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Aggie Football and Finding the NCAAF Odds for Texas A&M

The Texas A&M football team has been around since 1894. They have a legacy in college football of winning national championships and producing some of the best football players in the country. College football in Texas is serious business, and the atmosphere in College Station, Texas, is one of the best sites in football when a big game is taking place. Recently, Texas A&M moved to the Southeastern Conference (SEC), college football’s best conference, and they have already made their mark in the decade of them playing in the SEC. As a part of our look back on the history of the SEC, let’s examine the legacy of Texas A&M from their days in the Southwest Conference, Big 12, and their current college football odds in the SEC.

Seth Small kicks a field goal held by Nik Constantinou of the Texas A&M Aggies
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images/AFP

via GIPHY

Early Years

The first Texas A&M football team was in 1894 under head coach Dudley Perkins, and the team had a 1-1 record. W.A. Murray was A&M’s head coach from 1899-1901 and compiled a 7-8-1 record. The Aggies became more successful as the century progressed. J.E. Platt went 18-5-3 as head coach from 1902-1904, Charley Moran led the Aggies to a 38-8-4 record from 1909-1914 and had the team’s first undefeated season in 1909.

Dana X. Bible became the Texas A&M head coach in 1919, and in his first year, the Aggies went undefeated and outscored their opponents 275-0. The 1919 Aggies were retroactively named the national champions. Coach Bible was the most important head coach in the early years of A&M, not only with the impact on the field, but he began the 12th man tradition. Bible had lost three players to injury early in the game in 1922 and only had 18 players on his roster. He called upon E. King Gill, who was in the press box, to suit up and be a reserve running back. Although Gill did not play, A&M students would stand throughout the entire football game to show their support for the team.

Bible left A&M in 1928 to become the head coach of Nebraska, having a 72-19-9 record in his ten seasons with the Aggies. Matty Bell replaced Bible as the head coach. He coached for five seasons but could not live up to the standards set by Bible. The Aggies went 24-21-3 in Belle’s five years as head coach.

Homer Norton Era

Texas A&M hired Homer Norton to replace Bell in 1934. The Aggies returned to national prominence in 1939 when they went 11-0 and beat Tulane in the Sugar Bowl. Texas A&M won its second national championship in 1939. Norton has the second-most wins in Texas A&M history, going 82-53-9 in his 14 seasons. Norton was fired in 1947 after the team went 3-6-1 and lost to rival Texas for the eighth straight year.

Harry Stiteler was the running back coach under Norton, and he was promoted to head coach in 1948. The Aggies did not win a game in his first season, going 0-9-1. His second season was not much better as A&M went 1-8-1. Despite the bad first two seasons, Stiteler had a reputation of a good recruiter and turned the program around with a 7-4 record. The 1950 team had the best record in nearly a decade. In December 1950, there was an incident with Stiteler in a hotel where the A&M head coach was visibly beaten. Stiteler initially said a stranger attacked him, but he later confirmed that he did know the person with whom the incident occurred. After three seasons, Stiteler announced his resignation from Texas A&M and concluded with an 8-21-2 record in the college football betting lines.

Bear Bryant Era

After Stiteler resigned, former USC defensive line coach Raymond George was the Aggies’ next head coach. George had some key wins against Oklahoma, UCLA, and Kentucky, but the team did not have season-long success. He resigned after the 1953 season and finished with a 12-14-4 record in his three seasons.

Legendary college football coach Bear Byant took the job in College Station after coaching in Maryland and Kentucky. Bryant’s first season was a tough one. However, the Aggies went 1-9. The 1954 season is infamous for the training camp in Junction, Texas, where many players quit the team. In 1956, the Aggies won the Southwest Conference Championship with a 34-21 victory over Texas in Austin. The following year, running back John Davis Crow won the Heisman, and A&M was in contention for another title, but they lost to Rice.

Bryant left Texas A&M after the 1957 season to coach his alma mater Alabama, where he would cement his legacy as one of the greatest college football coaches of all time. In his four seasons with Texas A&M, Bryant led the Aggies to a 25-14-2 record. His success at A&M has been overshadowed by his greatness in Alabama, but College Station has not been forgotten.

Texas A&M tried to find the next Bear Bryant, but they struggled to do so. Iowa State head coach Jim Myers replaced Bryant in 1958, but in his three seasons, the Aggies did not win more than four games in a single season. Myers had a 12-24-4 record while at A&M. Myers left College Station and joined Tom Landry’s Dallas Cowboys as an assistant coach.

The Aggies’ struggles in the NCAAF odds continued with Hank Goldberg as head coach. Things actually got worse with Foldberg; Texas A&M went 6-23-1 from 1962-1964 under Foldberg.

Gene Stallings was a former Aggie who played under Bryant and was a part of his Alabama coaching staff that won the 1964 national championship. At the age of 29, Stallings returned to College Station to become the newest head coach in 1965. Stallings lasted until 1971, but the struggles at Texas A&M continued as the Aggies went 27-45-1 in the six years under Stallings. 1967 was Stallings’ only winning season at A&M, and they beat Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. Stallings was fired after a mediocre 1971 season, but like Bryant, he would become the Alabama head coach in the 1990s and have a hall of fame career.

Emory Bellard was the Aggies’ head coach from 1972-1978 and implemented the wishbone offense. He was able to turn the program around in his seven years, going 48-27 and three top-15 finishes. After starting the 1978 season 4-0, Bellard resigned mid-season after two embarrassing losses to Houston and Baylor.

Tom Wilson was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach following Bellard’s resignations and stayed as the Aggies’ head coach until 1981. A&M was moderately successful under Wilson, going 21-19 during his tenure and an Independence Bowl win in 1981. However, the A&M officials were not content with mediocrity, and Wilson was fired after the 1981 season.

Jackie Sherrill was the Pittsburgh head coach but left the Panthers for a six-year, $1.7 million deal. He was the head coach from 1982-1988, and the Aggies compiled a 52-28-1 record, with three consecutive Southwest Conference Championships. In 1988, Texas A&M was put on probation for two years by the NCAA after violating multiple rules. While Sherrill was not personally found guilty of anything, he resigned as head coach in December 1988.

R.C. Slocum Era

R.C. Slocum was promoted from defensive coordinator and named the head coach of Texas A&M. Slocum stayed with the Aggies for 14 years and is the winningest coach in school history with a 123-47-2 record. He won four conference championships (1991,1992,1993,1998). In 1996, the Southwest Conference was renamed the Big 12. The Aggies were the first school in Southwest Conference history to have three consecutive unbeaten conference records and actually went four years without a conference loss.

A&M had a tremendous home-field advantage at Kyle Field while Slocum was the head coach. The Aggies only lost 12 home games in the 14 years, and for over a year, Texas A&M had the longest home winning streak in the country. They lost in 1989 and did not lose again at Kyle Field until 1995.

Slocum resigned in 2002, following a disappointing season, but he was hired as the special advisor to Texas A&M president Robert Gates.

Head coach Dennis Franchione of the Texas A&M Aggies
Ronald Martinez / Getty Images North America / Getty Images via AFP

Dennis Franchione Era

Texas A&M hired Alabama head coach Dennis Franchione as Slocum’s replacement. The Aggies finished with a 4-8 record in 2003 and a nationally revised 77-0 loss to Oklahoma, the worst in A&M history. Franchione was able to get the Aggies to a 7-5 record in 2004 and played Tennessee in the Cotton Bowl, where they lost 38-7.

The Aggies were ranked 17th in the preseason polls but finished 5-6 and had one of the worst defenses in the country. Texas A&M would be competitive under Franchione, but an email newsletter was discovered during the 2007 season, violating NCAA and Big 12 standards. Franchione resigned following a 38-30 victory over Texas. Defensive coordinator Gary Darnell was named the interim head coach and lost to Penn State in the Alamo Bowl.

Mike Sherman Era

Former Houston Texans offensive coordinator Mike Sherman was hired. Sherman abandoned the read-option offense and installed a pro-style offense; his quarterbacks at A&M were Stephen McGee and Ryan Tannehill, both drafted to the NFL.

Sherman’s change in philosophy did not lead to wins, as the Aggies had losing records in the first two seasons under him. A&M started 2010 with a 3-3 record but finished strong with a six-game winning streak and earned a share of the Big 12 South Division title. Texas A&M would play LSU in the Cotton Bowl and lose 41-24, finishing with a 9-4 record.

The 2011 season had its ups and downs for the Aggies in the college football odds spreads. A&M would blow multiple double-digit leads to top ten teams, but they did become bowl eligible after a 61-7 win over Kansas. After the numerous blown leads in 2011, Sherman was fired and totaled an even 25-25 record in his four years.

Texas A&M Joins the SEC

The Aggies left the Big 12 and joined the SEC beginning in the 2012 season, and they hired Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin is the first African American head coach in Texas A&M football history. Their first season in the SEC was special, led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. The Aggies defeated number one Alabama, as well as number 11 Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. A&M finished the season top five in the AP and Coaches Poll, and they led the SEC in total offense and scoring.

Sumlin’s Aggies had a reputation of being an offensive juggernaut, but their defense struggled. Texas A&M would go 9-4 and beat Duke in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2013, but he could not recreate the magic of the 2012 season. A&M would become an above-average team, but that is not good enough in the grueling SEC. Sumlin started the 2017 season by blowing a 34-point lead to UCLA, and he was fired on Nov. 26, 2017. Sumlin finished his six years at College Station with a 25-23 record.

Shortly after Sumlin was fired, Texas A&M hired Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher. Fisher signed a massive ten-year, $75 million deal to leave the Seminoles, where he won the 2013 national championship with Jameis Winston. Fisher led the Aggies to a 9-4 record in 2018, including a seven-overtime win over LSU. While an 8-5 record in 2019 was a disappointment, the Aggies went 9-1 in 2020 and look to take the next step in the SEC and contend for a conference title in 2021.

Texas A&M is a relatively small school compared to the other big-name teams in college football, but the Aggies have some of the greatest traditions and history in the sport. A&M has not won a national championship in over 85 years, but they might be getting another one with the hiring of Jimbo Fisher. The college football experts pick College Station as one of the best places to watch a football game, the atmosphere is incredible, and their traditions are fantastic as well. That has been a look at the history of Texas A&M. Check out the rest of our coverage of SEC history in the BetUS Locker Room.

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