Texas A&M 38, Mississippi State 13: Aggies ready for Tuscaloosa showdown

Texas A&M took the opening possession of the game right down field against Mississippi State and never looked back in a pivotal SEC West match-up. Texas A&M stormed out to a 24-0 lead at halftime and put things on cruise control to get out of town with a  38-13 victory.

Texas A&M picked up a pair of touchdowns on the ground from Ben Malena and Christine Michael and freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel worked his way up the middle of the field on an all-too-easy-looking touchdown run of 37 yards for a commanding 21-0 lead early in the second quarter. Texas Tech rolled up over 700 yards of offense, with Manziel passing for  yards. Manziel also rushed for a pair of touchdowns, eclipsing the total combined rushing touchdowns of former A&M quarterbacks Ryan Tannenhill and Jerrod Johnson between 2009 and 2011. Manziel still has three games to play in the regular season.

Now Texas A&M has a chance to really make some noise in the national conversation. Next up? Alabama.

With the win Texas A&M improves to 4-2 in SEC play, 7-2 overall. Depending on what happens tonight in Baton Rouge, the Aggies could be just one back in the SEC West race. LSU previously handed Texas A&M a close SEC loss in College Station, so the road to Atlanta is still a bit of a pipe dream for Texas A&M, but a win next weekend in Tuscaloosa would at the very least throw Texas A&M in to the BCS at-large conversation. With a freshman star in Manziel and first-year head coach Kevin Sumlin having the program playing at a high level, these Aggies have become one of the more fascinating teams to keep an eye on every weekend in college football.

Keep in mind Texas A&M's only two losses this season have come to LSU and Florida, both easily top ten teams this first weekend in November. Those two losses have come by a combined seven points. When you start to look at the various teams that will be hoping to get an at-large bid, Texas A&M may start to be one of the teams worth giving a hard look if they can shock Alabama next week.

Of course, that is always much easier said, or typed, than said.

Kevin McGuire is the national college football writer for Examiner.com and host of the No 2-Minute Warning podcast. Follow him on TwitterGoogle+and Facebook.

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About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to NBCSports.com's College Football Talk, Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Host of the No 2-Minute Warning Podcast on iTunes, Stitcher Radio and iHeart Radio. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.