December 31, 2012

Shinn at 3 p.m.: Aggies looking for a better farewell

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

LAS COLINAS, Texas — Texas A&M exceeded expectations in its first season in the SEC.

The main reason they were so low was because of the Aggies went 7-6 and finished tied for sixth in the final Big 12 Conference season. That last Big 12 Conference game was a bitter loss to Texas.

Texas A&M defensive end Spencer Nealy said on Monday facing Oklahoma in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic gives the Aggies a second shot to exit the Big 12 Conference.

“We have to leave the Big 12 on a good mark,” he said. “Last year left a nasty taste that is still pretty gross in mouth when I talk about it. I feel like this is our goodbye to the Big 12.

“It happened for a reason. We had a great season. If a few things would have gone different, we would have gone to a different bowl game. It almost feels like it’s destiny for it to happen. Going to the Cotton Bowl — the only SEC game against a Big 12 team — kind of feels like we get to shut the door.”

Big 12 and SEC teams have been meeting in the Cotton Bowl since 1999. The SEC has a 9-5 edge in those previous 14 games and have won the last four.

Of course, two of those nine Big 12 losses were by the Aggies.