2011 Texas A&M Aggies Football Predictions and Big 12 Futures Odds
by Darin Zank - 7/13/2011
There was some doubt among Texas A&M faithful when the school hired former Green Bay Packers Coach Mike Sherman to take over the Aggie football program a few years back. A&M had fallen on some comparatively hard times, considering they'd recently gone 20 years without a losing season, and while Sherman had had some success at Green Bay, he wasn't exactly high on anyone's list.
Four years later, though, the Aggies are now considered among the upper echelon outfits in the Big 12.
Last year A&M had 16 starters back, and they were pegged for a top-three finish in the Big 12's South Division. The Aggies started 3-0 against some weak nonconference action, then lost on a late field goal at Oklahoma State, by seven to Arkansas and got blown out by Missouri to fall to 3-3. But after a change at quarterback A&M won six in a row, beating Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas along the way. They tied for first in the South, but lost out on the tiebreaker to miss a spot in the conference championship game. The Aggies then struggled mightily in a Cotton Bowl loss to LSU, but all in all last season gives great promise for the future in College Station.
A&M also went 8-5 ATS last year, 6-2 ATS in conference play, and 7-6 on the ‘over/unders,’ as Aggies games averaged 53 points per game.
This year the Aggies have 18 starters back, the most in the Big 12, and they're looking forward to giving Oklahoma a fight for the conference title.
Sherman took Green Bay to the playoffs four times, although they couldn't quite get over the hump and into the Super Bowl thanks in part to some questionable calls on his part. He was also an assistant at A&M back in the 1990s. In his return to the college ranks he's created a high-powered offensive attack and last year fielded the best defense the Aggies have had in a while. A&M went 4-8 in his first year, 6-7 his second and 9-4 his third. But two bad bowl losses have left a bad taste in the Aggies mouths the last two offseasons.
Ten starters return on a unit that ranked fourth in conference play overall last year at 443 YPG, sixth in rushing at 158 YPG, and hit the 40-point mark five times. QB Ryan Tannehill put up a 13/6 TD/INT ratio after taking over as the starter in Week 8 last year, and he returns along with 1,100-yard rusher Cyrus Gray. Also returning is the entire receiving corps, led by Jeff Fuller and Ryan Swope, who both caught 72 balls last year, and four along the O line. That line, however, allowed 23 sacks in conference play, third-most in the league, so that's a concern. But this unit should again be tough to stop.
Eight starters are back on this side of the ball. A&M ranked fifth in Big 12 play overall last year, allowing 385 YPG, and first vs. the run, giving up just 133 YPG on the ground. And they made opponents work, ranking second in the league in yards per point allowed. They also ranked second in forced turnovers and sacks. Four starters return on the front seven, and the entire defensive backfield, three of them seniors, is back. But they lost leading sacker Von Miller to the pros, so they've got a hole to fill there.
2011 Texas A&M Aggies Football Schedule
A&M starts off with an interesting game vs. an old Southwest Conference rival in SMU, hosts Idaho and also gets Oklahoma State at home. The Aggies then step back out of conference play to take on another former SWC rival in Arkansas on a neutral field at Cowboys Stadium, then get three winnable games in a row, at Texas Tech, at home vs. Baylor and at Iowa State. Then comes crunch time as they host Missouri before visiting Oklahoma. Then after playing the two Kansas teams they get Texas at Kyle Field on Thanksgiving night. So A&M has a chance to be 8-0 when they visit Norman, and if they can pull the upset there, the BCS awaits.
2011 Texas A&M Futures Odds
Bodog is listing the Aggies at 40/1 to win the BCS Championship.
2011 Texas A&M Football Predictions
This is the best team the Aggies have had in quite a while. The offense is dangerous, the defense good enough, and they've really only got two true tough road games. If all goes well 10 regular-season wins seems like a pretty good bet, and 11 is a possibility.
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