The Texas A&M Aggies enjoyed their inaugural SEC season full of more ups than downs… but overall successful. Now they enter 2013 after getting their feet wet, and in the second season under head coach Kevin Sumlin. Will the Aggies be able to repeat or improve upon that success? Here are my game by game predictions for A&M in 2013:
The Aggies open up the season facing a team who went 7-6 in 2012. Losses included UCLA, LaTech, Marshall, Houston, Memphis and Tulsa. They ended up 3rd in the West division.. of CUSA. They were 79th in 2012 in Points Against… facing a team that was 4th in 2012 in Points For. Aggies will win by 40 points.
9/7 Sam Houston State
The Aggies can sleepwalk and still win this by 50.
Everyone will treat this game as the game of the century. Bama will treat this game with revenge on their mind after a major upset at home in 2012 handing the Crimson Tide their only loss in a National Championship season. Aggies had to sleeper opponents to start the season but still providing a warm up to the main event. Bama will have had a good warm up vs. Virginia Tech to open their season… then a week off before they face the Aggies. But Bama still has to go into Kyle Field in a stadium that will fired up and ready. At the same time, Manziel will be under a lot of pressure to repeat a Heisman winning season in 2012 which was followed up by critical and fairly tumultuous offseason. Bama was 1st in 2012 in Points Against.. facing the team 4th in Points for. The Aggies won’t be sneaking up on anyone this season… Alabama wins by 7.
Passing Attack vs. Passing Attack. In 2012, “The Ponies” (as my friend calls them) was 54th in both Points for and Points Against. Will ‘Stangs be able to keep up with SEC level talent? Nope. Will the Aggies be sulking after a tough loss to Bama or will they come out some angry farmers and send SMU home embarrassed and hurtin? Good question. This will be the second team in a row that the Aggies face that is coming off an open week. I think SMU might make things interesting at first..but the Aggies will remind SMU in the second half that A&M is on the warpath to prove they are the #1 power in the state of Texas. Aggies end up winning by 20.
9/28 at Arkansas
These teams have a lot of history against each other even before the farmers joined the SEC. The Aggies will make their first road trip of the season to welcome Bret Bielema to the SEC. By this point in the season, the Hogs will have faced the Rajun Cajuns, Samford, Southern Miss, and take a road trip to Jersey to face Rutgers before returning home to face the Aggies. By this point neither team will have had an open date on their schedule. The Razorbacks were turned into sizzling bacon in 2012 thanks to an irresponsible Petrino. But this is Bielema’s team now. He will need a couple of years to get his massive cornfed linemen in place to make any sort of run into the SEC… but Bielema also knows how to get the best out of his players. In 2012, the Aggies blasted A&M 58-10. This won’t be the same Arkansas team. This may be a barn burner for the first three quarters with Arkansas wanting something to prove… but I think A&M still has too much firepower and better depth (right now). Aggies by 10.
10/5 OPEN DATE
10/12 at Ole Miss
By this point in the season the Aggies will have faced 5 opponents total with two of those being SEC West opponents going 1-1. After a week off, the Aggies face yet another SEC opponent and another road game In 2012, Ole Miss kept this one interesting with the Aggies winning 30-27. Also at Ole Miss. The
RebelBlackBearGeneralWhateverTheyAreBeingCalledNows have another year under Freeze and have recruited well. But so have the Aggies. This will be a high scoring game which I believe will come close to totaling 100 points… but Aggies win another close one – by 6.
63-21. Aggies WHOOP’d the Tigers.. by more than 40 points… at Auburn. Malzahn is back with an offensive scheme that better fits the personnel and Ellis is in house and in charge of the defense. Auburn should be much much better. This year the WarKitties make a trip to Kyle Field after facing Washington State, Arkansas State, Miss. State, LSU, Ole Miss and Western Carolina before facing the Aggies with one open date. The WarEagles will put up points but it will take more than 1 year for Malzahn to rebuild this team. Aggies by 10.
Vandy is suddenly the become the team that can upset the apple cart since James Franklin has made his way to Nashvegas. Last year, Vandy was 15th in the nation in Points Against and 56th in Points For. Vandy continues to recruit well but do they have a QB who can make them the team to shift the balance of power in the SEC? Vandy has always had this way of being a thorn in teams sides over the years. This will be the first time the Commodores faced the Aggies in SEC play and the Aggies get this one at home. I think this one stays interesting for most of the game… Aggies close it out by 17.
(Yes… I changed it from 7 to 17)
Let’s see… in 2012 the Miners were 102nd in Points for and 78th in Points against… versus teams in CUSA. Unless the Aggies have a rash of injuries and only 11 players can play even with the Miners having a week off before they head to Kyle Field… See my prediction for Sam Houston State.
11/9 Mississippi State
The Aggies defeated the Bullmutts-West 38-13 in 2012 and in 2013 will have been the 6th SEC team they have faced so far this season. Miss. St, however, will have faced Oklahoma State, Alcorn St, at Auburn, Troy, LSU, Bowling Green, Kentucky, South Carolina before facing the Aggies. Miss St. was 61st nationally in Points For and 34th nationally in Points Against. Miss St will have faced passing attack after passing attack after passing attack. The CowBells better hope they have figured out a damn good game plan to defend the pass by this point before they head to Kyle Field. Aggies by 17.
11/16 OPEN DATE
11/23 at LSU
Now things get interesting. SEC division winners are starting to appear.. and by this point in the season the Aggies have only one loss and head to one of the loudest and hostile environments in all of college football. Here’s where it may be a lil bit unfair to LSU. The week before.. they come off a road game at Alabama then return home after a week off to face the Aggies. Last year, LSU was only one of two teams to hand a loss to the Aggies by only 5 points. The LSU defense was a main reason the Tigers season wasn’t a lot worse than it could have been in 2012. The Tigers will have faced TCU, UAB, Kent State, Auburn, at UGAly, at Miss St, THE Florida Gators, at Ole Miss, Furman and Alllabammmaaa. Both teams will be beaten up all to hell by the time this game comes up.. and both with a week off to prepare. LSU with a new offensive coordinator and the same ole stingy defense. LSU will unfortunately keep the Aggies number… and the Mad Hatter will pull one of his famous tricks out of the bag… Tigers by 1.
11/30 at Missouri
The major question here is.. will Mizzou have improved at all over a dismal 2012 season? This will be the third set of Tigers the farmers will have seen this season and won this game by 30 in 2012. I don’t have much faith that Mizzou will be all that improved and by this point will have been beaten up pretty good and probably begging for mercy. Aggies by 20.
A 10-2 record playing in the SEC is nothing to be ashamed of. Everyone probably is asking whether Manziel will repeat as a Heisman Trophy winner. I don’t think he will and I’m not so sure he will even be considered. Offensive Coordinator Kliff Kingsbury and OT Luke Joekel were a big part of Manziels 2012 success. With Kingsbury off to his first campaign as head coach for Texas Tech and Joekel off cashing in playing for the Jaguars in the NFL, teams will find a way to get to Manziel, contain him, force him to fumble the ball and he will have too many interceptions to repeat. More than that, A&M isn’t going to sneak up on anyone this year. Teams will have had a full season to study A&M. That’s not to say the Aggies won’t have success… the problem is they still have to face teams who have their share of the 7 year run on SEC National Championships.