By PST Contributor: Des Boodram
August 17th 2016
Kevin Sumlin and his Texas A&M Aggies have amassed an average record of 9-4 over the last four seasons, which is quite impressive in any BCS conference. Naturally 10 win season are supremely more sexy on paper or the interweb… something about that extra digit, but teams that have averaged 10 win seasons over the last four years don’t necessarily grow on trees.
The Aggies have more than held their own in the tough SEC West, with marquis wins against top programs and ranked teams both at home and on the road. Unfortunately for this program, it appears as though 9 wins will continue to be par for the course in the SEC West, and this program, which is pulling out all the tops just to be the third best in their own division is at risk of a major decline this season.
Championship or Bust for Aggies?
Texas A&M will not only have to pull off a couple of upsets this season, they will also have to beat all the other teams that they should beat. It’s time to be a complete team as determined by their record, and not just on paper or to the naked eye. Can the Aggies get over the hump this season.
The Texas A&M will rely on two Oklahoma transfers to the lead the offense which is risky business, but a plan that needs to be executed to perfection. QB Trevor Knight should be the starter, based on experience and past accomplishments, and he’ll have no time to waste and the Aggies will be starting fast out of the gates. Running Back Keith Ford also from Oklahoma will has big play potential but is relatively unproven.
The Aggies do return all of their WRs from last season, which will give Knight an experienced unit of pass catchers, which should help straighten out the learning curve. Another new offense coach, this time Jim Turner should help the offensive line be more consistent this season, and with a new RB and QB in place, the O-line will need to be much better if the Aggies are going to have a fighting chance.
The Defense will be led up Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall, two the best defensive ends in the country and two players that will be fun to watch regardless of how well Texas A&M does this season. Both will play in the NFL and both should be All-Americans.
The secondary will be led by Safety Armani Watts and Justin Evans, who round out a very capable defensive unit that will likely be the driving force behind the success of this team. There are still plenty of question marks from a player development side, but there’s enough there to make things very difficult for some of the best offenses in the SEC.
Offense Will Need to Step Up
It’s going to be difficult for this defense to carry this team game in and game out in the SEC. Unless the offense steps up in away no one is expecting, expect a clear digression this season, with a tough schedule looming, that includes trips to both Alabama, and Auburn as well as visits from UCLA , LSU and Tennessee.
A 6-6 record plus a bowl game should be considered a good season with this schedule unless all three toss up games against Arkansas, South Carolina, and Ole’ Miss go their way. The Aggies could potentially go 5-7 this season, which could spell the end of the Kevin Sumlin era in College Station.
The Texas A&M Aggies are a -2.0 point home favorite vs. UCLA in week 1.