The Texas A&M Aggies are ranked fourth in ESPN’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 poll. The Aggies return five starters on defense and five starters on offense; still, Texas A&M is projected to be one of the three SEC teams in the top four. Mark Schlabach pinpoints the Aggies’ defense as the identity of the team in 2021. Now, the replacement of defensive coordinator Mike Elko and loss of experience on the defensive line could raise some questions on defense. Check out why Texas A&M deserves a spot among the top five teams of college football.
Reason 1: SEC
Although conference hype may be shunned by other fans, it’s a good argument for the Aggies’ high ranking. Last year, Texas A&M lost to the likes of Mississippi State, Arkansas, Ole Miss, and LSU. While these are games that the Aggies should’ve won, these squads are highly talented and capable of beating anyone.
The tough conference play is a good reason for Texas A&M to be near the top. However, the Aggies will have to compete for the SEC West division title this season. In 2021, the Aggies finished fifth in the SEC West, which is not a reflection of the potential of Texas A&M’s squad. The win against Alabama itself should confirm that. The Aggies should definitely be able to catapult themselves to be a top-three team in the SEC.
Reason 2: Better Quarterback Play
While having a better quarterback is an obvious reason, it can not be emphasized enough. Max Johnson or Haynes King as the starting quarterback would easily be a huge improvement over Zach Calzada. The question arises as to how well the quarterback can elevate the play of the offense in 2022.
Overall, a starting quarterback with dual-threat ability and accuracy will establish stability on the offense. Efficient quarterback play is needed to beat the mid-tier SEC teams such as Mississippi State and LSU. It’s tough to guarantee that any quarterback on the 2022 roster can go to Tuscaloosa and win unless Connor Weigman shines as a freshman.
Reason 3: Jimbo Fisher
Jimbo Fisher has proven he can win with six 10-win seasons at Florida State. Unfortunately, he has not had that type of year at Texas A&M, yet. The incoming 2022 recruiting class should help out with that. When Fisher has the talent, he’s capable of taking his team to the next level. In 2020, the Aggies would have likely been a 10-win team if not for the shortened season.
Fisher will likely play an even bigger role in the offense this season with Darrell Dickey, who is the offensive coordinator for Texas A&M. Fisher’s play-calling with Darrell remains statistically familiar from his time with the Seminoles, but he will need to develop a more balanced offense featuring a passing attack to take the Aggies to an SEC Championship. DJ Durkin is the new defensive coordinator for the Aggies, and he will need to have Texas A&M’s defense perform at a high level like Mike Elko did last year. Texas A&M’s defense is the heart and soul of the team, so the Aggies will need to continue to rely on their defense to win big games in 2022.
All in all, Fisher has been afforded all the necessary resources to win a national championship. He is now expected to win big, and even major sportsbooks expect a national championship from Texas A&M soon.
After this past season, it’s easy for fans to doubt the Aggies and say that they don’t deserve to be ranked in the top five. Anyone can definitely make arguments for teams such as Michigan, Utah, Notre Dame, etc. Ultimately, the Aggies are bound for a great season in 2022, and they are expected to win immediately.