Why the Texas A&M Aggies will beat Alabama, Finish 10-2

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 24: Head coach Jimbo Fisher of the Texas A&M Aggies walks off the field after taking on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the first half of the 2022 Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - SEPTEMBER 24: Head coach Jimbo Fisher of the Texas A&M Aggies walks off the field after taking on the Arkansas Razorbacks in the first half of the 2022 Southwest Classic at AT&T Stadium on September 24, 2022 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Texas A&M Aggies are coming off of a disappointing 5-7 season which included an upset loss at home to Appalachian State and failing to win enough games to be bowl eligible.

Texas A&M also lost 27 scholarship players to the transfer portal with seven coming from the 2022 number one ranked recruiting class, which is what almost everyone points to. Losing that much from a number one ranked recruiting class is detrimental, right? Wrong. The Aggies actually retain 19 of their 22 starters from last season despite the losses. So almost all of their production as far as starters go returns.

According to Good Bull Hunting, the Aggies sit atop the SEC with returning production at 80%.

With that being said, look for the Aggies to sneak up on some teams this year, which other than Missouri, is at least nine percent more than any other team.

Last season, the offense did struggle under head coach Jimbo Fisher who is going into his sixth season with the school. According to ESPN, they finished 70th in the country with 27.9 points per game. That was good enough for thirteenth in the SEC ahead of only Kentucky.

Knowing that’s not good enough to get it done, Fisher has given up offensive play-calling duties and brought in former Arkansas head coach Bobby Petrino as offensive coordinator. Petrino is seen across college football as an offensive mastermind and the hopes are he will replicate this in College Station.

Benefiting from Petrino is returning sophomore quarterback Conner Weigman who threw for 896 yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions in his freshman season for the Aggies. What is even more impressive is that Weigman did this in only four starts, and without his top offensive weapon, wide receiver Ainias Smith, who was hurt early in the season last year before Weigman took over.

Joining Smith in the receiver room is sophomore Evan Stewart who emerged last year during his freshman season for the Aggies in the absence of Smith. Stewart appeared in ten games, catching 53 passes for 649 yards and two touchdowns. These two should be a nice one-two punch for the Aggies on the offensive side of the ball.

On defense, the Aggies are led by returning senior starter Demani Richardson who led the team in tackles last season with 73.

Here are my predictions on how the Texas A&M Aggies will fare game-by-game in 2023:

Texas A&M Aggies 2023 Game-by-Game Predictions

New Mexico (College Station, TX) – The Aggies will get a 7:00 PM EST tune-up game against the University of New Mexico Lobos. With all of the off-season questions coming off of last year, look for the Aggies to start the season fast taking down the Aggies 52-0. Conner Weigman will gel seamlessly with his receivers, and look for returning running backs Amari Daniels and Le’Veon Moss to assert themselves on the ground after the loss of starting running back Devon Achane to the NFL after last season.

Miami (Coral Gables, FL) – The Hurricanes went 5-7 as well last year, including a week 3 loss to the Aggies 17-9 in College Station. This year, the ‘Canes are ranked 13th in the AP pre-season poll. Compare the Texas A&M’s 80% returning production, the Hurricanes return 62% according to Alan Rubenstein of Canes Warning. Starting quarterback Tyler Van Dyke returns to the Canes for his senior season. Van Dyke has appeared in 19 games the last two seasons for the ‘Canes, throwing for 4,766 yards, 35 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. With the touchdown to interception ratio as well as production numbers favoring the Aggies, look for them to take this one 35-3 in a game where their defense takes hold and stuns the ‘Canes in a tough road test. Aggies running back Amari Daniels will be motivated in this one as well being from Miami. Look for Daniels to assert himself as a reliable option for the Aggies on the ground this year.

UL Monroe (College Station, TX) – The Aggies will get another welcomed home game and arguable tune-up against the Warhawks who went 4-8 last season in the Sun Belt conference. This will be a welcomed home game for Fisher and Petrino as they continue to make sure the offense is on the right page. The Aggies will do just that taking this one 42-3. With the Aggies clicking at 3-0 heading into SEC play next week against Auburn, they will be all the talk with their offensive firepower being showcased in their first three games.

Auburn (College Station, TX) – Having your first SEC test as a home game is never a bad thing. And that is how it will pan out for the Texas A&M Aggies as they take down the Auburn Tigers 35-10 in this one. The Tigers have questions at quarterback, as well as a first year coach under Hugh Freeze. While Freeze is a proven winner in the SEC and will do just that over time, year one at Auburn will be a challenge as he appears to still be getting all of his pieces in place. The Tigers have one remaining player on their roster from their 2021 signing class, while ranking 90th in the nation last season in points for, and 97th in points against according to ESPN. This puts the Aggies at 4-0 to start the season.

Arkansas (Dallas, TX) – In a neutral site rivalry game that’s always intense and pressure-packed, expect no different in this one. It will be a high scoring affair with both teams having established quarterbacks, but the Hogs will score a touchdown late to win it 35-28 handing the Aggies their first loss of the season. The tandem of quarterback KJ Jefferson and running back Raheim “Rocket” Sanders will be a tough test for the Aggies, but they will put on a good performance.

Alabama (College Station, TX) – The Aggies will give Alabama their first and only loss of the season defeating them in front of a sell out crowd. The contest in Tuscaloosa last year saw the Aggies within a whisker, losing on the last play of the game 24-20. This should give them more than enough confidence with the home field advantage of the 12th man to take down the Tide. Wide receiver Evan Stewart had a coming out party last year in this one catching eight passes for 106 yards for the Aggies. Expect him to have another big game while the Aggies balance with a good ground attack. The Tide also enter this season with questions at quarterback. Whoever the starting quarterback is should help Fisher have enough tape by this point to gameplan for it, propelling the Aggies to a 24-17 victory.

Tennessee (Knoxville, TN) – The Vols got a lot of hype last season for knocking off Alabama and getting to 10 wins. Look for the tables to turn this year as the Aggies take this one 28-10 relying heavily on their run game in a tough SEC road test. The momentum they will have them coming in with a 5-1 record including a win last week against the Crimson Tide should help to propel them as well. This will improve the Aggies to 6-1 on the season as they head back home to take on South Carolina.

South Carolina (College Station, TX) – Expect the Aggies to be squarely in the Top 10 in the country heading into this one as they take on the Gamecocks who are coming off of an 8-5 season under third year head coach, Shane Beamer. Last season saw the Aggies lose a close one in Columbia 30-24, so expect them to be laser focused on turning the tables this time around. Weigman should be in quite the groove by this point, so expect a high-powered attack for the Aggies as Petrino and the gang light up the Gamecocks on their way to a 38-14 win.

Ole Miss (Oxford, MS) – Last season, the Ole Miss Rebels lost their last four games, and that is something Kiffin aims to correct this year. The Rebels will already have some tough losses heading into this one though, and the Aggies will seize the momentum early with big plays on defense stifling the Rebels offensive attack. This is the blueprint to a successful team in that the Aggies will seem to win games differently each week. And expect this week to be no different with the defense rising up. The Aggies will take this one 21-3 and improve to 8-1 on the season.

Mississippi State (College Station, TX) – There are a lot of unknowns on this Mississippi State Bulldogs team heading into the 2023 season. First year head coach Zack Arnett will bring in returning starting quarterback Will Rogers who threw for 3,974 yards and 35 touchdowns in his junior season. It’ll be a tough road test at this point in the season for Rogers and the Bulldogs though, and heading into College Station has proven to be no easy task for them this time around as the defense rises up again giving Rogers fits, and the aerial attack Petrino will have together with Weigman by this point in the season will be thriving. Expect a 42-10 victory for the Aggies.

Abilene Christian (College Station, TX) – This will serve as a warmup game of sorts for next week’s showdown against the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge which will have SEC West title ramifications for the Aggies. Abilene Christian is an FCS opponent who went 7-4 last year. Expect the Aggies to win this one 52-3 while getting some starters some much needed rest before next week.

LSU (Baton Rouge, LA) – Baton Rouge is never an easy place to play. And with the Tigers only loss on the season coming to Alabama, expect them to be primed and ready for this one, especially after the Aggies upset them last season in College Station 38-23. LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels and Texas A&M quarterback Conner Weigman should both be Heisman contenders by this point in the season. Daniels will have a bit of an easier go in this one with it being a home game, and most likely at night. Look for the Tigers to take this on 42-10 with an all-around great performance on both sides of the ball making sure that last year does not repeat itself.

10-2 should be a welcomed record for the Texas A&M Aggies coming off of a 5-7 campaign in 2022 and with a new offensive coordinator. The other good thing is that due to Bobby Petrino’s previous firing as a head coach at Louisville where he went 2-8 in his last season, this should hopefully keep him around in the coordinator role for the foreseeable future. Expect a New Years Six bowl appearance for the Aggies as they look to continue to build under Weigman and Petrino for 2024.

Next. Texas A&M has never played these FBS teams. dark