Though Texas A&M lost Jack Pardee and 12 lettermen off the phenomenal 1956 roster, they returned running back John David Crow and quarterback Roddy Osborne. It was enough for a No. 2 preseason ranking. Crow was injured in the team's first game — a win over Maryland. As a result, Osborne moved to running back. After ripping Missouri, Crow returned and the Aggies blew out Houston. The defense shut out TCU in a 7-0 win. In a 14-0 win over Baylor, Crow took over, scoring two touchdowns. As a result, A&M moved up to No. 1. Against Arkansas the following week, Crow intercepted a pass in the end zone to preserve a 7-6 win. The team defeated SMU the week after. However, a shocking 7-6 loss to Rice ended the Aggies' hopes of a national championship. Against Texas, with the conference title at stake, the Aggies fell 9-7 and settled for an appearance in the Gator Bowl. Following the regular season, Paul Bryant had a message for Heisman Trophy voters, saying, "If John David Crow doesn't win the Heisman Trophy," he said, "they ought to stop giving it." Crow won the program’s first Heisman Trophy after rushing for 562 yards and six touchdowns, and nabbed five interceptions. Paul Bryant accepted a job to return to his alma mater, Alabama, where he played for the 1934 national championship team. He said upon his hiring, "Momma called. And when Momma calls, you just have to come runnin.'" In the Gator Bowl, the Aggies fell 3-0 to Tennessee and finished the season 8-3. After a long coaching search, the team hired Jim Myers from Iowa State.