Texas A&M Aggies Odds to win the College Football National Championship with Expert Betting Predictions
For the most part I don’t have an issue when a coach gets paid. It’s a brutal, thankless job, and they might as well get as much as they can. I find it very tough, though, to respect the move Jimbo Fisher made last year. After winning a title at Florida State it was like he got bored. He didn’t seem to even try last year, and then he bolted for an obscene payday. Money is money, and Texas A&M isn’t short of resources, but it would be very tough to find any ways that he is better off in his new home than he would have been in his old one. I’m not saying he’s a spoiled little baby — just that this is the kind of move a spoiled little baby would probably make. But every Aggies fan out there would tell me I was wrong, then probably try to fight me. They are downright giddy about this change and talk about how a championship will soon be theirs. I am obviously intensely skeptical, and especially doubtful, in the long term. But how right am I?
2017 in a Nutshell
As far as seasons go, the best way you can describe this one is that it was the kind of season that gets a guy like Kevin Sumlin fired and doesn’t leave anyone too unhappy about it. They still won seven games and made a bowl, but if you were impressed by any of the wins then you have a significantly lower standard than I do. They started by losing a narrow game to a UCLA team that wasn’t any good in the end, either. Then they won four straight, but they came against Nicholls State, Louisiana, Arkansas and South Carolina. Hardly a murderer’s row. Then they lost to Alabama, beat a Florida team that was also about to fire their coach in a squeaker, then lost to Mississippi State and Auburn. Wins against New Mexico and an Ole Miss team in complete turmoil again hardly get the pulse racing. Then they lost badly to LSU to cap the regular season and then lost to Wake Forest in the Belk Bowl. Sumlin was fired after the LSU game, so they had issues heading into that bowl game. So, to recap, they had a 7-6 record, with a shortage of quality wins and losses to all the good teams they played. That’s not what a team wants from a head coach in year six.
Key Additions and Departures
Fisher kept around just two position coaches from the Sumlin era — presumably to show all the new coaches around the facilities — so the changes are comprehensive and significant.
There are no changes at QB but also no certainty which young QB — Kellen Mond or Nick Starkel — will grab the starting job as their own. Trayveon Williams returns at running back and leads a group that is otherwise fairly deep but unproven. Star receivers Christian Kirk and Damion Ratley are both pros now, and in their place is a group of talented-but-raw receivers. Most have seen at least a little playing time, but freshman Jalen Preston is new blood that could have an impact. Tight end was a serious problem, and transfers will hopefully fill the gap in the short term. Jace Sternberger joins from juco, and Trevor Wood is a grad transfer who left Sumlin’s new home in Arizona. The offensive line was never sorted out last year, with a new combination seemingly for every series in a desperate attempt to find something that worked. Most of that line is back again, and offensive line coach Jim Turner was one of the two retained coaches, so the clear bet here is that experience will be the best relief.
The defensive line is a likely strength, with good existing talent joined by a touted juco transfer in Mohamed Diallo. Several young ends could see playing time. The team lost linebacker Santino Marchiol unexpectedly, so depth is a factor, but the starters will be solid and experienced. The Aggies had freshmen starting 24 games at corner. That’s not a good thing. Those guys aren’t freshmen anymore, so there should be some improvement. Safety Armani Watts was the third Aggie drafted, but the depth is really good in the position.
Biggest Area of Concern
The offensive line is narrowly in front of what is a long list of concerns heading into the year. It was a mess last year, and all that has really changed is that guys are a year older. They could be better and find a combination that works, but they also could not. With young quarterbacks and a group of receivers missing their stars, the pressure on the line will be intense — and they are going to face some ugly matchups in conference play.
Texas A&M Aggies Schedule Analysis
They open with a virtual exhibition game against Northwestern State. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they next play Clemson, a ridiculously deep-and-talented team that is the second favorite to win it all. Fisher has recent experience in getting beaten up by the Tigers, and he is very likely to add to that here. Then he gets another easy one against Louisiana-Monroe, but that is followed by another certain loss at the only team oddsmakers think are better than Clemson in Alabama. Welcome to your new team, Jimbo. Almost certainly at 2-2, the team has a chance to improve in a neutral-site game against Arkansas and a home game against Kentucky. But then they travel three games in a row — to South Carolina, Mississippi State and Auburn. I can’t be the only one that wouldn’t be surprised if they lost all three. Then they host Ole Miss and UAB before finishing off with LSU.
2018-19 Texas A&M Aggies Betting Odds and Trends
The Aggies are at +10000 to win the national title, so oddsmakers don’t expect a fairy tale ending to Jimbo Fisher’s first year. They are the fifth choice to win the SEC West at +1500 and the co-sixth choice to win the SEC at +2500. The season win total is set at 7.5, with the “under” solidly favored.
2018-19 Texas A&M Aggies Predictions and College Football Picks
I agree with those that like the under on the season win total. There are two absolutely certain losses and five more games that the Aggies are in for a fight in. To go “over” the total they would have to take care of business in the easiest games and go at least 3-2 in the tougher games — and I am not willing to bet on that happening. I am not buying what Fisher is selling this year. Sorry Aggies fans.
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