Remember when Texas A&M was laughed at for leaving the Big 12 to join forces with the SEC? Remember when the Longhorns were considered the big brother for football in the state of Texas and the Aggies were looked upon as the nerdy middle child who was always playing battleship?
The roles have been reversed. Texas A&M is now the top dog when it comes to football in the state that does everything big.
It gets no bigger than the Aggies at the moment.
Forget about the events that took place on the field and how Texas A&M earned its stripes in the SEC, being the only team to beat the Alabama Crimson Tide and having the first freshman player ever to win a Heisman Trophy.
The recruiting is speaking for itself as well.
With national signing day slowing down a bit, the Aggies have put together a Top 10 class, according to 247Sports. With a total of 15 players who are ranked above 3-stars, this class is truly loaded with talent on both sides of the ball.
And guess what?
If the Aggies were still in the Big 12, they would have the No. 1 recruiting class in the conference, knocking Texas to No. 3 (Texas is currently behind Oklahoma for the top spot). Texas has put together a wonderful recruiting class in its own right, but it should not be mentioned in the same breath as what Texas A&M has done.
With game-changers such as Ricky Seals-Jones and JaQuay Williams and a freakishly athletic defensive lineman in Justin Manning, the Aggies have several guys who could come in right away and contribute.
Texas, on the other hand, has elite players like Tyrone Swoopes and Darius James, but the overall amount of stars are missing to move the Longhorns up the ladder. The class doesn't have the same shock value behind it to really make you drop your jaw with all of the talent that is heading to Austin. And that's because the Aggies have become the top team in the state.
Some of it has to do with the team moving to the SEC. In case you haven't noticed, the majority of elite talent pick a team from that conference, as 11 SEC teams round out the Top 25, according to 247Sports. But it is the fact that Texas A&M has become that fun team that is quickly on the rise.
The team was able to win 11 games in its first season in the SEC, so recruits see an opportunity to win immediately. They see how the team has fun, as Johnny Manziel has become an instant college football celebrity and seems to have paparazzi following him around everywhere. Head coach Kevin Sumlin is that young coach who has a ton of upside and appears to be a player’s coach that kids want to play for.
The Aggies have a lot going for them, and kids want to be a part of the next best thing. This is part of the reason everybody is also flocking to play for the Ole Miss Rebels.
Texas will always recruit well, because it is Texas. With the history and the tradition that comes into play, top recruits will always consider the Longhorns, and it is nearly impossible for them to end up with a completely horrible recruiting class because of it.
However, the program hasn't reached a BCS bowl since 2009, it has struggled to beat subpar opponents the last three seasons, and it is obvious Texas is in one of those funks that every school hits at one point or another. There is also no guarantee that head coach Mack Brown will be around much longer. With talk of fatigue and retirement, it is clear the legendary coach is on his last leg.
So we have one program that is on the rise and has its best football in front of it. And we have a program that is living off of past accomplishments and is struggling to regain that glory. One school is playing exciting football and has limitless potential, while the other has pieces in place, but seems to have lost that edge from a few years ago.
Which school would you rather play for?
It is clear which side the recruits are taking.