Texas A&M waited a long time to get out of the shadow of Texas, and the wait is going to take nine days more than originally planned.
The Aggies will kick their season off against the Florida Gators on Saturday, nine days after its season-opener vs. Louisiana Tech in Shreveport was postponed due to Hurricane Isaac.
Instead of testing out its new systems vs. the Bulldogs—a team that will likely contend for the WAC title—the Aggies will immediately step up to the big boy table on national television vs. Florida with everybody including ESPN's College GameDay in attendance.
But who benefits more from the postponed game?
Kevin Sumlin's Aggies will debut their new offense and break in quarterback Johnny Manziel vs. a Florida defense that finished eighth in the country in total defense giving up 299.5 yards per game.
On the flip side, Florida has nothing on tape to work off since A&M has yet to play a game. This is one of the biggest reasons why I believe that Florida was purposefully vanilla vs. Bowling Green—to level the playing field vs. Texas A&M.
Despite the element of surprise, it still is a big-time disadvantage for Sumlin's crew.
Self-recognition is important. Even though many teams played cupcakes in Week 1, they still learned a lot about themselves in the process. Even if it's only one or two things, it's important to know what works and what doesn't work.
Texas A&M didn't get that luxury.
Who will win on Saturday?
Watching how Sumlin and offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury unleash this offense is going to be thoroughly fascinating throughout the season. Texas A&M has a great offensive line, which is the most important factor in making this offense work, especially in a conference like the SEC that boasts speed on the interior line.
But it's not just how they call plays that will make it intriguing, it's how they adjust during games.
As with any team that's learning a new system, there's going to be a learning curve. But with this offense, there's not much of a frame of reference to work from.
Going up against a defense like Florida's, which is loaded with 5-star athletes, was going to be a tough test anyway. Now that it's the season-opener, it puts even more pressure on the Aggie staff.