A&M's Most Important Wins: No. 16-20

Aggie Websider's David Sandhop reveals his Top 20 most important wins in Texas A&M football history from 1974-2012. In today's first installment, Sandhop looks at games No. 16-20. Which of your favorite games made the list? Check back all week as we count down the 20 most important wins of the past 40 years.

No. 20 Texas A&M 10 Stanford 7, 1992 Pigskin Classic in Anaheim

This was the era of the preseason made-for-TV games in August when they meant something. There were only 1-2 of these games a year and the Aggies were tagged to face Stanford and their new coach Bill Walsh. At the time, Walsh was still considered the greatest offensive mind in the game, while in 1992 the Wrecking Crew defense was at its peak. It was a classic great offense versus great defense match-up on national TV. Walsh's "genius" overshadowed the Aggies in all of the previews and hype for the game.

The game itself wasn't that entertaining. It was a sloppy, low-scoring affair with the only TD being a strike from Jeff Granger to TE Greg Schorp. Actually, the A&M offense struggled so much that Slocum briefly went with true freshman and high school all-American Corey Pullig who would eventually led the Aggie for the next three seasons.

A&M actually finished the regular season undefeated, but a weak SWC schedule and some less than impressive wins left A&M just outside the national championship talk. A&M eventually lost handily in the Cotton Bowl to a loaded Notre Dame team 24-3.

No. 19 Texas A&M 12 Texas 7, 2006 DKR Memorial Stadium in Austin

In a seesaw 2006 season that saw the Aggies barely escape a hugely embarrassing loss to Army, beat Oklahoma State on the road and a ranked Missouri team at home, and two one-point losses to top Big 12 programs OU and Nebraska, few people gave the Aggies any hope of defeating No. 10 Texas in Austin.

But an inspired defensive effort by the Aggies led by Michael Bennett's jarring hit of Colt McCoy that forced his exit from the game and a long TD run by Michael Goodson left Texas A&M within a point midway through the fourth quarter. Stephen McGee led a 16-play, nine minute drive that ended with nine straight running plays and McGee in the end zone after an eight-yard run. Interceptions by Mark Dodge and Japhus Brown stopped any chances of a Longhorn comeback.

The win pushed the Aggies' record to 9-3, the first time A&M hit that win mark since the 1998 Sugar Bowl season. More importantly, the win broke a six-game losing streak to the Longhorns with a 20.8 point average margin of loss.

No. 18 Texas A&M 33 OU 19, 2010 Kyle Field in College Station

Midway through the 2010 season, the Aggies were mired in a three-game losing streak after Missouri whipped A&M 30-9 in College Station. In the next game versus Kansas, head coach Mike Sherman made the switch from Jerrod Johnson to Ryan Tannehill at QB, and that led to best stretch of Aggie football in 12 years. In fact, 2010 was the only season on record that A&M defeated OU, Nebraska, and Texas in the same season.

The first major test was OU and while big scoring plays and a 100-yard kickoff return by Coryell Judie dominated the headlines, it was the Aggie defense and their three four-down stops near the goal line that kept the Sooners at arms-length throughout the game. The game also served as a platform for Von Miller's late season run as the game's best pass rusher and eventual winner of the Butkus Award and No. 2 overall draft pick. The Aggies held RB DeMarco Murray and the OU rushing attack to 77 yards on 44 attempts.

No. 17 Texas A&M 22 Michigan 20, 1995 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio

Despite four consecutive double digit-win seasons and 42 victories from 1991-1994, the A&M program was desperate for a bowl title and a quality win over a major name in college football. With the Southwest Conference on life support with few quality teams and three losses in three consecutive Cotton Bowl appearances, the perennial Top 10 Aggies were in search of a signature win. Earlier in the 1995 season and ranked No. 3 in the country, all eyes were on Texas A&M as they faced No. 7 Colorado in Boulder. The result was another disappointment. While playing No. 14 Michigan in the Alamo Bowl was a consolation prize of sorts, the tight 22-20 win did give the Aggies that rare, quality bowl win over the Big Ten powerhouse.

Freshman Eric Bernard had the lone touchdown while Kyle Bryant kicked five field goals in a game where A&M relied on the three-headed true freshmen attack of Bernard, Sirr Parker, and Tiki Hardeman. Despite leading 22-13 with just over 30 seconds remaining, the game ended 22-20 with Michigan on Texas A&M's two-yard line as time expired.

No. 16 Texas A&M 65 BYU 14, 1990 Holiday Bowl in San Diego

This game set-up perfectly for the Aggies. A&M was extremely talented in 1990, despite losing three games @LSU, @ No. 12 Houston, and @ No. 5 Texas. In fact, the Aggies were positioned to defeat both the Cougars and Longhorns and many experts felt the maroon-and-white was the best team in a very stout SWC that season.

On the other hand, BYU was in the midst of its golden age winning many WAC titles and mentioned frequently in the national championship discussion throughout the 1980's and early 1990's. In 1990, BYU's offense was led by Heisman Trophy-winning QB Ty Detmer and the Cougars once again reached No. 4 in the nation before an upset at the hands of Hawaii in the last regular season game of year.

In the weeks leading up to the Holiday Bowl game with the Aggies, longtime BYU head man Lavell Edwards conducted several interviews where he not only lamented at his team's loss to the Rainbow Warriors, but also over the fact that BYU wasn't going to vindicate itself with an opponent such as Texas A&M. He made several other comments that took subtle shots at the quality of his team's opponent for the Holiday Bowl.

The beat down was historic. The offense scored through the air and on the ground, and they scored at will. Bucky Richardson scored a touchdown running, throwing, and catching in the game. But it wasn't just a beat down on the scoreboard. The Wrecking Crew obliterated the vaunted Cougar offense with a constant and unmerciful blitz. BYU simply didn't have the athleticism up-front to slow down the pass rush and the Detmer was pummeled all night. He didn't separate just one shoulder. He left the game with two separated shoulders in a game to this day represents one of the worst beatings the Aggies put on a major college football program in the modern era.

After the game, Lavell Edwards was visibly upset over the fact that the Aggies were still throwing the ball with a 44-14 lead in the fourth quarter. But clearly, Edwards' words prior to the game provided incentive to not only run up the score, but to inflict pain and punishment in the process. By all accounts, the mission was accomplished.

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