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Photo by Matt Sachs, TexAgs
Texas A&M Football

Gators, Vols make A&M's road tougher, but destination remains the same

August 8, 2020

Waze App now shows clusters of red clogging the anticipated joy ride that was Texas A&M’s 2020 football schedule.

Some gridlock was anticipated, of course. But not until late November when Alabama and LSU appeared on the schedule.

A&M’s road has gotten tougher as it’s gotten shorter. Likely cakewalk games against Abilene Christian, North Texas, Colorado and Fresno State are canceled. Two games are added against SEC East opponents Florida and Tennessee. Obviously, the Gators and Vols are better any of A&M’s scheduled non-conference opponents.

Consequently, the 10-win season that was easily within reach suddenly has become a wallet connected to a string. Just when it seemed there for the taking it’s been snatched away.

Some frustrated Aggies might be wailing: “If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.”

Except, this year the Aggies shouldn’t have to rely on luck. A&M’s outlook should not change much even with a more difficult schedule.

Lia Musgrave, TexAgs
The Aggies avoided another date with Georgia in the regular season but inherited two formidable SEC East opponents in Florida and Tennessee.

This season the Aggies project to be legitimate contenders in the SEC West. Good teams don’t fear playing other good teams.

Besides, as of today, A&M would probably be favored over Tennessee even in Knoxville. The Aggies would likely be installed as a three-point or less underdog to Florida. That game should be viewed as a toss-up.

Why not? The stats are well known. The Aggies return 16 starters from last year’s team that went 8-5 against perhaps the most challenging schedule in college football history. A&M was the first team to play three No. 1 ranked opponents in the same season.

After facing that gauntlet, the Aggies deserved an easier road. They certainly did not need to apologize for it, either.

This fact remains, though: The Aggies’ 10-game, all-SEC schedule isn’t as challenging as last year’s grind. The subtraction of road games at Clemson and Georgia eases A&M’s road even with Florida on the schedule. No doubt, Florida won’t be celebrating a trip to Kyle Field.

Some, of course, hoped for the path of least resistance, which probably would’ve been games against Missouri and Kentucky. They worry that fewer cupcakes on the schedule lessens the chances of reaching the College Football Playoff.

The contention here is a team needing a soft schedule to get in the playoffs won’t win once there, anyway.

In this season in which most — perhaps all — Power 5 teams won’t play non-conference games, the notion of one conference getting two teams in the playoffs seems unlikely.

Look for this year’s playoff to have four conference champions. Texas A&M has a bona fide chance to be one of them even if the road there has gotten more difficult.

Discussion from...

Gators, Vols make A&M's road tougher, but destination remains the same

3,896 Views | 4 Replies | Last: 10 mo ago by AgOutsideAustin
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The hype this season seems a tad overblown for lots of reasons, not the least of which to really be a contender you generally need elite level QB play.

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Always a good read ... I agree we should welcome this schedule. Maybe this Covid caused schedule will be a step toward a 9 game conference schedule every year. Playing over classed opponents every year serves its purpose but lacks interest. I would like to see 2 guarantees, the power 5, and the 9th SEC game every year.

No telling how many young Ags you puzzled with your metaphor ... a wallet connected to a string.
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If this season is canceled (likely) do we get same schedule in spring or next fall?
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I ain't skeered.
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