The College Football Playoff committee’s top four will undoubtedly look different on Tuesday. Texas A&M is not staying at No. 4.
The Aggies lost 35-28 to Mississippi State just five days after being the No. 4 team in the inaugural CFP rankings ahead of undefeated Washington.
And while A&M’s College Football Playoff hopes likely disappeared with a second SEC loss, the Aggies lost more than the game too. Quarterback Trevor Knight missed the second half with a right shoulder injury and defensive end Myles Garrett missed much of it too with a left ankle injury.
A&M attempted to hang around for much of the game thanks to star wide receiver Christian Kirk. He had a 92-yard punt return at the end of the first half to make it a 28-14 lead for the Bulldogs and he had seven receptions for 144 yards.
A&M wide receiver Josh Reynolds caught a touchdown with 1:33 left to pull the game within a possession, but Mississippi State recovered the onside kick and then ended Texas A&M’s last-gasp drive with an interception.
Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald ran all over the Aggies. Fitzgerald ran for a 74-yard touchdown on Mississippi State’s first possession of the game and finished with 20 carries for 182 yards and two touchdowns. A&M gave up 365 yards on the ground as Mississippi State averaged over six yards a carry.
Bulldogs’ quarterback Nick Fitzgerald took to the air and the ground in a 35-28 upset win over fourth-ranked Texas A&M. Fitzgerald notched four total touchdowns- two in the air and two on the ground- and just under 400 total yards. Check out two of his biggest plays in this Campus Insiders Rewind powered by XYIENCE.
The margin could have been a lot worse too. Fitzgerald threw two interceptions and both happened in the end zone.
A&M was the No. 4 team in the rankings because of its strength of schedule. The Aggies beat a full-strength UCLA team in Week 1 and also had wins over Arkansas and Auburn. But there’s going to be no denying the Huskies their spot in the top four now, assuming a UW win at Cal later Saturday night.
The No. 2 team in the SEC West will be Auburn, which survived quite a scare from Vanderbilt. The Tigers won 23-16 after intercepting a Vandy pass with 36 seconds left. The Commodores had a chance to tie after blocking an Auburn field goal that would have given the Tigers a 10-point lead.
While A&M has the head-to-head win over Auburn, a two-loss Tiger team would be much more palatable to the committee than the Aggies would be. And it’s pretty simple. An undefeated finish to the season for Auburn would mean the Tigers are heading to the SEC championship game thanks to a win over Alabama.
Yeah, that’s a lot of projecting. But given what happened in Starkville on Saturday, it’s not much of a projection to see that A&M was relevant to the playoff for less than a week.
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