Texas A&M Football: How Aggies Match Up with Each Top 5 Team

Michael TaglientiFeatured ColumnistNovember 12, 2013

Texas A&M Football: How Aggies Match Up with Each Top 5 Team

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    The Texas A&M football team is currently 8-2 and ranked No. 11 in the BCS standings. The Aggies have some obvious defensive flaws, but they still match up rather well with the top teams in the nation. 

    The Texas A&M offense, led by quarterback Johnny Manziel, is so explosive that they are a threat to beat any team they face. The offense makes up for a porous defense that ranks among the worst in the nation.

    If the Aggies' defense were simply average, they would likely be undefeated and threatening for a national title. Instead, they have two losses and need some help from other teams in order to qualify for a BCS bowl game.

    This is a look at how the Aggies match up with the Top Five teams in the BCS rankings.  


No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Everyone has already seen this game once. The Crimson Tide beat the Aggies 49-42 during the third week of the season. 

    The Aggies have made dramatic changes on defense since the Alabama game. Darian Claiborne is now the starter at middle linebacker, and Floyd Raven is healthy and is starting at free safety. 

    Kirby Ennis has been lost for the season due to injury, and freshman nose guard Isaiah Golden has taken his place in the starting lineup. 

    Alabama's defense has been dominant since they faced the Aggies. The Crimson Tide allowed 42 points to A&M—and 43 points combined to every other team they have faced in 2013.

    The Aggies offense has benefited from the development of slot receiver Travis Labhart. Alabama's offense has seen the emergence of freshman tight end O.J. Howard as a viable weapon with 11 receptions for 225 yards and two touchdowns on the season.

    If the two teams met on a neutral field today, then you would have to still give Alabama the edge. The Aggies have not shown the ability to shut down a powerful running game.  



No. 2 Florida State Seminoles

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    The Florida State Seminoles would probably represent the worst matchup of any of the Top Five teams with the Aggies. The Seminoles have an elite offense and defense. 

    The Seminoles are averaging 52 points per game while only allowing 12 points per game. They are the definition of a dominant team. 

    Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has become one of the best college football players in the nation. He has completed 69.2 percent of his passes for 2,661 yards and 26 touchdowns. 

    More importantly, he is very elusive in the pocket and would be able to buy time against an Aggie pass rush that has left a lot to be desired in 2013. 

    The FSU defense is only allowing 3.3 yards per carry and has the speed in the front seven to keep up with Johnny Manziel. This is a poor matchup for the Aggies. 

    On paper, this is a game the Aggies would lose by two or three touchdowns. 


No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes

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    The Ohio State Buckeyes are undefeated and basically being overlooked by the voters because of the perception that the Big Ten is a weak conference. The Buckeyes feature one of the top run defenses in the nation with a unit that only allows 88 yards per game. 

    The Aggie defense has struggled against the zone read in 2013. The Buckeyes run the zone read as a base concept of their offense, and they're led on offense by their elusive quarterback Braxton Miller

    The Buckeyes would have success running the ball on the Aggies' defense. They would be able to score points against A&M. 

    The Aggies would be able to score against Ohio State. The Buckeyes allowed 30 points and 437 yards to Northwestern. Texas A&M has more offensive talent than Northwestern. 

    This is a game that the Aggies beat the Buckeyes 55-45. 

No. 4 Stanford Cardinal

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    The Stanford Cardinal resemble a typical SEC team more than any other team not in the conference. The Cardinal win football games with a dominant front seven on defense and a strong running game on offense. 

    The Cardinal would be able to move the ball on the Aggies defense. Stanford features running back Tyler Gaffney, who has rushed for 1,043 yards and 13 touchdowns. 

    Cardinal quarterback Kevin Hogan is a viable running threat with 241 yards and two touchdowns. The Stanford defense only allows 98.7 yards rushing per game. 

    Stanford has not seen an offense like A&M's nor a player like Johnny Manziel. The Aggies would be able to score against the Cardinal. 

    This would be a close game that the Aggies would win 41-38. 

No. 5 Baylor Bears

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    The Baylor Bears are 8-0 for the first time in their history and are ranked No. 5 in the nation. They feature an explosive offense that is currently ranked No. 1 in the NCAA while averaging 686 total yards per game. 

    The Bears defense has improved also. They are only allowing 306 yards per game on defense. The Bears are a product of the weak conference they play in. 

    The Big 12 is the fourth- or fifth-best conference in the country behind the SEC, Pac-12, ACC and probably the Big Ten. Baylor has not faced a good passing offense during their first eight games. 

    Baylor would be able to score on the Aggie defense as most teams have. However, Johnny Manziel would light up Phil Bennett's defense like a Christmas tree. 

    The Aggies would take advantage of Baylor safety Sam Holl all day long. The Aggies would beat Baylor by the score of 84-63.