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CFN Cotton Analysis - Texas A&M 41, OU 13

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 5, 2013


CFN's thoughts and analysis on Texas A&M's blowout over Oklahoma in the Cotton.

- AT&T Cotton Texas A&M 41, Oklahoma 13

Johnny Manziel ran for two first half touchdowns on the way to a gigantic statistical day in the rout. Oklahoma cut the lead to 14-13 late in the first on a six-yard Justin Brown touchdown catch, but the Aggies scored 27 unanswered points as Ben Malena and Trey Williams each ran for third quarter touchdowns and Manziel connected with Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu on scoring passes from 33 and 34, respectively. The two teams combined for 1,034 yards of total offense.

Texas A&M: QB Johnny Manziel completed 22-of-34 passes for 287 yards and two touchdowns with a pick, and he ran 17 times for 229 yards and two touchdowns. … The Aggies ran for 326 yards and threw for 307. … A&M had the ball for just 23:11. … WR Ryan Swope caught eight passes for 104 yards and a score. … CB Dustin Harris made ten tackles with a pick.

Oklahoma: QB Landry Jones completed 35-of-48 passes for 278 yards and a score with a pick. … Brennan Clay ran ten times for 44 yards. … P Tress Way averaged 49.4 yards per kick putting three of his five inside the 20. … S Javon Harris made nine tackles with a pick and a tackle for loss. … The offense had the ball for 36:49.

By Richard Cirminiello

It’s going to be a blast in College Station for the next three years. And not just because Johnny Manziel has only completed one of his four years of eligibility. The Heisman winner is such a magnetic figure that he’ll make blue-chip recruits, like five-star WR Ricky Seals-Jones, crave to be a part of the Aggies parade.

Has Kevin Sumlin gotten nearly enough credit for the job he’s done this season? All he’s done is take over a new team, guide it into the nasty SEC and win 11 games … with a rookie quarterback at the controls. The aforementioned quarterback has gotten so much attention that it’s unknowingly stolen some of the coach’s thunder.

Obviously, Manziel’s running skills and insane improvisational ability make most of the headlines, but, boy, does he have a quick trigger. He has a nice release point, and gets the ball out so fast that it limits damage in the pocket. That skill will be particularly useful next year, when his bookends are in the NFL.

Bob Stoops appeared visibly lost for much of tonight’s Cotton Bowl. It’s a look he’s been known to where frequently this time of year. Great coach, with the record to prove it. But do Sooners fans have confidence he’ll get this team back into a National Championship Game anytime soon?

Might the Aggies be playing Notre Dame on Monday night had they stayed in the Big 12 for one more year? Heck, A&M may have been in Miami this weekend had they simply held the lead against Florida in Week 1 or LSU on Oct. 20. Yeah, hindsight requires no corrective lenses, there isn’t a Big 12 team capable

In light of what’s taken place over the past week, the SEC needed this Cotton Bowl blowout, even if it was delivered by a Big 12 import. With an Alabama win in 72 hours, absolutely no one is going to remember that the league suffered postseason missteps from the likes of LSU and Florida.

How happy is Texas that the rivalry with Texas A&M ended in 2011? One of the few breaks Mack Brown has gotten since Vince Young left Austin.

By Matt Zemek
E-mail Matt Zemek

1) Let's keep this real simple, shall we? Texas A&M had Johnny Manziel, while Oklahoma had no pass rush, no power, and no speed on defense (as was the case throughout the regular season). This looked like a terrible matchup for Oklahoma on paper, and the 2013 Cotton Bowl unfolded according to script. Oklahoma has to get faster and tougher on defense. The Sooners' trademark throughout many decades – whether under Barry Switzer or Bob Stoops – has been nasty defensive line play. That was missing in 2012, and that's why this defense performed so poorly. As for A&M, the sky's the limit with Manziel unleashing his one-of-a-kind talent on bewildered opposing defenses.

2) The bowls don't always tell us definitive truths about conference strength or inferiority, but it's quite easy to claim, sans controversy, that the Big 12 just wasn't very good this year. Every team but Kansas made a bowl game, but there was a lot of mediocrity in the league. Kansas State was the only team that played like an elite group over the course of the regular season, and the Wildcats got thrashed by Oregon in a Fiesta Bowl that felt over with eight minutes left in the third quarter. It just wasn't the Big 12's year after a splendid 2011 in which Oklahoma State deserved to be in the BCS National Championship Game.

3) Kliff Kingsbury might turn out to be fantastic at Texas Tech. Yet, one has to admit that this performance by A&M might mean that Kingsbury really wasn't as instrumental to the Aggies' success as many football observers initially thought. We'll see if Kingsbury – unable to coach Johnny Manziel in Lubbock – finds prosperity to be elusive with the Red Raiders.

4) Bob Stoops is a bona fide coaching legend, a giant in the history of the sport. Yet, even legends meet the end of the line, a point when their powers diminish and their magic touch evaporates. If Stoops can't win an up-in-the-air Big 12 next season, with Texas looking fragile and Kansas State no longer blessed with Collin Klein, it might be time for him to leave Norman and consider a fresh start. It's not quite time to say that things have gotten stale for Stoops at Oklahoma, but if 2013 doesn't produce a conference championship, that line of thought will be supported by an overwhelming degree of evidence.

By Phil Harrison
Follow me @PhilHarrisonCFN

- This unveiling of this matchup on bowl-selection day made many college football junkies feel like a kid in a candy store. Unfortunately as it unfolded tonight a lot of us felt more like we just had our lunch money stolen. So much for this being the best non-BCS bowl of the bunch.

- Will Johnny Football 2.0 be the upgrade you’d expect next year, or will Manziel go through the dreaded sophomore slump? It’s going to be hard for the kid to duplicate what he did during his coronation into college football this year, but you’d be wise to not bet against him.

- Oklahoma is to bowl games what cholesterol is to heart disease. They don’t mix. It’s unexplainable the amount of flops the Sooners have had in recent years come postseason time.

- As much talk as there has been about the average showing of SEC teams during the bowl season, A&M just reminded us that the league is just fine. And if Alabama goes shopping for fine crystal again, it’s yet another successful season for the top dog in college football.

- On that note, Jim Delany just called--he’ll take the SEC showing in bowl games even with a Bama loss right now.

- When we look back on Landry Jones’ career in Norman, it can be considered a solid show, but not a box-office hit. The hype far outweighed the production on the big-screen.

- The SEC seems to have gotten a sleeping giant in Texas A&M. This whole expansion thing might just work out for the conference of conferences.

- Kevin Sumlin is a custom-fitted suit for the Aggie program. He has been able to take a solid collection of talent and change the culture to one of achievement and full potential in just a short year.

- It’s foolish sometimes to take too much stock in the performances during bowl season, but in retrospect, maybe the Big Twelve wasn’t as good as we all thought in 2012. The conferences two best teams (K-State and OU) got taken apart like legos at a preschool birthday party.

- This was a very important year for the Aggies. Jumping into a new conference, the program was going to either sink or swim and set a culture of what it was going to be. Well, the compass is pointing true north after 2012, and there is plenty to build on.