas.
This is a look at why the Aggies can still qualify for a BCS bowl, despite the loss to Alabama.
The Aggies are currently ranked in the top ten in both major polls. The BCS bowls get to pick their teams after the BCS championship game picks two teams to play each other.
The BCS bowls try to match up the highest-ranked teams they can find to attract national interest and a large television audience. The Aggies have a respectable loss to the No. 1 ranked team in the country.
There is a good chance that the seven-point margin of victory will be as close as any team comes to Alabama in 2013. If the Aggies win the rest of the games on their schedule, then they would end the season ranked in the top five, likely making them a very desired team by the BCS bowls.
The Aggies just played the highest-ranked team on their schedule. Their remaining schedule includes five home games and four road games.
The two toughest teams left on the schedule appear to be LSU and Mississippi. If they can win one of those two games, then the Aggies can end the season with a 10-2 record, which will keep them eligible for a BCS bowl.
The Aggies have been a good road team under head coach Kevin Sumlin. They won all six road games during the 2012 season.
If Sumlin can lead the Aggies to a 4-0 record on the road in 2013, then they could find themselves in the SEC championship game in Atlanta. Their schedule bodes well for the future of the 2013 team.
The Aggies lit up Saban's defense for 42 points and 628 total yards. Aggie sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel set a school record with 464 passing yards.
Manziel's 562 total yards were the second most total yards in any game in his career, and the second most in SEC history. Manziel's performance was evidently enough to take years off of Alabama coach Nick Saban's life expectancy.
The Aggies have the offensive firepower to light up the scoreboard against any defense they face. They are a threat to win every game remaining on their schedule because the A&M offense is a threat to score every time they touch the ball.
There have been years were being the second best team in the SEC during the regular season resulted in a national championship. Just because you are not the best team in the conference does not mean you are not a great team.
If Alabama runs the table through the rest of their regular season and wins the SEC title game, then they will play in the BCS championship game. The SEC will still get a representative in the Sugar Bowl.
If Texas A&M improves on defense, then they could finish the season 11-1. That would make them the second best team in the SEC and a BCS bowl participant.