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Bowl Game: Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (Sat, Dec 31 12:00 PM ET)
Post-Season Standing: If anyone had told the Aggies that they would finish their last season in the Big 12 in seventh place with a 4-5 conference record and .500 overall record, they would have laughed harder than they would have if they were to also hear Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin would lead them to the SEC in 2012.
The second half meltdowns that plagued the Aggies this year led to the eventual fall to their longtime rival, Texas, and an embarrassing finish for a team that was projected for great things this season.
On the whole, the defensive meltdowns do not look quite as bad on paper as they did for those who watched. A&M finished the season ranked 13th in rush defense, a very respectable number, but it was its 112th ranked pass defense that would be the eventual undoing of this team. They allowed completed passes at the worst possible times. On the flip side, the offense was able to pick up some the slack, ending in the top 25 in both passing and rushing.
Chances of Moving Up: Texas A&M will face the Northwestern Wildcats who come to Texas with the same record and a somewhat respectable offensive unit. In order for Texas A&M to move up in its last Big 12 power rankings ever, they have to stop the 35th ranked pass offense, a task not out of reach by any means.
However, a strong showing by the defense may not be enough as most analysts and fans will be unlikely to forget the final Texas-Texas A&M game in which Texas exploited the Texas A&M defense one final time to come back and win.
On the other hand, two spots up might be in sight as well if Texas A&M’s new former Big 12 now SEC conference-mate Missouri, in addition to Texas, were to lose to a less than stellar North Carolina team.