SEC Football Q&A: Will Texas A&M Spring the Upset on Alabama?

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SEC Football Q&A: Will Texas A&M Spring the Upset on Alabama?
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Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin

Every Thursday on The SEC Blog, we will feature questions from the Bleacher Report inbox, Twitter and email. 

Do you have a question for next week's Q&A? Send it to SEC lead writer Barrett Sallee via the B/R inbox, on Twitter @BarrettSallee or at bsallee@bleacherreport.com.

 

You've got SEC questions, and I've got SEC answers. Thank you, everybody, for your questions this week. And if I didn't get to them this week, they are still saved and will be used in the future.

And we're off:

It's certainly not out of the question.

Alabama head coach Nick Saban has a 24-hour rule, but then his players are expected to get back to work. While Saban is a master disciplinarian, he is still dealing with 18-22-year-old young men and that's easier said than done.

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Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel

The Crimson Tide defense better be ready, because not only can Aggie quarterback Johnny Manziel make teams pay when he breaks contain, running backs Ben Malena and Christine Michael can play SEC-style smashmouth football.

Alabama should win and I'm picking the Crimson Tide to win, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Aggies keep it close and have the ball late with a chance to win.

Even in that situation, I would put my money on Alabama. The Crimson Tide's defense is so strong and so comfortable in big-game situations that I trust it more than the high-powered Aggie offense. 

Manziel has been great, but he's thrown zero touchdowns and three picks in games vs. Florida, LSU and Mississippi State—the top three SEC defenses that he has faced in 2012. Until he does it against a top-flight SEC defense, I'll stick with old school SEC football.

 

I don't think so.

Taking care of Louisiana-Lafayette and Jacksonville State shouldn't be an issue and should allow the Gators plenty of time to get healthy and rested for the season finale at Florida State.

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Florida QB Jeff Driskel

It's clear after the last two games that Florida's offense has been one-dimensional because quarterback Jeff Driskel isn't as accomplished a passer as Florida probably hoped. Getting that fixed now will go a long way towards success against the Seminoles and down the road.

Can they beat Florida State?

Watching that defense go up against E.J. Manuel will be a lot of fun and the Seminole defensive line is very solid. I'll pick Florida right this instant, but I don't love the pick.

Of course, it's hard to say what would happen in Florida's bowl game considering we don't know the opponent yet. But I would imagine that it would get a BCS at-large bid, which would likely be the Sugar Bowl if Alabama secures a BCS National Championship bid.

Our latest BCS projections have Florida playing Clemson in the Sugar Bowl, and if Driskel can't find success against that defense, then maybe there is no hope.

Florida will run the table, but as is the case with my pick of Florida over FSU, I don't love it.

 

He has a shot, but it's not likely.

AJ McCarron has 19 touchdowns this season. Assuming they go to the SEC Championship Game, that's five more games including a bowl game. One of those is against Western Carolina, which will probably be more beneficial to backup Phillip Ely than McCarron.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Alabama QB AJ McCarron

The same theory can likely be applied to the Auburn game as well, although I wouldn't put it past the Crimson Tide to make that one sting a little bit for the Tigers.

McCarron is in the Heisman race because he has successfully held back his gunslinger mentality for the greater good of the offense and team, and that likely won't change down the stretch.

It's not out of the question, but I think it would take something out of the ordinary to happen to the offense as a whole for McCarron to have a shot.

 

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