There were heightened expectations going into coach Mike Sherman's third campaign. Senior quarterback Jerrod Johnson put up record numbers in 2009, and senior All-American Von Miller returned at linebacker.
But Johnson, who had shoulder surgery in the offseason, struggled with consistency. He was inaccurate and turnover-prone in the first six games, throwing nine interceptions, and A&M was at 3-3 following a 30-9 loss to Missouri.
Sherman turned the quarterback duties over to Ryan Tannehill. The Aggies won six consecutive games behind inspired play from him, running back Cyrus Gray and a revived defense.
The Aggies defeated two top-10 foes — Oklahoma and Nebraska — during the stretch, and also became the first Big 12 team to beat OU, Nebraska and Texas in the same season.
Miller won the Butkus Award, which goes to the nation's best linebacker. The 9-3 Aggies earned a berth in the Cotton Bowl, where they were defeated 41-24 by SEC powerhouse LSU. But A&M was close to returning to the national stage, finishing the seasonranked No. 19.