Let me first start by saying that I did not vote Texas A&M to finish last in the West this year, which was apparently the majority's opinion at TSK after a poll. In fact, whatever appears hence isn't considered -- by me, at least -- at all bold; I'm a believer in A&M. I'm a big believer in A&M ... well, OK, kind of. Look, I like the thought of A&M, its potential. Admittedly, much of this potential is based on offense, yes. There's many an issue the Aggies gotta shore up — mostly, if not solely, on defense — before that potential transmutes into veritable goodness, and it's possible, if not likely, such transmutation occurs next season rather than this autumn. But, assuming the Ags can in fact get their stuff together by the last week of September, and the young talent on campus blossoms rather quickly, I have zero qualms about posting the following. Stuff like:
Texas A&M Will Finish No Worse Than Second in the West! So no, this is not an attempt to make you forget about a maybe crazy prediction by posting it early, hoping you forget about it by the time you finish this, or, when you inevitably close the tab halfway through. I'm serious, reader. Texas A&M, at worst, will take silver in the West. This means that yes, theoretically, Texas A&M will merit College Football Playoff discussion deep into the season. And also yes, the hiring of John Chavis is a sizable motive for this prediction, which we'll delve into further, farther down. But a lot of A&M's finish will also be attributable to the fact that Kyler Murray and Christian Kirk will win SEC Co-Freshman of the Year!
If you've seen the respective highlight tapes of the aforesaid, you can stop reading; you understand. If you haven't, go to YouTube, or Hudl, and watch highlights of both. Kirk is a muscle-bound ball of fast, and Murray, though lithe, is equally speedy. (Fun fact: A&M happens to have a receiver with the official moniker, Speedy -- not Murray, he's a quarterback -- whom we'll also address later on.) Kirk -- with his physical blessings from above or wherever -- is, in terms of fitting into the offense, a round peg in a round hole. He's perfect. He's slotted to play, well, slot receiver. And with A&M's offense possessing -- SPOILER ALERT -- possibly the best receiving corps in America, it'll be hard for defenses to focus on Kirk; especially in the early going with him just being a freshman and all and thus not likely to be on too many radars. But enough about him, let's talk about the other SEC Co-Freshman of the Year, Kyler Murray, who will Halfway into the Season, Join Kyle Allen as A&M's Co-Starting QB, Creating the First-Ever Successful Two-Quarterback System!
Look, Kyle Allen is going to be a good, if not great quarterback at A&M. He kinda, sorta ran 2014 Week One Heisman front-runner Kenny "Trill" Hill out of town, and was, during his recruitment just two years ago, widely considered as the best quarterback prospect in the country. So, yeah, he's likely to stick around. But Murray is also carrying potential by the truckload, and he's a native Texan, which means that even if Allen -- who is not from Texas -- does like, okay to start off the year, there's still gonna be some pining for Murray to play. Murray is, based off what he did to the state of Texas for three years in high school, likely to ball out from day one of fall camp. He can, against some of the most talented prepsters in the country at least, run and pass with equal aplomb. So assuming those skills translate -- and quickly -- to the collegiate game, by the time week one's contest against Arizona State rolls around, he'll have a little package of plays set for him -- kind of like what they did at Florida nine years ago. He will be very successful at running this package. His playing time will increase. But, unlike that situation at UF a while back, Allen is not a senior. He hasn't -- through no fault of his own -- put in enough time to not be forced into splitting coequal time with a newb under center. So enter Murray. This is gonna work out great. And a major reason for the experiment's success will be because A&M's Receiving Corps Will Play Better Than Any Other Receiving Group in America.
Speedy Noil, Ricky Seals-Jones, Sabian Holmes, Josh Reynolds and Kirk may be -- oops, I'm sorry, will be -- the best crop of receivers in the country in 2015. Or, put in more quantifiable terms, A&M's receivers will have more catches, yards and touchdowns, collectively, than any other set of wide outs in these here United States. Lest we forget, A&M led the SEC in passing offense a year ago, and, it added yet another 5-star receiver to its corps, and, the quarterback who threw a good chunk of those balls is back and Kevin Sumlin is still the head coach. This will happen.
What will not happen, though, is Texas A&M Finishing Dead Last in Total Defense This Season. It happened last season. It happened the season before that. This year will be different, and it will be different because the mustachioed and aforementioned Chavis is now coordinating things in College Station -- and in A&M's road venues, I'm sure -- and he is very good at what he does. He is, apparently, $1.7 million dollars good. His last defense, last year -- at divisional foe LSU -- finished first in the conference, and ninth in the country. Assuming the schemes he deployed then and before ("before" has also been very good for Chavis' defenses) were equally as important to the outcomes of games as the talent LSU fielded, A&M, at worst, should finish second-to-last. And, with studs like sophomore Myles Garrett and 5-star frosh Daylon Mack manning the line, A&M finally has a talent base from which to build off, unlike years past. I have no clue where A&M will finish, but it will not be last, and it can't be -- not if the Aggies are really and truly set to play in one of the New Year's Six.