2014 will have a lot of question marks. It is highly likely that we will be without Johnny Manziel or Mike Evans. Seniors Jake Mathews, Ben Malena and Tony Hurd will be gone as well. We will have RSJ back from his medical red-shirt and probably Kenny Hill under center. Long story short, we don't know what to expect at this point and there are a lot of unknowns. There is one thing we know now (tentatively) and that is our full 2014 football schedule.
Let's break it down:
Date: Thursday, Aug 28 | Location: Columbia, SC
There will be a lot of hype surrounding this game. It will be the first time Texas A&M has played South Carolina since joining the SEC. Unfortunately for the fans, we will miss the opportunity to see The Unstoppable Force meet The Immovable Object assuming that Manziel and Clowney both leave for the NFL. The importance of this huge Thursday night game is the premiere of the SEC Network. We get the first game of the year and the new network. Very exciting times for the Aggies.
Date: Saturday, Sept 6 | Location: Kyle Field
This will be an easy cupcake game to tighten things up after the big opener. The game will also be the Aggies' first home game of the season so dust off the ol' tailgating gear from a long off-season. I almost think we would match up better against Lamar High School out of Houston, TX.
Date: Saturday, Sept 13 | Location: Kyle Field
Rice gave us some fits this year during our opening game, but after Johnny sat his suspension and loosened up a bit, the Aggies got things rolling. We got a glimpse of life without Johnny so we probably know more of what to expect from Rice than any other team on the schedule, but unless we can tighten up our defense I would expect this game to be closer than anticipated.
Date: Saturday, Sept 20 | Location: Dallas, TX
*"Currently slated to play" were the words in the press release today, giving some of us at GBH an inclination that A&M could be trying to substitute this game for a different non-conference opponent at home. Maybe we are reading too much into the wording, but I wouldn't mind an extra game on Kyle Field before losing my season tickets in 2015 in the new stadium.
Date: Saturday, Sept 27 | Location: Arlington, TX
We escaped the clutches of Jerry World for two years, allowing A&M to get its first wins of the series with Arkansas. In 2014 we will be back in the Cowboys' Stadium and hopefully we have a bit more success than our previous games. If nothing else, we can all roadtrip to Dallas for the weekend and enjoy a Fletcher's Corny Dog at the Texas State Fair.
Date: Saturday, Oct 4 | Location: Starkville, MS
Last year this game caused quite a commotion. Texas A&M surprised everyone with the All Black alternative uniforms while Miss St brought football into the future with #'s painted in the endzone which were subsequently banned by the NCAA. In 2013 Johnny had to get a little creative to burn the clock during Dan Mullen's TimeoutGate. This match-up in seems full of surprises and I can't wait to see what will happen in 2014.
Date: Saturday, Oct 11 | Location: Kyle Field
This has been a scary game for the last two seasons. Somehow, miraculously, we were able to walk away with last minute wins in hostile territory both times. It will be a welcomed change of pace to get the Rebels at home next year, but given our undefeated road record, maybe the Aggies would be better off keeping this game in Oxford.
Date: Saturday, Oct 18 | Location: Tuscaloosa, AL
The Game of the Century..again. This time back in Tuscaloosa where Johnny slayed the #1 giant. Most of the experienced players that were there in 2012 won't be around for 2014, but don't expect Nick Saban to forget. This will be another great one. I just always hold on to the hope that 77-0 will never happen again.
Date: Saturday, Nov 1 | Location: Kyle Field
The Aggies get a bye week after the monumental showdown in Tuscaloosa. This will give our guys a much needed break to get healthy. ULM should be another easy cupcake to get back into game-mode after the bye.
Date: Saturday, Nov 8 | Location: Auburn, AL
Auburn, where did these guys come from? After the shellacking we laid on them in 2012, they resurrected themselves and are currently in contention for the SEC West title. I don't expect their success to let up making this showdown at Auburn have big implications for the SEC West race in 2014.
Date: Saturday, Nov 15 | Location: Kyle Field
Our Big XII brethren. No one expected either Mizzou or Texas A&M to have the kind of early success in the SEC that we've had. This is a strong Mizzou team that has had to fight through some injuries this year. Mizzou still has a chance to play for an SEC Championship in 2013. The Aggies could get in their way this year and in 2014.
Date: Thursday, Nov 27 | Location: Kyle Field
Happy Turkey Day! I am thrilled to have a game back on Thanksgiving Day. There is nothing like a tailgate with stuffing and football with family. The Aggies will be coming off their second bye week headed into a huge game that could send one of these teams to the SEC Championship. I will be plenty full and plenty hyped for this day.
There are a lot of exciting match-ups, but I would expect nothing less from the SEC. We still have a lot of questions to answer between then and now, but luckily we have a nice long off-season to speculate.
How do you feel about our non-conference opponents? What match-ups are you particularly looking forward to?