To be honest, this is going to be a very tough match up for Texas A&M. The Gamecocks may have a very inexperienced secondary and a new starting quarterback to replace Connor Shaw (also #2 rusher last year); however, they return a 1,100+ yard tailback in Mike Davis and three of their linebackers who also happened to be their leading tacklers and interceptors.
Of course, since there are no current team stats to go off of for this week’s prediction, I simply plugged in last year's 2013 final numbers to see how these teams would have looked against each other, after each team’s bowl game last year – had they met. I realize that last year’s statistics are largely irrelevant to this year's teams, but this is the only objective way to compare the teams (as they were in 2013) – and then you, the reader, can infer what you want about who is missing on this year’s team, how good the incoming transfers, JUCOs, and freshmen will be, and whether each team is worthy of the ranking they received pre-season.
Before you skip to the analysis, please let me first explain the scope, drawbacks, and purpose of this chart. Once you're familiar with this information, you can happily skip ahead in the future. But I insist that you READ THIS NOW before you proceed.
Key to the chart below:
Advantage = One team is more than 20 spots ahead of the other team’s inverse metric in the national ranking.
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