DALLAS (FWAA) – The Texas A&M Aggies met the challenge of taking on the nation's top-ranked team in its own backyard, and came away with one of the biggest wins in school history in a 29-24 upset of No. 1 Alabama. The win reshuffled the national title picture and earned the Aggies the honor of Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week for games of the weekend of Nov. 10. The announcement came exclusively on SiriusXM Radio's "College Sports Today," hosted by Mark Packer and Eddie George.
The Aggies took their best shots early, running out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter on two short Christine Michael touchdown runs and a Johnny Manziel touchdown pass to Ryan Swope. Alabama came back to get within 20-17, but never caught up with the elusive Manziel. A Taylor Bertolet field goal and touchdown pass from Manziel to Malcome Kennedy extended the lead to 29-17 in the fourth quarter.
But Alabama, which shared the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week honor last week following its dramatic last-minute win at LSU, nearly pulled it off again. AJ McCarron threw a touchdown pass with 2:28 left and moved the ball downfield again on the next drive before Deshazor Everett intercepted a fourth-down pass at the goal line with 1:36 left, ending Alabama's 13-game win streak.
"This is one of those meaningful experiences where when you reflect back on your college career, you say 'We did something great,'" Texas A&M defensive end Damontre Moore said.
Other Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week nominees for the weekend of Nov. 10 included:
• Syracuse (5-5): The Orange knocked No. 11 Louisville from the short list of unbeaten teams with a convincing 45-26 home win. Syracuse had a balanced offensive attack, generating 278 yards rushing and 246 passing as Ryan Nassib became the Big East's career completions leader. The Orange defense held the Cardinals to 48 yards rushing.
The Football Writers Association of America has named a national team of the week since the 2002 season. This is the eighth season that the award has been sponsored by the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
Members of the FWAA All-America Committee decide the weekly honor. Each remaining Monday during the 2012 college football regular season, the FWAA will name the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week. The winner will be announced through Nov. 26 at 9:30 a.m. ET on the SiriusXM College Sports Nation channel.
Founded in 1971, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl has hosted seven games that have decided the college football national championship, including four Bowl Championship Series title games. This season, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be played on Jan. 3, 2013, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., and the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl will be played on Dec. 29, 2012, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week, go to footballwriters.com or fiestabowl.org.
2012 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Teams of the Week
• Weekend of Sept. 1: Ohio Bobcats
• Weekend of Sept. 8: ULM Warhawks
• Weekend of Sept. 15: Stanford Cardinal
• Weekend of Sept. 22: Kansas State Wildcats
• Weekend of Sept. 29: Washington Huskies
• Weekend of Oct. 6: N.C. State Wolfpack
• Weekend of Oct. 13: Texas Tech Red Raiders
• Weekend of Oct. 20: Duke Blue Devils
• Weekend of Oct. 27: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
• Weekend of Nov. 3: Alabama Crimson Tide/Oregon Ducks
• Weekend of Nov. 10: Texas A&M Aggies