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Texas A&M ranked No. 18 in final top 25 polls

January 07, 2014
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
Texas A&M’s nine-win season coupled with the team’s third straight bowl victory pushed the Aggies to a No. 18 final ranking in both major top 25 polls on Tuesday.

It was the second straight season that the Aggies earned a final top 25 ranking, which hadn’t been done at Texas A&M in more than a decade. 2013’s No. 18 ranking in the Associated Press media poll and the USA Today head coaches poll came on the heels of last year’s historic No. 5 finish. The last time A&M earned consecutive AP top 25 final rankings was 1998 and 1999 when the Aggies finished No. 11 and No. 23, respectively.

With nine wins in 2013, the Aggies have won 20 total games in head coach Kevin Sumlin’s first two seasons at Texas A&M, which is a record for A&M head coaches. No other A&M head coach has won more than 18 games in his first two seasons in Aggieland. It was the first time since 1997 and 1998 that the Aggies won at least nine games in consecutive seasons.

The Aggies’ 52-48 win over Duke in the Chick-fila-A Bowl was historic because it featured the largest comeback in school history (21 points) and gave A&M bowl wins in three straight seasons for the first time. Sumlin became the first A&M head coach to post bowl game wins in his first two seasons in College Station, and he joined College Football Hall of Fame member Homer Norton as the only A&M head coaches to win bowl games in consecutive seasons.

The 2013 Aggies produced three first-team All-Americans in wide receiver Mike Evans, punter Drew Kaser and offensive tackle Jake Matthews. The trio were finalists for the a variety of national awards – Evans for the Biletnikoff Award (best receiver), Kaser for the Ray Guy Award (best punter) and Matthews for the Outland Trophy (top interior lineman) and the Senior CLASS Award. Matthews also won the Seminole Tribe Bobby Bowden Award from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).

Sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel was a second-team All-American and a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He was also a finalist for the Maxwell Award, the Walter Camp Player of the Year, the Davey O’Brien Award, the Hornung Award, the Manning Award and the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award.

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