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Predicting the 2018 SEC Football Season: Jimbo’s Texas A&M

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There is a new sheriff in town. Will this one be any different?

<p zoompage-fontsize="15" style="">NCAA Football: Chick-fil-A Kickoff-Alabama vs Florida State
Nick Saban is 12-0 against former assistants, outscoring their teams 453-134 in the process.
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

After six seasons in the SEC, the Aggies are finally ready to step up and pay up to play with the big boys. A&M paid close to HALF A BILLION DOLLARS to renovate Kyle Field and just ponied up $75 million - fully GUARANTEED - to Jimbo Fisher to serve as head coach.

Coach: Jimbo Fisher (83–23, 48–16 ACC in 8 seasons at FSU; 0-0 at TAMU)

2017 TAMU record: 7–6 (4–4 in SEC, fifth in the West Division)

CB969 2017 Prediction: 6-6 “We will get a real feel for the Aggies on September 3 [at UCLA which they lost after leading 44-10], but it is not looking good for Sumlin. If my blind dart-throwing is accurate, he might be gone before turkeys hit dining room tables across the country.” [Sorry, I was a little off. Sumlin was fired three days AFTER Thanksgiving.]

Looking back: It was another emotional roller coaster Aggies season for former coach Kevin Sumlin. They took an embarrassing L to a mediocre UCLA team (6-7) and followed that up with four straight wins - in the process getting their fans all riled up. Then, it went down - lose to Bama, up - beat Florida, down - lose to MSU and Aubie, up - beat New Mexico and Ole Miss, and finally down to stay with losses to LSU and Wake Forest in the Belk Bowl. It’s enough to make an Aggie queasy.

Returning starters: 7 on offense, 5 on defense, kicker.

Key losses: WR Christian Kirk (Round 2, Cardinals), S Armani Watts (Round 4, Chiefs), WR Damion Ratley (Round 6, Browns), DT Zaycoven Henderson, RB Keith Ford, DL Daeshon Hall, QB Jake Hubenak, OT Koda Martin (grad-transfer to Syracuse where his father is an assistant), P Shane Tripucka, CB Nick Harvey (grad-transfer to South Carolina), CB Kemah Siverand (grad-transfer to Okie State), Jimbo Fisher’s Christmas tree.

Top returnees: QB Nick Starkel, RB Trayveon Williams, QB Kellen Mond, WR Jhamon Ausbon, C Erik McCoy, DL Kingsley Keke, DL Landis Durham, MLB Tyrel Dodson, LB Otaro Alaka, LB Anthony Hines, S Donovan Wilson, K Daniel LaCamera.

Top newcomers: Head Coach Jimbo Fisher and staff, DB Leon O’Neal, WR Jalen Preston, OL Colten Blanton, DE Bobby Brown, DE Max Wright, ATH Jordan Moore, OL Marcus Jenkins, DE Jeremiah Martin, Arizona grad transfer TE Trevor Wood.

Names you need to know: Running back Trayveon Williams may be ready to break out. He had 798 yards and 8 TDs last season while sharing the rock with Ford... Robert “Big Shot Bob” Horry’s son, Camron Horry, is a redshirt freshman tight end.

Strengths: TAMU always seems to have a solid core at OL and do again this year... A year under the belt for Starkel... LaCamera is a pretty solid kicker (18-21 in 2017)... Some decent talent among the front seven... New Coach Fever!

Weaknesses: Some holes in the defense... Lost a good deal of production from WR corps... Clemson and Alabama in the first four weeks... Questions and lack of depth in the secondary... New punter?

Outlook: Yes, there is a new coach in town but Sumlin residue remains. Can the Aggies shake off the failures of the last regime? The freshness of New Coach Fever will carry the team for a little while, but the schedule is not friendly.

2018 SCHEDULE:

Thu, Aug 30 vs Northwestern State - W - Ugh, what a terrible way to kickoff the SEC season.
Sat, Sept 8 vs Clemson - L - TAMU can’t run the ball against CU’s NFL-ready front and probably don’t have the passing game to compensate.
Sat, Sept 15 vs UL Monroe - W - Keep an eye out for former Tide RB Derrick Gore.
Sat, Sept 22 @ Alabama - L - Nick Saban makes it 13-0 against former assistants.
Sat, Sept 29 vs Arkansas (in JerryWorld) - W - Arky has lost this game 6 times in a row, thrice in overtime. Make it seven.
Sat, Oct 6 vs Kentucky - W - UK in College Station? No chance.
Sat, Oct 13 @ South Carolina - L - This could go either way, but home team gets the edge.
Sat, Oct 20 bye
Sat, Oct 27 @ Mississippi State - L - Another tough road game.
Sat, Nov 3 @ Auburn - L - Third straight road game might be a third straight loss.
Sat, Nov 10 vs Ole Miss - W - Take the home team.
Sat, Nov 17 vs UAB - W - Both of the Blazers’ fans will be in attendance for this classic.
Sat, Nov 24 vs LSU - W - Another one that could go either way, but take the home team.

Let’s go Bowling! It’s not an easy schedule but they likely play in the Texas Bowl.

Poll

Regular Season Wins for Aggie:

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    9 or more.
    (126 votes)
  • 37%
    8
    (329 votes)
  • 30%
    7
    (267 votes)
  • 13%
    6
    (121 votes)
  • 4%
    5 or less.
    (40 votes)
883 votes total Vote Now

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