The Orlando Sentinel has ranked all 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in the country. We’ll take a closer look at a new team daily, counting backward from No. 120 to our projected No. 1 team. We will not be including the four teams the
Today at No. 22:
Coach: Kevin Sumlin (0-0, entering first season; 35-17 overall)
2011 results: 7-6 (4-5 in
Look back: Texas A&M was ranked in the Top 10 in national polls early in the 2011 season, but the
Off the field, Texas A&M announce the big news it was leaving the Big 12 behind and jumping to the
Offensive starters lost/returning: 2/9
Defensive starters lost/returning: 5/6
Key losses: QB
Top returnees: WR Ryan Swope, OL Luke Joeckel, OL Jake Matthews, LB Sean Porter, RB Christine Michael.
Strengths: Texas A&M boasts a true playmaker in receiver Ryan Swope, who should thrive in Sumlin’s wide open, pass heavy attack. The offense will get a lot of help from a potent offensive line anchored by
While the Aggies return nine starters on offense, the team brings back just six starters on defense. The defensive lineup is leaner. Linebacker Sean Porter is expected to step into a leadership role and help the unit cope with bigger challenges in the SEC.
Weaknesses: The Aggies lost a talented quarterback in Ryan Tannehill, who has moved on to the NFL. Fourth athletes are competing for the starting job. Sophomore Jameill Showers shined during the spring by showing off the strongest arm and most poise. Freshman Johnny Manziel, who is Showers' primary competition, tends to thrive when things break down. The transition to a new starting quarterback could be painful for Texas A&M. The quarterback plays a critical role in Sumlin's offense and will face elite SEC defenses.
Sumlin brought in Mark Snyder, a former Marshall head coach and USF assistant coach known for developing hard-nosed defensive players, to take over as defensive coordinator. Snyder faces the tough job of building up a defensive unit with a lot of gaps. While the Aggies' offensive line is impressive, the defensive line is a much weaker group.
Outlook: Texas A&M is about to a make a huge jump into a new conference, but it has enough experienced returning players and the talent on its offensive line to post a winning record and earn a bowl invitation.
Aug. 30 At Louisiana Tech
Sept. 15 At SMU
Oct. 6 At
Oct. 27 At
Nov. 3 At
Nov. 10 At
Nov. 17 Sam Houston State
Nov. 24 Missouri