What surprises are in store for Texas A&M Football in 2013?
stringsays: A positive surprise will be how well our defense performs. Our offense is built to outscore, but I think we'll have more than a few players come out of the blue and have outstanding years based solely on Mark Snyder's scheme.
The negative surprise will be how much we are going to sweat Kevin Sumlin mulling over NFL job offers in December of this coming year. If we have the year I think we're going to have, there are going to be a lot of stressed out folks on TexAgs.
OrionHJarvis: The obvious answer is our defense. While I don't think they'll be anywhere near elite, I do think they'll rival last year's quality when all is said and done. The big question mark is along the defensive line but I think the young guys will come along nicely and provide some quality depth.
Lucas Jackson: Positive surprise: De'Vante Harris. Harris really came on at the end of last season. He's got the confidence, the talent, and the short memory to be a lock down corner. His tackling has improved as well. I expect big things. In concert with Harris's improvement, I expect our turnover margin to improve in 2013 as well.
Negative surprise: Hard to pick a negative "surprise" since our team weaknesses are fairly evident. Thus, the major negative surprise I expect is that our SEC experience will be much tougher in 2013 than it was in 2012. Auburn for one, is way better than they showed under Chizik last year. Ole Miss will be stronger as long as Wallace is healthy, and even Vandy has teeth. It's not just the Bama and LSU games we should worry about. I expect us to drop a game to a team we are overlooking in the preseason.
SpreadsheetAg: The good: The Heisman voters will elect Johnny to back-to-back Heismans despite off-field issues, partying, acting like a dreaded 20-year-old, and unproven allegations from unverifiable, unscrupulous, and untruthful sports memorabilia brokers.
The bad: one of our O-Line will suffer an inopportune season-ending injury and we'll have to replace with a 2nd-stringer who may not be nearly as talented or experienced... I just don't see our thin (but über-talented at the 1s) OL holding on all year injury free for two years in a row.
thacktor: Positive Surprise: Johnny's Rage. If Johnny plays (and I think he will) the rage factor this year will be absurd. He is going to play like Edmond Dantes lived after leaving the Chateau D'if. He doesn't want to win anymore, JFF wants vengeance and blood. And he'll get it. Pray for Rice, UTEP and SMU as they may not want to finish their seasons after playing the Aggies.
Negative Surprise: I just don't have it in me to conjure up a negative surprise for this year, but if I did I'd say that Clowney is as advertised in the SEC Championship game.
Dr. Norris Camacho: The Nate Askew Experiment. I'm excited to see how this pans out. I'm a big fan of getting the most athletic players on the field and putting another senior out there as a pass rush specialist amongst a very young front seven can't hurt. I don't think Nate is going to break any sack records, but he could be a huge factor in disrupting opposing offenses and has a chance to make some really big highlight reel plays.
Doug Keegan: Expectations are off the charts for just about every newcomer and position group in 2013, so it's a bit of a challenge to think of any aspect that might turn out to be a surprise. A pleasant one, at least.
So I'd like to take this opportunity to remind the GBH audience that Punters Are People Too by nominating Drew Kaser. No one likes to think about punting, because a punt means your offense didn't get the job done. So while we don't expect to much of the voluntarily-giving-the-other-team-the-ball-back thing, the Ags have a weapon that'll give our defense an extra 10+ yards of field to defend. Undoubtedly bringing a misty-eyed memory of Shane Lechler to many an old Ag. Those chunks of hidden yards add up and could make the difference if and when the Ags find themselves in a close contest this fall. *cough* *cough* September 14th *cough*
On the negative side, the truth is, we got lucky in 2012. Real lucky. We had no serious injuries. Yes, Larry Jackson's Strength & Conditioning Program had a role to play in that, but Lady Luck unquestionably smiled on the Ags. Don't expect that hot streak to continue through 2013. We're going to have to weather some serious injuries to starters, and lack of depth at key positions, possibly our paper-thin defensive front seven, will be exposed.
oscarwildecat: positive: Floyd Raven turns into an All-Conference Safety, netting 3 interceptions, numerous pass breakups, and strong run defense.
negative: the targeting rule is renamed the "Raven Rule", as Floyd Jr. has to miss the SEC championship game after violently decleating Missouri's L'Damian Washington in the regular season finale.
cuppycup: On the negative side, I think Johnny is going to turn 21 years old the evening before the SEC championship game, sneak out past curfew, get completely bombed in downtown Atlanta with Drake and the guy who played Principal Belding, and make national news after lewd images surface on Instagram.
On the positive side, the next day he will try to isolate Clowney during scrambles just so he can embarrass him en route to a 52-7 victory.
Stewade: Positive: [kool-aid] According to Bovada, Johnny's odds to win back-to-back Heismans is 15/1 (9th. Yes, 9th.). So that would technically be a surprise then, correct? No? Okay then I'm going with Ricky Seals-Jones breaking Jeff Fuller's freshman record by catching 10 TDs. Which may not be all that surprising either. [/kool-aid]
Negative: How many times do you remember yelling "HOLY CRAP CATCH THE BALL!" at the TV last year? Not many. That was a welcome change from 2011 [slams fist on desk while thinking about Fuller at K-State]. Considering we only have one single starting receiver returning this year, I unfortunately think we'll collectively scream that a few more times.
blumby: Positive: Punting. BRINGING BACK PUNTER U. A more serious answer would be our defense. I think they are going to turn some heads this season.
Negative: No Waffle Houses in the near future for College Station. Just watch, Hearne will probably get one before CS. A more football related answer will be the kicking game. Can we just punt our field goals? Another answer that I don't want to think about is the number of interceptions Johnny will throw.