Texas A&M Aggies Odds to win SEC with Expert Betting Predictions
Remember when Kevin Sumlin was a genius? It wasn't too long ago. He was going to go to the NFL and have his pick of jobs. Or become Emperor of the Universe and solve all of the world's problems. But now he can't do too much right. His last three seasons with the Aggies have been perfectly ordinary - 8-5 each time, with three or four conference wins. Each year he starts strong, stumbles, and finishes with a whimper. There doesn't seem to be progress or change. It's just static. And there is a pretty good chance that it is going to get him fired if he doesn't have a solidly improved season this year. Texas fans should take note - like Tom Herman, Sumlin was a savior when he arrived from Houston, and he started out very strong. Ultimately, though, it didn't mean too much other than he got lucky with Johnny Manziel.
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Can Sumlin save himself? And can Herman do better? We'll look at the first of those questions today:
2016 in a Nutshell
It's almost as if in recent years Sumlin has come to conclusion that the real season is only six games long. And if his team only had played a six-game season last year they would have been national champions. They opened up with a win over a ranked UCLA team at home (the fact that it is insane that UCLA was ranked is something we'll ignore). And they beat two more ranked teams - Arkansas and Tennessee. They also won at Auburn and South Carolina. That was good enough to take the Aggies all the way from unranked to start the season to No. 6 at the halfway point.
From then on, though, they just embarrassed themselves. They got beat up by Alabama - which, by itself, is no big deal because it happens to everyone. Losing at Mississippi State is just a joke, though, and losing at home to Ole Miss wasn't great, either. They got beat up by LSU to finish the season and then lost to Kansas State in their bowl game. From 6-0 to 8-5, and those last two wins were against New Mexico State and UTSA so they shouldn't even count. Ugly. And the worst part is how they were losing. Every team that beat them scored at least 29 points, and four scored 33 or more. They were being steamrolled. Sadly, this is nothing new - the last three seasons they have started at least 5-0, and have wound up 8-5. Alec Baldwin would not give the Aggies coffee.
Key Additions and Departures
There are some personnel changes happening in College Station. Trevor Knight is gone at QB, and the depth of blue chips to replace him couldn't get out of town fast enough. Six of the top seven wide receivers last year are gone, and a very good left tackle isn't around to anchor the line. As I write this the QB race isn't being talked about more than that it is still a three-man race, and since there is less than a week until the season starts that isn't exactly ideal.
Senior Jake Hubenak has the experience among the three as he played, and looked decent enough, against both Mississippi schools last year. No matter what, though, they will be dealing with some inexperience under center. Christian Kirk is the lone returning receiver of note, but he's very good. There will be a lot of freshmen playing with him, though, and at receiver that's scarier than in some other positions. The good news is that running back is in strong shape, and the line returns a fair bit of experience and should be good and improving as the season goes on.
Myles Garrett is gone as the first overall pick in the draft, and fellow end Daeshon Hall went in the third round. Needless to say, they are facing some significant changes. They are just loaded at tackle, but there are big questions and a lack of meaningful experience both at end and among the linebackers. The secondary is much more experienced, but they weren't any good last year, so you can decide whether the lack of changes back there is a particular positive. With Garrett and Hall gone, though, it's hard to be hugely positive about a defensive unit that wasn't exactly wall-like last year.
Texas A&M Aggies Schedule Analysis
Again, the team could start 5-0. They open at UCLA, and I'm not any more optimistic about the Bruins than I am the Aggies. Texas A&M probably has a slight edge. In their next four only at Arkansas represents a real challenge, and Bret Bielema is working as hard as Sumlin to be fired, so the Aggies should be fine. Let's put it this way - if Sumlin isn't 5-0 then he's in real trouble, but if he is 5-0 it proves nothing at all. Then they host, and lose to, Alabama. The rest of the way it's an easy one over New Mexico, coin flips against Mississippi State and Ole Miss, and games they will have to be ready for, and lucky, to have a chance in at Florida, against Auburn, and at LSU. Unless they are a much different team than I expect I see four games they definitely aren't winning, and I don't have faith in them taking care of business in all of the rest. Seven wins feels like a reasonable number, then. That means they can get to 8-5, yet again, with a bowl win.
2017-18 Texas A&M Aggies Betting Odds and Trends
BetOnline has the Aggies at +5000 to win the national title, which puts them ahead of 14 of the 36 teams that odds are listed for. That is a joke - this team is not nearly good enough to justify that, and there is no value at all here. At +4000 they are the seventh choice to win the SEC. The season win total is at 7, and the "under" is the slight favorite, so I am not alone in my opinion of the squad.
From a betting perspective it was even more of a tale of two seasons. After covering their first four spreads the team didn't cover another all season to wind up 4-9 ATS. The oddsmakers weren't surprised by how bad the defense was, because despite the defensive woes the under still had a 7-5- edge on the totals on the season. That means that they were facing high totals.
2017-18 Texas A&M Aggies Predictions and College Football Picks
Here's a prediction I feel pretty good about - Kevin Sumlin will not coach the team's bowl game (if they even get one), and it won't be because he has taken a better job. They are going to disappoint, and he's going to pay for it.
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