HERE WE GO. Honest-to-God SEC football is happening tomorrow night when the Gators take on Miami in Orlando, a matchup so Florida that it comes with an underwater mortgage and eight 24-ounce cans of LandShark. The Ags kick off in less than a week. No need to pinch yourself, unless that’s just how you normally start your Fridays.
What does this season have in store? We’ll know shortly, but in the interim here are some of our best guesses. We’re piggybacking on cuppy, Jimmy, and Lucas, who made their predictions last month.
2019 predictions, in descending order of optimism
The sequel usually disappoints, but this time I think it’s different. My bet doesn’t hinge on offseason training, or studying the playbook like crazy; no, my side hinges on the fact that these dudes have gotten themselves out of the hellscape that is social media for training camp. I’m not trying to be “old man yells at cloud” here, but I think there’s something to tuning all that noise out and becoming a cohesive, bonded team. I’m optimistic: gimme 11-2 and a shot of Kool-Aid.
Does anyone really want to walk around in mid-December and claim to be “the best 8 win team in the nation”? Yeah me neither. I have to believe Jimbo and the team have that same mentality. They’ve heard the entire off-season about our schedule this year, and they are well aware of the challenges they’ll face this season. But I also believe they bring a tougher mentality and a better understanding of Coach Fisher’s expectations in Jimbo Year 2: Electric Boogaloo. Kellen Mond exhibited a toughness last season that was truly impressive. He was willingly to take some nasty hits and never folded under pressure. I’ve bought all the Kellen Mond stock this summer because I believe in the potential. And keeping Mike Elko on staff may have been the biggest accomplishment of the off-season. I think we find a way to get a signature win at Clemson early, and finish the season 10-3, with a bowl win over Wisconsin in the Citrus Bowl. A&M has the opportunity to impact the CFB Playoffs in 2019 more than any other team. Enjoy The Ride.
This team will progress to the level that Kellen Mond progresses. And given his improvement from 2017 to 2019 I think we have reason to be optimistic. We’ve got talent, depth (not elite depth but depth all the same) and I think it’s ok to have relatively high expectations for this team. To that end I think beat everyone we’re supposed to, and steal 1 of the big 4. Finish the regular season at 9-3 and beat Michigan in the Outback Bowl to get to ten wins.
Like many teams, the Ags have loads of talent but a few critical question marks. If A&M can stay healthy at linebacker and find someone to provide pass rushing off the edge, I think the defense can be solid, and the offense appears to be poised for a big year. The problem is that A&M has little margin for error. 8-4 seems most reasonable. Anything above that is gravy as A&M looks to be playoff contenders in 2020.
Music City Bowl for the Ags, and like everyone, I’ll blindly predict a victory in that game against an opponent that can’t be predicted. 9-4 it is!
A&M’s tough schedule will rear its head early, with the Aggies losing to Clemson, Auburn and Bama to start the year 3-3. But much like 2018, they’ll finish the year strong, going 5-1 to close out the regular season, including their first victory in Baton Rouge since joining the SEC.
A&M will go on to play (and beat) Baylor in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, which will give us a crucial second data point to determine whether A&M or Texas is this year’s point differential state champion.
Dr. Norris Camacho (9-4)
This slate is a beast, but I think Jimbo might just find enough magic to steal a win from one of the big four (maybe Georgia or LSU?). I could also see the team stumbling against Auburn or Mississippi State to even that karma back out. 9-4 including a meaty win over a B1G team in the Outback Bowl sounds like a nice little season.