The countdown to the 2021 Texas A&M football season is down to single digits. We have schedule wallpapers, we have a starting quarterback. There’s only one more preseason box to check, and that’s season predictions. I sat down with our motley crew (via email) and got their thoughts on how this much-anticipated season will play out for the Ags.
Bowl: It’s mid February and A&M is playing Borussia Mönchengladbach in the Deutsche Bank-Totino’s Birmingham Bowl.
The Aggies enter the game against Alabama undefeated. Jimbo Fisher wakes up that morning and chooses violence. No, I mean he literally stabs Saban in the neck with a deer antler. He’s suspended 5.5 quarters by the NCAA for practicing “hard” in August, they overlook the antler neck stab, but Ags drop two games in a row after the upset against the Tide. They finish the season strong! But due to the unlimited corporate dollars entering college and professional sports, teams begin to chase the almighty dollar. It results in an uncomfortable neutral site game in “The Detroit of England” with half pads, a rugby ball, and me making out with that gal from Sprockets.
Bowl: Texas Bowl vs. Baylor
Karl Dorrell’s spies in the Boulder area hotel industry manage to dose Jimbo’s midnight grits with some high-grade tincture. He rolls out Saturday feeling rested and confident in his game plan, which he completely reworked the evening before under the mistaken assumption that it was still 1993 and he was the Auburn QB coach. The Ags recover and jump out to a 2-0 SEC record by early October, but Alabama and LSU are much too salty. Haynes King finishes the season with an NIL crossover deal with Hanes and Burger King. Deep state Longhorn elements at ESPN ensure the Aggies play Baylor in the Texas Bowl just to watch Billy Liucci’s head finally explode from indignity.
Bowl: Playoff Semifinal vs. Alabama
*Takes huge bong rip* Aggies enter the playoff ranked #2 in a disrespectful nod to Clemson, Alabama will be ranked #3 with the goddammed motherfucking ISU Clones coming in at #4. The Aggies beat Alabama FOR THE SECOND TIME THIS SEASON in an all-SEC first-round playoff game, finally getting vengeance on ISU in the national championship game for that fucking Todd Blythe game back in the day. It’ll happen, just watch.
Bowl: Sugar Bowl vs. Oklahoma
When assessing any prospective season, my emotional well-being is best served by the following question: What is the most painful outcome? I do believe pain is coming, and there’s no way to maximize that commodity quite like a HOME VICTORY OVER ALABAMA. Confused? Read on. That victory will be an incredible/landmark Kyle Field moment in the modern era, but something wonky will be brewing in the SEC. Lane and Ole Miss will host our Aggies at a surprising 8-1, and they’ll narrowly edge us out in excruciating, controversial fashion. The end result is a three team tie atop the SEC West at 11-1, where all other tie breakers are miraculously equal... leading to a Friday Night Lights triple coin toss. Tails never fails, you say? Heads. We’re out.
Bowl: Citrus Bowl vs. Penn State
10-2 sounds right because the talent is there but what’s also there is an inherent awareness that nothing I do will ever be good enough and that I’m never allowed to have full on football happiness. There’s always a loss to Florida or LSU in 2012 or even making it to the Big 12 title game in ‘97 only to get blasted by Nebraska. but on that same note, Haynes King has a remarkable season, Ainias Smith decides to come back for his senior year and in August of 2022 I finally take the Buddhist approach and forget about predictions because it’s healthy to forget about attachments and desires, and either way every opponent is just a nameless faceless being. Who knew nirvana was really just made up of toughness, effort, discipline, pride and grit.
Anyhoo. 10-2 sound right, 11-1 feels right. 12-0 is what we have the capacity to do.
Bowl: Sugar Bowl vs. Oklahoma
Our season, in video form. A&M on the right, the rest of college-football-watching world on the left:
Bowl: Playoff Semifinal vs. Clemson
Part of me wanted to put us down as a one-loss or two-loss team, and that very well may be where A&M ends up. But while an undefeated, SEC Championship season isn’t the likely outcome, it is in the range of outcomes, and that’s the first time we’ve been able to say that about an Aggie team this millennium. And if we aren’t going all in on our team when the potential is there, why the heck are we even watching these games?
Does A&M need need a few things to go their way for this to happen? Of course. But they also have the talent on the field and the staff on the sidelines to take advantage of those breaks when they happen. This could be a truly special year in Aggieland, and I’d rather feel foolish for buying in than feel foolish four doubting them.
Bowl: Alamo Bowl vs. TCU
I’m going the optimistic route this season. I’ve pored over the schedule wallpapers and tweets about Haynes King being “that dude” and I’m going all-in at 8-4. Two-thirds in. The Ags end up in the Alamo Bowl and narrowly beat TCU. WHO DODGED WHO? ensues.
The pressure of the plaque in Jimbo’s office makes him second-guess critical decisions against Alabama and whichever other teams are good this season. Everyone is disappointed in the record, but NIL numbers are off the charts and we continue to win the real battle of berating Longhorns online (7-5 record). The nickname Steve ThreeStarkisian gets real traction when Danny Kannel likes a tweet using it from Big Jimbo Icey, my new Twitter handle.