Cotton Bowl 2013: Expectations for Texas A&M Must Be Tempered After Blowout Win

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 5, 2013

ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 04:  The Texas A&M Aggies celebrates a 41-13 win against the Oklahoma Sooners during the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 4, 2013 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

While Texas A&M thoroughly dominated the Oklahoma Sooners in the AT&T Cotton Bowl on Thursday night, winning by a score of 41-13, expectations of the Aggies heading into 2013 must be lowered.

It's easy to think about SEC championships and national titles after that game, one that saw Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel absolutely decimate the Sooners defense by land and by air. 

Rest assured, were there a pool or small lake that Manziel needed to walk across, he would have dominated by sea as well.

His performance, as noted by ESPN's SportsCenter, is enough to get anyone excited about the future:

Johnny Manziel dazzles in MONSTER #CottonBowl performance - 516 total yds, 2 Pass TD, 2 Rush TD in 41-13 win over Oklahoma. #JohnnyFootball

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 5, 2013

When you add the recruiting class that head coach Kevin Sumlin has put together—one that is among he best in the country and includes 6'5" receiver Ricky Seals-Jones, among others—into the mix, it's totally understandable why those expectations are so high.

But they're unfair, unrealistic and flat-out silly.

Yes, Manziel is amazing, and the legend of Johnny Football will live on long after he's left school for the NFL.

But with the likely departure of offensive tackles Jake Matthews and Luke Joeckel, who are both projected to be first-round picks in this year's NFL draft, the Aggies offensive line isn't going to be quite as good as it was in 2012.

Not only that, but it's important to remember that Texas A&M, with a class ranked No. 7 by ESPN,  isn't the only SEC program that is adding big-time talent with a Top 10 recruiting class.

ESPN has Alabama (No. 2) and Florida (No. 3) ahead of the Aggies in that department, with LSU (No. 8) and Georgia (No. 9) right on their heels.

So enjoy the season that has just come to an end.

Run through the streets singing the praises of Manziel and Sumlin.

But be mindful of what you expect from them in 2013, for what happened this season was something magical.

You don't want to set yourself up for disappointment if the Aggies don't reach them.