Texas A&M was one of the most consistent programs in the nation under Kevin Sumlin. The Aggies won eight or nine games four of the six years with one seven-win year and one 11-win year. That’s a mark most programs would take in a heartbeat, but Texas A&M wants to be a national power, so they got rid of Sumlin and brought in Jimbo Fisher, who proceeded to win nine games, again, a great mark, especially given they played in the SEC West and faced Clemson in non-conference play, but wholly in line with Sumlin’s average during his tenure. Similar things are expected this year, as the Aggies are projected to be a top-15 team in the country again, but will face perhaps the toughest schedule in the nation.
The Aggie offense was excellent last year and gets a lot back, most notably two-year starter Kellen Mond, who threw for over 3,000 yards and 24 touchdowns on a 57% completion rate (7.5 YPA, nine INTs). Not great, but given that he was a sophomore playing against SEC defenses and was also consistently able to make plays with his feet, an all-around good year.
Joining Mond in the backfield will be intriguing sophomore Jashaun Corbin, who averaged 5.7 yards per touch as a freshman last year, a trio of underclassmen will fight for the #2 spot behind Corbin, and the line returns three starters.
In the receiving corps, four of the top five are back, including highly-efficient options Quartney Davis and Camron Buckley (combined eight touchdowns and over 1,000 yards last year).
The losses of Trayveon Williams and Jace Sternberger will hurt, but I think this offense will be great once again.
On defense, there are a few more holes, as just four starters return. The secondary is probably the most exciting unit on either side of the ball, corners Debione Renfro and Myles Jones are back along with rover Charles Oliver. The three combined for 22 PBUs last year. The group also returns starting safeties Derrick Tucker and Larry Pryor and adds in four-star freshmen Damani Richardson and Erick Young, along with the #4 overall JUCO recruit of the 2019 class, corner Elijah Blades.
The secondary is great and all, but the front six is hurting. DT Justin Madubuike is the only returning starter (5.5 sacks, five TFL), so a lot of underclassmen may be asked to step into bigger roles. With their six top tacklers gone, this defense is going to take a step back, but the secondary should at least be dynamite.
Texas A&M is projected #11 in the country by the CSD Prime model, but just 7.2 wins on average. How could that be possible? The Aggies face one of the toughest schedules in the nation, where they’ll face the #1, #2, #3, #4, #12, #13, and #21 teams in my preseason rankings. What? That has to be one of the toughest top-end schedules of the past decade. This team has the talent to pull a few upsets, but the attrition of that murderer’s row makes me think a New Year’s Six run, which is what their ranking might indicate, is probably not likely.
|Date||Opponent||OPp. rank||Proj. Margin|
|28-sep||vs. arkansas (Arlington, tx)||68||13.1|
|19-Oct||at ole miss||48||6.7|
Average Projected Record: 7.2 wins, 4.8 losses (4.2 wins, 3.8 losses)