Texas A&M Aggies: Florida State Seminoles


The new College Football Playoff is supposed to encourage schools to schedule better nonconference games, as teams try to beef up their schedule strength to earn one of the playoff’s coveted four spots at season’s end.

On Thursday, Texas A&M and UCLA announced that they’ll play each other during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

Other schools have announced future marquee nonconference opponents, including Texas A&M vs. USC, Notre Dame vs. Texas, Alabama vs. Michigan State and LSU vs. Oklahoma.

Here are five other nonconference games I’d like to see in the future:

[+] EnlargeNick Saban, Urban Meyer
Kevin C. Cox/Getty ImagesUrban Meyer and Nick Saban have faced off for SEC titles, but their current teams, Ohio State and Alabama, have played only three times in history.
1. Alabama vs. Ohio State: Alabama’s Nick Saban and OSU’s Urban Meyer dominated the SEC when Meyer was coaching at Florida, combining to win five BCS national championships from 2006 to 2012.

When Meyer was still coaching at Florida, the Crimson Tide and Gators played in two of the most anticipated SEC championship games. The No. 2 Gators beat the No. 1 Tide 31-20 in 2008, and then the Tide turned the tables on No. 1 UF with a 32-13 win in 2009.

Alabama and Ohio State have played only three times in history, with the Tide winning each time, most recently in a 24-17 victory in the 1995 Citrus Bowl.

2. Texas vs. Texas A&M: Perhaps the biggest casualty in conference realignment, Texas and Texas A&M haven’t played each other since the Aggies bolted the Big 12 for the SEC after the 2011 season. Sadly, there are no plans for the in-state rivals to play again in future regular seasons.

The Aggies and Longhorns played each other 118 times from 1894 to 2011, with their annual meeting traditionally being played on Thanksgiving Day. UT won nearly twice as many games as the Aggies (76-37-5), including nine of the last 12 meetings.

With former Louisville coach Charlie Strong taking over at Texas, and Kevin Sumlin building the Aggies into an SEC powerhouse, the game would also pit two of the sport’s best African-American coaches against each other.

3. Oregon vs. Baylor: Two of the game’s most explosive offenses -- and two of its best-dressed teams -- would undoubtedly light up the scoreboard if they ever played. In fact, the contest would probably look more like a track meet.

Under coach Art Briles, the Bears have become the Ducks of the Southwest, with their hurry-up, spread offense and myriad flashy uniforms closely resembling what Chip Kelly and then Mark Helfrich built at Oregon. The Bears and Ducks follow the same blueprint on offense: play fast and score fast.

We hoped to see this matchup in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl last season, but alas, it didn’t happen. Oregon and Baylor have never met on the gridiron.

4. Michigan vs. USC: Two of the sport’s traditional heavyweights have faced each other eight times in the Rose Bowl Game Presented by Vizio, but only twice during the regular season -- in 1957 and 1958.

The Trojans won the last three meetings in the Rose Bowl, 32-18 in 2007, 28-14 in 2004 and 17-10 in 1990. USC has won six of the past seven meetings overall and holds a 6-4 advantage all-time.

We might have seen this matchup during the regular season if a Big Ten/Pac-12 scheduling partnership hadn’t fallen apart in 2012.

5. Georgia vs. Florida State: UGA coach Mark Richt was a longtime assistant under legendary FSU coach Bobby Bowden before taking over the Bulldogs, and he recently poached defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt off the Seminoles’ staff.

The Bulldogs and Seminoles go head-to-head for a lot of recruits every year, and Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher upgraded his roster by effectively recruiting South Georgia and Atlanta.

The Bulldogs and Seminoles have played 11 times and only once since 1984 -- UGA defeated FSU 26-13 in the 2003 Sugar Bowl. Georgia leads the all-time series, 6-4-1.

Aggies' wave of momentum continues 

December, 12, 2012
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LA PORTE, Texas -- What a busy week it has been for the Texas A&M coaching staff.

[+] EnlargeHoza Scott
Sam Khan Jr./ESPN.com2014 linebacker Hoza Scott made it official on Wednesday and committed to Texas A&M.
In the span of seven days, the Aggies have accepted three commitments, all from highly-touted players. On Dec. 6 it was ESPN 150 defensive tackle Justin Manning who pledged. On Monday, the nation's No. 1 athlete and the top player in Texas, Ricky Seals-Jones, jumped on board. On Wednesday, ESPN Watch List outside linebacker Hoza Scott joined the fray, adding strength to the Aggies' 2014 class.

Since the Aggies' season ended on Nov. 24, the hits have just kept on coming. Nick Harvey on Nov. 26. Cameron Clear on Nov. 27. Shaun Nixon on Nov. 29. Ja'Quay Williams on Dec. 2. It seems like every week, or sometimes every couple of days, the Aggies are landing a new prospect.

The return: Ricky Seals-Jones is back 

October, 26, 2012
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SEALY, Texas -- For the most part, Ricky Seals-Jones looks much like the same young man he was roughly seven weeks ago. He runs the same, cuts the same, still has the same speed and athleticism.

But there is one small piece of evidence on the Sealy (Texas) High School receiver that gives away the change in his life over that span of time. It's the brace that resides on his left knee.

[+] EnlargeRicky Seals-Jones
Sam Khan Jr./ESPN.comRicky Seals-Jones, the top prospect in Texas, is No. 10 overall in the ESPN 150.
Seals-Jones, the nation's No. 1 receiver and No. 10 player in the ESPN 150, is fully recovered from the dislocated kneecap he suffered on Sept. 6 in a game vs. Houston St. Pius X, but the brace is a doctor's order. He wears one for practices and games and a different one the rest of the day when he's walking around. All day, every day, the brace is with him. Sometimes, the 6-foot-5, 230-pound young man gets weary of wearing it and slips it off.

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LB Hoza Scott talks A&M-Florida visit 

September, 9, 2012
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While many eyes around the country were on College Station, Texas, as Texas A&M made its Southeastern Conference debut, Kyle Field was also the place to be for several notable recruits in the 2013 and 2014 classes.

Among those 2014 players present on Saturday was hotly-pursued linebacker Hoza Scott (La Porte, Texas).

Scott, who attended a game at Kyle Field last year when the Aggies hosted Oklahoma State, came away impressed with the atmosphere for Texas A&M's 20-17 loss to Florida.


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