In the case of Texas A&M against Alabama, that environment was a win-win for the Aggies as long as they didn’t get blown out. It almost came to that, but they rebounded which only added to the excitement and environment. There was so much buildup to that matchup that it would be impossible for a prospect to place more stock into the loss than they did in the atmosphere. By all accounts, the loss has had absolutely no effect on the prospects in attendance, thus would have no effect on the Texas A&M coaching staff either.
You always run the risk of an official visit backfiring especially for a highly anticipated matchup if you don’t perform well as a team, or worse, get throttled by an opponent, especially one you should beat. Those outcomes can be difficult to overcome. Keep in mind, a bad loss is followed by having breakfast the next morning with the prospects who witnessed the game the day before which can be an uncomfortable setting at times.
There has been a pretty big shift among coaching philosophies over the years about hosting prospects on official visits in-season on game weekends. Many are moving away from it because it can be very, very difficult to prepare a game plan and do what’s necessary to win the game and, at the same time, provide the attention to the prospect that is needed as well. Many are opting for the official visit after the season and in the month of January so that all their efforts can solely be devoted to the prospective student athlete without the pressure of winning a game.