ARLINGTON, Texas -- I learned something Saturday during my first trip to Jerry World: The Arkansas Razorbacks are better than we thought, and the Texas A&M Aggies are overrated. Those were my suspicions entering Saturday’s SEC showdown, and they were confirmed after the Aggies had to rally for a 35-28 overtime win.
The Aggies were prematurely included in most pundits’ four-team playoff field before Saturday, but they’ll be part of very few bracket projections after their comeback win over the Razorbacks.
Listen, that’s no knock on the vastly improved Hogs; there’s no weak link in the SEC West any longer. The run game is consistent, and a few coverage lapses aside, the defense is much quicker to the ball. They’re a handful.
“That’s a good team,” one of the Aggies’ coaches told me afterward. “Better than we thought they would be, and we thought they were pretty good.”
And really, it’s no slight of A&M; it’s talented and evidently stubborn in the face of adversity, a better collective group than I anticipated it would be post-Johnny Manziel, and with a work-in-progress defense.
But one of the four best teams in America? No way. Get real.
The secondary and skill players are too inconsistent, and I’m not nearly as sold on the quarterback as the staff. Three or four more wins? Sure. I don’t see a contender, though. The 5-0 Aggies are content to prove me wrong, and they’ll have chances the next three weeks at Mississippi State, against Ole Miss and at Alabama.
“You haven’t been big on us all year, so let’s keep it that way,” OC Jake Spavital texted me Saturday night, after I floated this central thesis that I called “realistic.”
That’s where Week 5 Takeaways begin. Also included: I took it too easy on Brady Hoke when I wrote last week that he should be fired by December; it’s a subtly big week ahead in the Big 12; and coaches wonder if a "sleeping giant" job in the ACC will soon be available.