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Texas A&M Football

Shortened 2020 schedule could enhance Aggies' hopes for a special season

July 13, 2020
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Well before COVID-19 was part of the everyday dialogue — indeed, even before COVID-19 existed — the 2020 college football season was expected to be special for Texas A&M.

But then the Big Ten and Pac-12 announced the cancelation of non-conference games. The Big 12, ACC and the SEC are expected to soon follow that trend.

However, a reduced schedule may actually enhance A&M’s title aspirations.

The Aggies return eight starters on offense, including senior quarterback Kellen Mond. The defense — which was ranked among the nation’s Top 30 in 2019 — brings back even more experience.

The treacherous, unforgiving schedule of 2019 — in which the Aggies set a record by facing three top-ranked opponents — eased significantly. Road games against powerhouses Clemson and Georgia were supposed to be replaced by home games against struggling Colorado and Vanderbilt. Texas A&M’s Sept. 19 contest against Colorado was canceled last week.

Furthermore, several A&M opponents are entering the 2020 season with new coaches, new quarterbacks or both. Others have to substantially rebuild offensive lines or defenses.

All the factors seemed to be in place to allow the Aggies to emerge as bona fide contenders in the SEC West, which equates to bona fide contenders for the SEC championship, which equates to bona fide contenders for the national title.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
It’s possible that Jimbo Fisher and Texas A&M could benefit from a shortened season.

That won’t change.

Indeed, a shortened schedule may actually benefit A&M. The Aggies are the SEC’s most experienced team. Therefore, they don’t figure to need as much time to iron out wrinkles as many of their opponents.

If the SEC omits non-conference games, the Aggies will open against Arkansas, which will be the Razorbacks’ first game under coach Sam Pittman and with new quarterback Feleipe Franks. The perennially-rebuilding Razorbacks might also have several starters making their major collegiate debut.

Next, A&M would face Mississippi State. That will be Bulldogs’ quarterback K.J. Costello’s second game running Mike Leach’s system. Mississippi State will also be in the process of rebuilding its defense and offensive line.

The Aggies’ third conference game is against Auburn, who must replace four starters along the offensive line and bolster its defense.

Cohesion is a significant factor in successful offensive line play. Auburn will have played three SEC opponents before A&M. Will that be enough to acquire sufficient cohesion in the offensive line, particularly against a solid A&M defensive front?

Maybe. But it’s a valid question.

A&M’s next three opponents would be South Carolina, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt. Those teams combined for 11 victories in 2019, and in 2020, they don’t project to be much better. Vanderbilt and South Carolina could be worse, while Ole Miss is in its first season under coach Lane Kiffin.

TexAgs
A&M’s Nov. 21 date against Alabama is when the Aggies’ schedule really gets tough.

The Aggies close against powerhouses Alabama and LSU. A&M’s championship hopes always have and always will hinge on beating those teams.

Although the Crimson Tide and Bayou Bengals both have significant holes to fill — particularly at quarterback — they will likely find solutions to their issues before the Aggies face them late in the season. That’s still the case.

But they would have four fewer games to develop their quarterbacks and replace other holes.

That might not seem like much, but the Aggies will take any edge they can get against Alabama and LSU.

Nothing is assured, of course. Teams still have to play at a high level against rivals. Upsets must be avoided.

If the Aggies capitalize on their edge in experience, the 2020 football season could be extra special.

Discussion from...

Shortened 2020 schedule could enhance Aggies' hopes for a special season

8,059 Views | 21 Replies | Last: 1 mo ago by Tegrity123
JPK89
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AG
Strong Kool-Aid!
bodaciousbood14
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AG
That would be just like us to win the National Championship having not played a full schedule...a tough, tough abbreviated schedule but a less than full one nonetheless.

A Natty everyone will have an asterisk by.
haybob15
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AG
All Texags posters are equal but some are more equal than others.
zephyr88
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AG
No chance for another 8-5 season...
West Point Aggie
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AG
Strong chance of 0-0 UNDEFEATED!!
edtombell
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Olin it would be nice if you took Mr. Mond 's picture down and put a real Aggie in his place.
sharpdressedman
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It's not about CV-19. It is a transparent attempt to salvage some TV-contract money.
Reno Hightower
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Olin talks about other teams having 'holes' in their personnel and lacking cohesion. #11 at QB with a D- returning OL and a receiving corp that has very little game experience would mean the Aggies have many of those same issues.
oldfart79
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so olin does that mean we start out 2021 with freshman ob with out any big game exp
oldfart79
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sure would rather get a good jumo on 2021 than this season with a new qb
Agsuffering@bulaw
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Not to the same extant. Wydermeyer is an emerging star, ausbon is solid. Buckley has game experience and we at least know his floor will not kill us.

McCollum is unspectacular, but also has plenty of experience and should be adequate if healthy.

Even if mond does not another development leap, we at least have a mostly solid sec qb.

Every projected starter on defense has significant playing time. Nobody is terrible.

The only complete unknown is the other outside wr.

All it takes is 1-2 liabilities to kill a defense. Same w offense, unless there is a star or 2 to cover for them.

Edit: cell phone, somehow typed isn't for wydermeyer
SinKiller
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We played Auburn, at home, with a QB playing his first, real road game. This was a true freshman with a game under his belt, that kid couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat. The game was over in the 1st qtr, sure some meaningless garbage made it look closer, it wasn't. That kid is 1-0 against A&M, now we're gonna all of a sudden just go on the road and take it to them?
Agsuffering@bulaw
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And OB has a very nuanced point. Auburn is currently -3 pt. Not much is needed to shift for us.

Our OL did not fix schematic breakdowns (they still just got beat) until midseason. We had a Sr with starting experience, and 3 Jrs with starting experience. Hocker moved Left, so neither OT was playing with the same G as last year. Hocker was playing with different C and OT.

Auburn will be playing with 5 new starters. Only the C has signficant starting experience. They will probably need time to gel.

Malzahn seems to have OL issues every other year. OL recruiting has regressed the past 3-4 years. Part of it is probably scouting & development. The same 5 struggled in 18 before coming together in 19. That group included 3 high impact recruits and a grad transfer who was very good in G5. The current group has 2 high impact RSJrs and a RSFr. We probably dont see the FR until '22. Of the 2 JRs, one was hurt all last year and played STs in 18. The other was the backup center, who was not nearly as good as the starter. We unfortunately got the starting C in '18 and '19. We probably win in 18 against the backup.

They also lose RB1 and RB3 from last year,

Stop the run, and we will win unless TOs and STs. A shortened schedule means a higher liklihood that the OL is not ready for our game.


ETA: I should have directly answered SinKiller. They won last year b/c they were able to run and play defense. Very little was asked of Nix. They had an effective OL last year and our secondary got fooled repeatedly by the misdirection. Clemmons blew his assignment horribly on the first big TD, alowing the ball to get outside. Elam ? before the game, and Leon had a meltdown. It also did not help that Bobby Brown left the game I want to say 2nd quarter.

Our secondary should be better this year.

And that defense lost a 1st round CB and DT, a day 2 DL and a Day 3 Safety. They are always decent on defense, but should not be as good.

The OL should not struggle as much.

Not saying we will win, but those are the reasons why we could
GreatSullysGhost
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bodaciousbood14 said:

That would be just like us to win the National Championship having not played a full schedule...a tough, tough abbreviated schedule but a less than full one nonetheless.

A Natty everyone will have an asterisk by.
Aggies dodging Colorado and (checks clipboard) Abilene Christian. Ain't played nobody PAAAAWWWWWWWLLLLLLL
I Hate SEC Refs
Bread8-Ag92
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AG
SinKiller said:

We played Auburn, at home, with a QB playing his first, real road game. This was a true freshman with a game under his belt, that kid couldn't hit water if he fell out of a boat. The game was over in the 1st qtr, sure some meaningless garbage made it look closer, it wasn't. That kid is 1-0 against A&M, now we're gonna all of a sudden just go on the road and take it to them?


And with Mond "still" sailing the ship.......like Gilligan.
30wedge
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If we could play our OOC schedule, and drop Bama, LSU, and Auburn, we could make a run, albeit with an asterisk.
dtag75
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edtombell said:

Olin it would be nice if you took Mr. Mond 's picture down and put a real Aggie in his place.
#11-NotMyQB
SinKiller
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Mond is what he is, those thinking it's gonna be different because a few months have passed by are gonna see the leopard ain't changing his spots...
Agsuffering@bulaw
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Quote:

#11-NotMyQB

He is my quarterback until Jimbo says otherwise. I do not have to like his politics.
Agsuffering@bulaw
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Quote:

Mond is what he is, those thinking it's gonna be different because a few months have passed by are gonna see the leopard ain't changing his spots...

There is probably better than 50% chance you end up correct, but I say there is a 1/3 chance otherwise.

1. Mond did not get to redshirt and had to learn a new system in year 2, after learning lots of bad habits
2. Mond has improved every year
Tegrity123
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We are a QB, RB, better O-Line, and CBs away from competing for conference championships.
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