Texas A&M Football: Reasons for Aggie Fans to Be Excited About the 2012 Season
To say it was an offseason of change for the Texas A&M Football team would be a major understatement.
The Aggies are joining a new conference with a new head coach, new staff and a new quarterback in 2012. All these changes offer Aggie fans multiple reasons to be excited for the new season.
With change comes the excitement of the unknown. The Aggies are entering into a lot of unknown territory in 2012.
New road destinations, new opponents and an entirely different style of football than what Aggie fans have become accustomed to are just a few of the changes.
This is a look at the reasons that Aggie fans should be excited about the 2012 season.
Change Offers Hope
The greatest aspect of being a sports fan is that every new season offers new hope of a championship. Everyone starts the season with an 0-0 record and an equal shot at winning the championship.
Hope is like a drug that can keep you strung out for years. You think you have given up on a team, but each August you come back around and take another hit. You break the promises you made to yourself last season, let yourself become emotionally invested in the team and experience the roller coaster ride of being a fan.
The hope is even greater when you have a change at head coach. With a new coach you do not know what to expect. There is always the hope that you hit the coaching lottery and the coach you just hired is the next Bear Bryant.
Aggie fans should be excited about Kevin Sumlin taking over the program. Up until now he has pushed all the right buttons. Now he just has to win games.
New Defensive Scheme
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The Aggies are making the move from the 3-4 defense to Mark Snyder's 4-3 "under" scheme. The adjustment in the scheme is only slight, as you are basically just moving the linebackers to the right and having Damontre Moore put his hand on the ground at every snap.
It should be a simple adjustment for Moore, who has excelled at rushing the passer, and will now not have to worry about covering slot receivers anymore.
With a new coach and a new scheme comes different philosophies in how to attack a defense. Former defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter preferred to disguise blitzes in an attempt to confuse the quarterback long enough for pressure to get there.
The theory was that pressure would create incompletions, turnovers and negative yardage plays. DeRuyer's problem was that his defenses gave up a lot of big plays on third down and long in 2011.
It will be interesting to see how Snyder's philosophy differs when it comes to attacking a defense.
Swope and Michael Return
Troy Taormina-US PRESSWIRE
The two "stars" of the Aggie offense returned for their senior years rather than making themselves available for the NFL Draft.
Christine Michael and Ryan Swope give the Aggies two true difference makers on offense. They should make life a lot easier for whoever ends up lining up under center against Louisiana Tech on August 30.
When in doubt, you can always hand the ball off to Michael or dump it off to Swope and more than likely end up with a positive result for the offense.
The return of these two playmakers gives the Aggie offense instant credibility in the toughest defensive league in the country.
A New Quarterback Lining Up Under Center
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A new quarterback will be lining up under center for the Aggies in 2012. While this may be a cause of concern for some fans, history indicates that Aggie fans should remain optimistic about the position.
A&M has seen their last three quarterbacks sign contracts with the NFL. All three are currently in NFL training camps. There has obviously been an upgrade in talent at the position.
Kevin Sumlin has proven rather adept at developing quarterbacks, too. Even when he was forced to start the third team QB at Houston in 2010, he was still able to get David Piland to pass for 350 yards per game.
It does not matter whether it is Jameill Showers or Johny Manziel who ends up starting at quarterback for A&M. Aggie fans should expect the quarterback to be successful.
Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
In the movie "Bull Durham," Kevin Costner refers to major league baseball parks as cathedrals. The football stadiums in the Southeastern Conference are cathedrals where upwards of 100,000 fans come to worship on Saturdays in the fall.
This season Aggie fans will get to travel to all the these top venues to see the Aggies play. The tailgating experience in the SEC is legendary.
Aggie fans should be excited that they get to experience the best tailgating in the land and get to visit some of the most legendary football venues in the country.
You do not have the Vol Navy nor The Grove in the Big 12.
Freshmen of Influence
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Every recruiting class brings with it new hope that all of the members of the class will develop into stars and lead the program to a national title. The 2012 signing class at A&M is no different, and multiple members of the class should see the field right away.
Expect to see Trey Williams, Michael Richardson and possibly Sabian Holmes on the field early and often.
Williams was one of the top running back recruits in the country. You find a way to get dynamic talents like him on the field.
Billy Liucci has mentioned multiple times on TexAgs Radio on KZNE The Zone that Sabian Holmes has been one of the most impressive freshmen through summer workouts and may end up starting at wide receiver for A&M as a true freshman.
Michael Richardson is already listed in the two-deep released by the athletic department. That is particularly impressive for a recruit who played defensive end in a 3-4 scheme at Desoto High School and is making the transition to outside linebacker in college.