Texas A&M 2010 Game-by-Game Predictions
Hullabaloo, Caneck, Caneck.
Goodbye to Texas University,
So long to the orange and the white.
Good luck to dear old Texas Aggies,
They are the boys who show the real old fight.
"The eyes of Texas are upon you",
That is the song they sing so well.
Sounds Like Hell....
Well, the calendar reads 2010, and spring football is just around the corner. That means another season for the Maroon and White to show their stuff against Texas and the rest of their foes in the Big 12.
This year's version of the Aggies will return 17 starters, including 8 on the Big 12's most prolific offense...and nine on the league's worst defense.
Hopefully, for Aggie fans, an extra year will yield big dividends and improvements in experience, strength and overall team performance.
I'm predicting that 2010 will shape up to be a banner year. The defense just needs to come around and have a decent year, as the offense will be a force to be reckoned with.
Here is a team-by-team look at the Aggies' schedule, with predicted results.
Please note that I'm old school, and am using the Division I and I-AA designations for schools, rather than the fancy new BCS teminology.
Stephen F. Austin, Sept. 9 (Home)
This game is a virtual scrimmage for the Aggies.
I don’t really agree with the scheduling of games like this. I know, I know, the guys up the road who dress in orange do this also, but back in the day any self respecting D-1 program would not have been caught dead scheduling a 1-AA program. Even a decent one, like the Lumberjacks.
The Lumberjacks will sacrifice speed and size at virtually every position to A&M. That said, they do return Junior QB Jeremy Moses, who likes to toss the pill around.
He broke NCAA records for both completions and attempts in a 34-31 overtime loss to Sam Houston State in '08, going 57 of 85 for 501 yards and four touchdowns.
He continued his stellar play last year, leading the Jacks to a 10-3 finish, qualifying them for the 1-AA playoffs and winning the Southland Conference Championship while being named the conference co-player for the year. The Jacks led the nation with 343 yards per game in passing offense.
This, as I said, should be a good scrimmage for the Aggies. The Jacks will toss the ball around and force the new 3-4 defense to make some plays.
But they are losing quite a few players off their defense…which would not have been able to keep up with A&M at any rate.
Prediction: A&M: A whole bunch. SF Austin: 3 or 4 scores.
Aggies 1-0, 0-0 in Big 12.
Louisiana Tech, Sept. 11 (Home)
Tech, a WAC school, finished 4-8 last year, and returns six offensive and seven defensive starters off that team, including QB Ross Jenkins.
Jenkins has been active in the off season…in a big way. He was arrested on a driving while intoxicated charge a couple of weeks back.
It will be interesting to see how Sonny Dykes, the new Bulldog coach, will deal with the situation.
Dykes, son of legendary Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes, was previously an offensive coordinator at Arizona and , before that, at Tech under Pirate-boy Mike Leach.
He figures to install a wide open spread and toss it around like a live hand grenade.
Tech does have some offensive weapons to utilize. Jenkins, assuming he is allowed to play, is entering his senior year after a decent ’09 campaign in which he threw for 2,095 yards.
Also returning is senior running back Daniel Porter, who tallied 1,136 rushing yards and 142 receiving yards on 21 receptions.
Tech needs help on both lines, however, and A&M is simply too strong for them in the trenches.
While not as much of a cupcake as the first game, this should be another match in which A&M can continue to insert its playbook and work out timing issues.
Prediction: A&M: A lot. Louisiana Tech: A little.
Aggies move to 2-0, 0-0 in Big 12.
Florida International, Sept. 18 (Home)
Florida International…sounds like a division of the House of Pancakes.
Pancakes, cupcakes…what’s the difference.
The Golden Panthers return just five starters on a defense that was really, really lousy last year, surrendering 424 points on their way to a 3-9 season.
This Sun Belt team should be outclassed in just about every facet by the Aggies, and I would be surprised if the A&M offense does not hang 50 or more points on these guys.
They should not charge full admission for games like this.
Prediction: A&M: 50+ points FIU: A couple of scores once A&M’s scrubs are in the game.
Aggies go to 3-0, 0-0 Big 12.
Oklahoma State, Oct. 2 (Away)
A&M opens its Big 12 season in Stillwater, home of the Cowboys.
Which ain’t a bad thing.
To start with, they have a bye week before this game, allowing them to work out any final kinks and to heal up any minor injuries from the first three games.
Additionally, they’ll be facing a Cowboy team in the middle of a rebuilding season. State is returning only four offensive and two full-time defensive starters from their 9-4 campaign in 2009.
State has been up and down under resident coach and occasional raving maniac Mike Gundy.
With a ton of holes to fill, including QB Zac Robinson, most of the skill positions on offense and virtually the entire defense, this will be a down year for them.
I see the Aggies offense lighting up the Cowboys, while the A&M defense will utilize this game to continue to build confidence in the 3-4 scheme.
The game, which I am posting for Oct. 2, is also showing up as a Thursday night affair on the Cowboys web and press releases and may indeed be played on Sept. 30. Both teams have a scheduled bye before that.
Prediction: A&M: 40+ points Oklahoma State: 20 points or less.
Aggies improve to 4-0, 1-0 in the Big 12.
Arkansas, Oct. 9 (Jerry World)
Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallet broke his foot in workouts and will miss spring practice with the Hogs. He will be back, however, for the 2010 season and should be firing on all cylinders by the time the Aggies face him in game five at Jerry World in Arlington.
The renewal of this old SWC rivalry started last year with the Hogs stomping all over the Aggies in a 47-19 blowout. I was at that game and can tell you it was not as close as the score indicated.
The Razorbacks went on to an 8-5 season and only lost two games by significant margins. They return a bunch of players and are one of the most talented teams that A&M will face this year.
To start with, there is Mallet. The 6’7”, 238 pound Junior signal caller has all the tools to compete at the next level, and it would be a major surprise if he does not.
He threw for 3,627 yards and 30 touchdowns with only 7 interceptions last year, and has both great accuracy and arm strength.
Next, Mallet is surrounded by a talented and experienced offence. The Razorbacks return nine starters, including four members of their O line.
Third, the Hogs also return 8 starters on defense, although they will need to replace two members of their defensive line.
Net, this could be the year that Arkansas finally attains a league championship, something they have not been able to do since the days of Frank Broyles.
Unfortunately for A&M, they’ll come out on the short end of the stick on this one. While the Aggie defense will have improved, I don’t think they’ll be effective in shutting down the Hogs.
And a veteran Hog D should be able to contain Johnson and company enough to prevail. It won't be as bad as 2009, but....
Prediction: Arkansas 35+ points. A&M 20 to 30 points.
Aggies drop their first of the year, and go to 4-1, 1-0 in the Big 12.
Missouri, Oct. 16 (Home)
This is a key game for A&M. Fortunately for them, it will be played in Aggieland.
The Tigers return 9 offensive and 9 defensive starters off of last year’s 8-5 team, and feature a spread offensive attack. Returning quarterback Blain Gabbert threw for 3,593 yards last year, along with 24 touchdowns.
Gabbert did show some susceptibility to aggressive rush ends and multiple formation defensive sets, which Navy exploited during their bowl victory over the Tigers last year, sometimes having only two down linemen in a set.
The Aggies 3-4 set, which by this time in the season should be functioning at full capacity, might give him some problems.
He’ll also be without his favorite target, Danario Alexander, who is taking his skills to the NFL. But four members of his offensive line return, so the protection should be there.
The Tigers had, frankly, a mediocre season last year. They beat the weaker teams on their schedule, but failed to knock off any of the powerhouse teams.
And they looked simply horrible in their bowl loss to Navy. Expectations in Columbia are, however, very high given the experience returning.
But, as I said, good thing this game is being played down in College Station. The noise and crowd always make it tough for teams to hear their signals at Kyle Field, and the spread offense really relies on the ability to change the call at the line.
The yells from the 12th man, however, make this a tough execute.
I see the Aggie offense getting slowed down for the first time all season by a veteran Mizzou bunch with a lot of team speed. But I also see the A&M defense stepping up to have one of their better games, aided by the home crowd.
Prediction: A&M 20 to 25 points. Missouri 10 to 20 points.
A&M wins a close one in which two good offenses don’t fire on all cylinders.
Texas A&M imporves to 5-1, 2-0 Big 12.
Kansas, Oct. 23 (Away)
Turner Gill takes over as coach of a Jayhawk program that was vacated by Jabba the Hutt last year, and was in total meltdown mode by season’s end.
Finishing with 7 straight losses, Kansas played like zombies from Dawn of the Dead, except the guys in the movie played with more heart.
They did put in a decent effort vs. traditional foe Missouri in the border war, but other than that…ewwww.
Enter, stage left, Turner Gill, former Nebraska stand out who comes over from the University of Buffalo.
At Buffalo, Gill took a program that has not a decent season since reinstating football after a decade long hiatus in the 70’s. He brought them to the MAC championship game.
The feeling is, if he can succeed in Buffalo, which is far off the recruiting trail and has absolutely no history of supporting the team, he should be able to do it at a place with Big 12 facilities and support.
The cupboard is not completely bare for Gill, as he has 7 returning starters on both his offense and defense, but he will need to replace Todd Reesing at quarterback and key members of his defensive line and defensive backfield.
I think Gill will be successful at Kansas…just not this quick. He’ll have them playing with spirit, but the talented Aggie offense should be able to move the ball and take advantage of their inexperience in the backfield, and I see the defense leveraging off of the effort versus Missou to put in another good game.
Prediction: Texas A&M; 30 points or so. Kansas 15 to 20 points.
Aggies go to 6-1, 3-0 in the Big 12 and the excitement starts to build.
Texas Tech, Oct. 30 (Home)
Just in time for Halloween, the merry pranksters of the West Texas plains come to College Station for their bi-annual visit.
Get ready for the usual charm fest.
Tech has, as everyone knows, a new coach. Tommy Tuberville had a couple of stops on the SEC, with some success along the way.
He’s replacing Mike Leach, whose inability to acknowledge that he actually had a boss was not appreciated by the administration.
Maybe Aggie fans should all dress in pirate costumes for the occasion, just to show some love.
Tuberville inherits a Tech team built entirely around Leach’s offensive philosophy, which was throw, throw, throw and, when in doubt, throw it some more.
He’ll try to build on this, and install this thing called a defense, which Leach apparently considered an annoying after thought.
So we’ve got a team with a new coach, a new philosophy, a defense to build, and maniacal fans that are still pining away for the old coach.
Of course, they’ll come into College Station and upset the Aggies.
The team members were not as sad to see Mr. Buccaneer go as people would think…and Tuberville knows how to coach on this level.
While Leach’s departure hurt this year’s recruiting, the talent already there is substantial and quite capable of performing well.
Net, the Red Raiders won’t be that bad this year and will win a few big ones…including A&M.
They’ll put some points up on the Aggies with their offense, and their D will have one of their usual top performances against their hated foe, causing turnovers and stifling scoring opportunities.
Prediction: Texas Tech: 30 or so. Texas A&M: 20 or so.
A&M learns a tough lesson to not look ahead or take anyone lightly and drops to 6-2, 3-1 big 12.
Oklahoma, Nov. 6 (Home)
A lot of people thing that Oklahoma is the team to beat in the Big 12 this year.
I’m one of them.
Bob Stoops should have the Crimson and Cream rebounding from a year which saw them go 8-5.
The Sooners are stacked on offense, returning nine starters . Key amongst them is quarterback Landry Jones.
Jones, who became a starter due to injuries, had 3,198 yards passing yards capped off with a 418 yard performance in the Sun Bowl vs. Stanford. With the talent surrounding him, not much will stop the Sooner offense in 2010.
They do, however, need some help on their D. Only four starters return, and the Sooners may have to get into a few shoot outs during the season.
Which is precisely what I think will happen vs. A&M.
Unlike last year, the Sooners will not blow out the Aggies. Instead, it will be a battle of attrition, with the last team holding the ball winning. Coming off a disappointing performance against Tech, the Aggies will give it a spirited go…but fall just short.
Prediction: Oklahoma; 40+ points. A&M 35 to 40 points.
The Aggies drop their second in a row and are now 6-3, 3-2 in the Big 12.
Baylor, Nov. 13 (Away)
Baylor stunk on defense last year, having the second worst unit in the Big 12 after the Aggies. Unfortunately for them, it does not look like it is going to get much better.
The Bears are replacing nine starters off of that unit, and just don’t have the talent pool that will step right in and make big contributions.
They’ll be the weakest defense in the conference in 2010, and teams like A&M will feast on them like chubby cops in a donut shop.
Offensively, the Bears are woefully short at their receiver positions. Quarterback Robert Griffin, a mobile threat who had a very good freshman year, went down with a knee injury in 2009.
It remains to be seen if he’ll be able to attain his former mobility and productivity in the position. He gave the Aggies fits two years ago, but the 3-4 is much a better defense to contain a player like him.
The offensive line also has some major shoes to fill with the graduation of J.D. Walton and James Barnard, who is expected to go fairly high in the NFL draft.
This is a game for the Aggies to take out their frustrations.
Prediction: A&M: 40+ points Baylor: less than 10 points.
It’s a blow out as A&M improves to 7-3, 4-2 Big 12.
Nebraska, Nov. 20 (Home)
Nebraska was a mirror image of Texas A&M in 2009.
Lotsa D, no O.
And for 2010, four out of the top five Cornhusker tacklers from that D are gone to the NFL, including freak of nature Ndamukong Suh.
So the Husker D looks like it may be taking a step back.
And with Zac Lee returning at quarterback, the Husker offense will not be setting the world on fire anytime soon. Oh, they’ll be better than ’09…it would be hard to be worse…but just do not have the playmakers at key positions to really create mismatches and gain yards in bunches.
This game is the final home game for the Aggies…and will be a solid, workman effort rwith their D having their best game other than Baylor. The result will be an Aggie win.
Prediction: A&M; mid 20’s Nebraska: mid teens.
A&M gets physical, and goes to 8-3, 5-2 in league.
tu Nov. 25 (Away)
The annual shindig is down in Austin this year. And the Longhorns have some major holes to fill.
Number one being a certain McCoy guy who pretty much single handedly willed the Horns to a victory over A&M last year.
Number two being some defensive guys by the name of Kindle, Houston and Muckelroy.
This being the rivalry game that it is, all bets are off on exactly who does what to whom. Unexpected plays are expected, big performances loom bigger, and players find reserves in themselves that they did not know was previously there.
So good bye to texas university
We're gonna beat you all to…
Chigaroogarem , Chigaroogarem
Rough, Tough, Real stuff, Texas A&M
Ya heard it here first. Aggies gig ‘em on turkey day in 2010.
Prediction: A&M : Low 30’s Texas: Upper 20’s
Just like the weather.
Texas A&M takes a close one in Austin, and wind up the regular season at 9-3, 6-2 in the Big 12.