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Predicting the 2014 SEC Football Season: Texas A&M Aggies

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With less than 25 days until the college football season begins, it's never too early to look at the 2014 football schedules and make wild blind predictions.

Scott Halleran

The ninth in a series leading up to fall camps takes us to Aggieland.

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Texas A&M Aggies 9-4 (4-4) in 2013

Synopsis:
So, can you guess what is different in College Station in 2014? Yes, there will be more fans at Kyle Field as capacity has grown from 82,589 to 102,512 but I am referring to what will NOT be there. Of course I am talking about quarterback Johnny Manziel, wide receiver Mike Evans, and left tackle Jake Matthews.

This is a transition year for the Aggies but the most intriguing aspect is what coach Kevin Sumlin can do with a quarterback of his own choosing. When he was hired at the University of Houston, he was fortunate to inherit quarterback Case Keenum who would be Sumlin's signal caller for his entire stint with the Cougars. However when Keenum tore his ACL during the third game of his junior season, the Cougars went in the tank losing 7 of their last 10 games.

When Keenum finally completed his sixth season, yes, SIXTH season at Houston, Sumlin was on the first train to College Station where he again was blessed with a talented quarterback who had redshirted the season before. Can Sumlin win with someone he recruited at QB?

Much of the defense return but I am not sure if that is a good thing since they were dreadful in 2013. Additionally, they will be without their three best defenders as defensive tackle Isaiah Golden and linebacker Darian Claiborne were dismissed after an arrest for aggravated robbery in June, and defensive end Gavin Stansbury was dismissed in July after his arrest for misdemeanor assault. Golden and Claiborne were also arrested in February for marijuana possession and Claiborne was also nabbed for pot in December 2013. (Side note: prize recruit "Speedy" Noil was also in the car during the February incident but not arrested.)

Key returnees:
QB Kenny Hill, OT Cedric Ogbuehi, Trey Williams, RB Tra Carson, CB Deshazor Everett, C Mike Matthews (Jake's brother), P Drew Kaser, G Jarvis Harrison.

Key losses:
QB Johnny Manziel (Round 1, Browns), WR Mike Evans (Round 1, Buccaneers), LT Jake Matthews (Round 1, Falcons), RB Ben Malena, WR Derel Walker, LB Nate Askew, DT Isaiah Golden (arrested, arrested, dismissed), LB Darian Claiborne (arrested, arrested, arrested, dismissed), DE Gavin Stansbury (arrested, dismissed, transferred to Houston).

Newcomers:
QB Kyle Allen, WR Ricky Seals-Jones (injured & redshirt 2013, arrested April 2014), WR Speedy Noil, DE Myles Garrett , CB Nick Harvey, DT DeShawn Washington, LB A.J. Hilliard (TCU transfer).

The Schedule:
Thu, Aug 28 @ South Carolina - L
Sept 6 vs Lamar - W
Sept 13 vs Rice - W
Sept 20 @ SMU - W - Beware the upset alert!
Sept 27 vs Arkansas (Arlington, TX) - W
Oct 4 @ Mississippi St - L - In a toss up go with the home team.
Oct 11 vs Ole Miss - W - see above.
Oct 18 @ Alabama - L
Nov 1 vs UL Monroe - W
Nov 8 @ Auburn - L
Nov 15 vs Missouri - L - another pick 'em.
Thu, Nov 27 vs LSU - L

Let's Go Bowling? Yes, just barely thanks to another lame non-conference schedule. Do they still play the Weedwacker Bowl?

........

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