As the season of experts ends, a popular statement is Alabama football will have a big challenge on October 9th. The Texas A&M Aggies finished No. 4 in the last AP poll last season. At College Station, they were believed to be more deserving of a Playoff spot than Notre Dame.
Optimism abounds at College Station this preseason and is fueled by the higher expectations of Jimbo Fisher’s Agbo tenure. Some national college football experts also believe TAMU has a real chance of defeating the Crimson Tide and winning the SEC West.
One of the reasons it might be right is that Jimbo has recruited well. Based on the 247Sports Composite, the Aggies have had a class in the top eight in each of the last three recruiting cycles. Jimbo can’t match Nick Saban’s talent, but in some position groups, the Aggies are comparable.
Mike Elko, TAMU’s defensive coordinator, has constantly improved his defense. His side of the ball returned nine starters last season and still yielded 52 points to the Crimson Tide. Elko returns nine headlines in 2021 and almost both from last season. His defense could be better than last season, especially in high school. In 2020, the Aggies were No. 3 in the SEC and No. 28 in the FBS in Scoring Defense. The Aggies have a strong defense and a less explosive offensive from Alabama football to cause inconvenience.
The Aggies ’problem areas are on the quarterback and offensive line. Four in-line starters must be replaced. The insertion of an unproven quarterback behind a rebuilt offensive line is not a scenario to end the No. 1 ranked teams. The Crimson Tide’s defensive front could be too much for the new offensive line, and when it is, the new head of Agies QB will be vulnerable.
The top candidates to start in QB are Haynes King and Zach Calzada. Both are mobile QBs, but neither is close to the level of Kellen Mond. The wide receiver and tight end are the Aggies ’strengths, but there is no guarantee that King or Calzada will be able to throw football consistently on time and accurately.
As he did last season, Jimbo can rely on the running game, whether the new line or can provide proper running lanes. Some experts consider runners-up duo Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane to be the SEC’s best pair of runners.
Alabama Football Vs. Texas A&M Position Groups
- Quarterback – Crimson Tide advantage
- Runners – The Tide is loaded and its depth should give it an advantage in October. At the moment, mainly due to Spiller – Slight advantage of TAMU
- Wide receiver and tight ends – Another group of positions that could be classified differently in October, but for now – TAMU advantage
- Offensive line – Decide on the Crimson Tide advantage
- Defensive line – Even
- Defenders – Crimson tide of great advantage
- Secondary – Crimson Tide advantage
- Special equipment – Crimson Tide advantage
The Aggies should be 5-0 and have been hard-fought when the Crimson Tide travels to Kyle Field. Jimbo could have the second or third best team in the SEC and, playing at home, he could fight hard against the Tide.
Alabama Football can increase its streak of wins over Aggie in nine games. If it does, high expectations at College Station will plummet.