It is 2012. The Texas A&M Aggies are officially the new kids on the block in the SEC, Southeastern Conference, coming over from the Big 12 Conference. In its’ first year in the most dominant conference in NCAA football, they would beat the conference’s most dominant team, the Alabama Crimson Tide, in their home stadium in Tuscaloosa 29-24. The loss would be the only defeat the defending BCS National Champions would suffer as they would end the year with their third title handily defeating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The game would most likely be the reason A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel would make history as the first freshman to win the coveted Heisman Trophy. Alabama undoubtedly wanted revenge.
Saturday afternoon, the Crimson Tide would get it.
The game started with the No. 6 Aggies going up 14-0 in the first quarter: the first score with 12:21 remaining in the first quarter and the second with 7:47 remaining. It looked like it would be a long day for the No. 1 Crimson Tide. Alabama would put 35 unanswered points on the board, the first set coming almost two and a half minutes after the Aggies’ second touchdown, and the last in the beginning of the third quarter.
The Aggies would finally score again in the third quarter, trading touchdowns with the Crimson Tide. Alabama entered the fourth quarter with a 42-28 lead. And things got very interesting from here. Manziel began to cut away at the lead, throwing two touchdowns, one a 95-yd pass to Mike Evans who was huge in this game, with 7 receptions for 279 yards. With the clock ticking and new ease of finding the end zone, the defending champions looked like they would get their revenge. A 5-yard touchdown reception by Jalston Fowler extending the lead to 49-35 with 2:28 left in the fourth quarter made it seem more like a sure thing. That was until Manziel and Malcome Kennedy connected on a 95-yard touchdown, the combinations’ second of three touchdowns for the day. The combinations’ third touchdown would take place with 0:42 seconds remaining in the game. An onside kick from the Aggies’ would prove unsuccessful sealing, the Tide’s victory.
Each team’s quarterback were standouts. Alabama’s AJ McCarron went 20-29 for 334 yards and four touchdowns, as Johnny Manziel went 28-39 for 464 yards and five touchdowns. The game was one of the most anticipated games of the year, earning CBS its best college football rating in 23 years. No surprise that it was also the hottest, and most expensive, ticket of the year as well with an average price of $763 on the secondary ticket market.
With BCS National Championship implications relying on both of these teams’ play throughout the year, keep an eye on them.