Three predictions for Texas A&M
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
The upcoming season approaches with less preseason hype for Texas A&M than any season in recent memory.
The Aggies are universally expected to finish in the Big 12 cellar, lapped by developing teams like Baylor and Texas Tech. Coach Mike Sherman's second season with A&M is expected to be another difficult one after last season's 4-8 record that featured no victories over South Division opponents for the first time in school history.
Sherman does have some offensive weapons at his disposal in talented junior quarterback Jerrod Johnson, sophomore receiver Jeff Fuller and play-making hybrid defensive end/linebacker Von Miller. But whether it will be enough to stop another oh-fer against the rest of the South Division will be a huge question. The Aggies' divisional foes are unforgiving and the division as a whole might be more competitive today than at any point in the league's history.
Here are three predictions I have for the Aggies this season.
1. Freshman running back Christine Michael will emerge as the Aggies' featured running threat from early in the season. Michael has the kind of talent to help balance A&M's running game. But he won't be able to do much unless a struggling offensive line improves its production after last season's disappointing performance.
2. Ryan Tannehill will be catching passes again by the Arkansas game. After struggling last season without a backup quarterback when Stephen McGee went down, Sherman admittedly is a little gun-shy about the need for two quarterbacks. He'll try to use Tannehill as a backup quarterback and probably even get him some playing time early in the season. But the A&M coaching staff will learn that Tannehill is too valuable of an offensive weapon to keep him benched for too long. Look for him to return as a receiver -- and probably to the starting lineup -- by the time conference play begins.
3. The Aggies' winning streak over Baylor finally will be snapped at Kyle Field this season. Texas A&M has a remarkable 10-0-1 record against the Bears at home and hasn't lost there against the Bears since 1984. But this season, with bowl chances for both teams potentially riding on it, Baylor finally will halt that streak. I don't like the Aggies' chances of stopping Robert Griffin with their current defense.