A senior quarterback (Corey Pullig) and a Heisman-caliber running back (Leeland McElroy) led the Sporting News to vote Texas A&M as the No. 1 team in the country going into the season. The Associated Press had the Aggies ranked third. "Lectric Leeland," as he was dubbed in A&M’s Heisman Trophy campaign, started the year with a 229-yard performance in a blowout of LSU.
But at 2-0, the Aggies fell flat in a much-hyped matchup at top-10 foe Colorado. The Aggies lost, 29-21. In Lubbock, Zach Thomas intercepted a Pullig pass and returned it for a touchdown in Texas Tech's 14-7 upset win. A&M plummeted to No. 22 in the polls.
The Aggies won eight straight games but fell to No. 9 Texas in the final Southwest Conference game at Kyle Field. A year with national championship expectations ended at 8-3. McElroy battled injuries but still had more than 1,700 all-purpose yards. The Aggies defeated Michigan in the Alamo Bowl and finished the year No. 15. In the final season of the SWC, the Aggies failed to win the conference for the first time in five years.