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Alabama-A&M: the Predictions

The Swami AP

Less than a day and a half from now, the curtain will have fallen on the Alabama-Texas A&M mega-rematch, one of the most hyped regular season matchups of at least the last decade — especially to those who have already forgotten the ‘Bama-LSU clashes the past couple of seasons.

Regardless, it’s easily the most highly-anticipated regular-season matchup of 2013, with storylines ranging from Johnny Manziel looking to repeat his 2012 coming-out party to the Tide seeking to avenge its only loss from its second straight title-winning season.  Already the highest-priced ticket for a regular season college football game in history, some that cover the television side of sports expect the game to attract a record number of eyeballs.

It’s being hyped as must-see TV, and rightly so giving the recent past between the two schools and the potential future BCS ramifications for each.

Since even Charles Barkley is offering up a quasi-prediction, we here at CFT figured we’d do the same.  So, without any further or unnecessary ado, here’s how Chris, Kevin and I see the instant classic shaking out.

And, as if you needed any prompting, flame away in the comments section — and offer up your own predictions that can be openly mocked as well.

CHRIS HOUSTON
The take: With the Tide having an extra week to prepare, I can’t see a repeat of last year happening, when the Aggies jumped out to a 20-0 first-quarter lead. Instead, I see this as a back-and-forth slugfest that will be close most of the way, with the winner being the team that can produce the most explosive plays during crunch time. Alabama will run the ball well with TJ Yeldon and keep it away from Johnny Manziel just enough to prevent him from dominating the game. This one should go down to the wire, with the Tide holding off the Aggies in the end.

The prediction: Alabama 27, Texas A&M 24

KEVIN MCGUIRE
The take: Neither team comes in to this game looking to have much of an advantage on the line, but given an extra week to correct the shortcomings we saw against Virginia Tech should bode well for Alabama. Much has been made about how important it is for Alabama to have Nick Saban get an extra week to prepare, and I suspect that does come in to play, but just how much will this defense be able to slow down Johnny Manziel? Manziel will have to be Superman once again, and he is capable of being just that, but I can’t imagine Alabama digs a hole the way did last year when Manziel and the Aggies stunned them early in Tuscaloosa. Neither team runs away with this one, but I think Alabama picks up their revenge this time around.

The prediction: Alabama 27, Texas A&M 23

JOHN TAYLOR
The take: For me, it’s “simple.”  Alabama’s defense plus the revenge aspect — elephants never forget, right? — plus Nick Saban and his coaching staff having an entire offseason to get a handle on Texas A&M’s offense trumps the raucous Kyle Field homefield advantage and the electrifying playmaking of Johnny Manziel.  It won’t be easy for the Tide — I can see a kicker deciding it late (shudders on both sides) — but it’ll be a markedly different outcome for the two-time defending BCS champions than it was 10 months ago; having it come on the road, after being beaten in their house last November, will make it all the sweeter.

The prediction: Alabama 30, Texas A&M 27

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25 Responses to “Alabama-A&M: the Predictions”
  1. Anoesis says: Sep 13, 2013 11:40 AM

    Alabama took A&M lightly last year. They won’t this year. 42-14 ‘Bama.

  2. donth8thehorns says: Sep 13, 2013 12:01 PM

    Last year Bama thought they were just hype’ , this year , it’s a different story!
    Bama 38
    Aggies 28

  3. lewp says: Sep 13, 2013 12:04 PM

    Wow…..so far, EVERY PREDICTION has the Tide winning this game.

    Let’s review:

    Last year, everyone predicted a Bama win. Heck, they were playing in Alabama right? So that automatically meant a Bama win right? Wrong.

    No one thought a freshman quarterback could slay the dragon right? Wrong.

    The same naysayers are back this year.

    Alabama 24
    Texas A&M 30

  4. tigersgeaux says: Sep 13, 2013 12:06 PM

    I hope it is just the reverse 30 – 27 TAMU, but in reality with all the Aggies have faced, all their distractions, and the huge amount of time Saban has had to plan, it will likely be 40 – 27 Crimson Tide.

  5. txstatebobcats1868 says: Sep 13, 2013 12:07 PM

    My prediction: record alcohol sales this weekend in college station. 75 plus alcohol related arrests, multiple fights breaking out over bama fans walking on the wrong grass in aggieland, Kyle Field is extremely live and loud, and Alabama still being one of the poorest states regardless of the outcome.

    “Everyone I know from Alabama that ever made something of themselves, was because they moved to Texas” – my college roommate that was originally from Alabama

    for this weekend ill say it, gig em, and btho bama.

    A&M wins by 10

  6. ancientcougar says: Sep 13, 2013 12:14 PM

    Alabama crushes the Aggies…….

    The Aggie defense can’t hold the “Tide”

    Rice put on 31 points on the Aggies. Johnny doesn’t play defense. Enough said.

  7. txstatebobcats1868 says: Sep 13, 2013 12:14 PM

    yea and neither did half of their starting defense that game

  8. trojan33sc says: Sep 13, 2013 12:15 PM

    I”m not a Manzell fan due to his outside activities and I know that he got paid for those autographs but I still think that his skills will dominate the game. He’s too fast, can sling the ball and too dangerous for Bama. Write it down !!!

  9. dallasstars9 says: Sep 13, 2013 12:25 PM

    Here is my prediction… Stop reading all these meaningless predictions from people that have no idea what they’re talking about, and just watch the fucking game! GO BLUE!

  10. realfootballfan says: Sep 13, 2013 12:33 PM

    Texas A&M is going to get rolled. They should have pushed for this gae after LSU again or later in the season at the least.

  11. be4bama says: Sep 13, 2013 12:43 PM

    BAMA by 10. ROLL TIDE

  12. 1historian says: Sep 13, 2013 12:45 PM

    UA 31-10

  13. irishdodger says: Sep 13, 2013 12:47 PM

    If Bama can’t run against the TAMU defense then they won’t have a shot at another national championship. That being said, I think Bama’s offense DOES run on TAMU’s defense and beats them by at least 10 points.

  14. jhastrello says: Sep 13, 2013 12:47 PM

    Well, for me – I think most of the prognosticators are all taking the safe bet on this game. Look at it from the ‘other’ perspective.

    Right now, it’s Sumlin 1 – Saban 0.

    It’s not like Alabama hadn’t seen film and read stories about ‘Johnny Football’ before the game in AL last year.

    After watching the first game, and reading reviews/comments about the second game, I believe that A&M is going into this game planning on being the ‘underdog/under appreciated’ team with something to prove. In short, they are going to come in with the mindset that no matter what, Alabama will not be able to keep up with the A&M offense. All of this talk about 20 something for scores, is far too low.

    I believe that A&M is going to put at least 40 on the board tomorrow. Also, A&M did NOT have many of their main defensive starters for the first two games.

    After Saturday, it will be:

    Sumlin 2 – Saban 0.

    So let it be written.

  15. Deb says: Sep 13, 2013 1:55 PM

    Don’t do predictions or count unhatched chickens even if it seems we’ve got it in the bag. But it doesn’t.

    Our offense looked worrisome against Virginia Tech. When I said it was an ugly win, my friends teased me about demanding perfection. It has nothing to do with demanding perfection and everything to do with simple math. We scored three of five TDs on defense and special teams. The offensive line was greener than I expected. Maybe it’s the Steelers fan in me, but breakdowns in the o-line cause me tremendous concern. But I have faith in our defense.

    ROLL TIDE!

  16. bucrightoff says: Sep 13, 2013 3:36 PM

    A&M’s defense is absolutely brutal. They’ll probably need at least 31 (more likely 38) to win this year. I just cannot see a Nick Saban defense, with at least two weeks to prepare (more than likely all offseason) getting lit up that badly. And I don’t see A&M’s defense holding Alabama under 31.

    Alabama 37 Texas A&M 21

  17. dcroz says: Sep 13, 2013 3:46 PM

    Deb:
    While there are concerns about the offensive line coming together, you have to keep two things in mind: 1) VT had what will be the best defense we will see until at least LSU (if not the whole season), and 2) out offensive game plan was so vanilla in order to give A&M as little film as possible to use in preparations that a junior high team could have executed it. We had very simple blocking assignments, ran very simple routes, and called very simple schemes. We also tried out practically every running back we have in the stable. In essence, on offense we played it like a scrimmage because we didn’t think we needed to be complex to win, and the three non-offensive touchdowns let us be even more conservative than we had planned. Tomorrow’s offensive game plan will look much different than what we saw two weeks ago.

    That being said, Saban can at times outsmart himself, like he did against LSU in the 2011 regular season matchup or in the first quarter against Texas in the 2010 BCS National Championship Game. If he tries to do too much because he thinks he has to, then he could cause himself a lot more trouble than he needs. If he sticks with normal ‘Bama football and lets his players do what they do best, then we should be fine. In any case, I’m ready to get this thing started.

  18. Deb says: Sep 13, 2013 3:59 PM

    @dcroz …

    Thanks! It’s true that VT’s defense was terrific. And I like the idea that our offense was vanilla on purpose. Wish I could believe that about the Steelers LOL

    And thanks for an intelligent response from a Bama fan. Just finished responding to a dimwit “2011alum” who thought he had all the scoop on Bama’s legal situation from a decade ago when he was still in diapers. With all the haters around, you’d think our fans would have better things to do than slam fellow fans and spread misinformation detrimental to our own program. God give me patience!

  19. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 13, 2013 4:13 PM

    The Aggies caught the Tide last year in a trap game. The Tide had just come out of Baton Rouge with a very emotional win (see AJ McCarron crying pics).
    They weren’t ready for A&Ms pace on offense and got worn out at the end of the game.

    Like Florida and LSU before them, they made excellent adjustments at half time, but come the 4th qtr, Bama players were exhausted and A&M was able to score the winning TD in like 4 plays.

    Bama has this one circled. The pace will still give them problems, but I can’t imagine enough problems to seriously affect the game.

    I’m a die hard Aggie, but I’m also realistic. Last year I thought we had a punchers chance and JFF landed a knockout blow. This year… to be honest, I hope we keep it close (like within single digits.)

    Spread is Bama (-8) with a over under of 44. I’d take the over and Bama to cover. I don’t predict scores.

  20. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 13, 2013 4:20 PM

    @bucrightoff

    A&Ms defense was brutal. But over half the starting hasn’t seen the field for a whole game.

    The D against SHSU and Rice were both essentially second stringers.

    That said… I still don’t know that the A&M D is going to be able to handle a top flight O Line like they are going to see tomorrow.

    You are right though. I envision for A&M to win they will have to put up 30+ points maybe more. Or A&M’s D is going to have to show something they haven’t shown yet this year and thats the ability to stop the run and not get just COMPLETELY blown off the line of scrimmage.

    Hopefully the addition of 2 starters on the D Line will help.

    Anyway…

    Beat the Hell outta Bama!

  21. sssjim7 says: Sep 13, 2013 6:42 PM

    Texas A&M 55, Alabama 3…

    They are all guesses… so why not?

    ~Jim

  22. Deb says: Sep 13, 2013 6:49 PM

    @sssjim7 …

    Though I’m a Bama fan, had to give you a thumb’s up for a fun post. :)

  23. florida727 says: Sep 13, 2013 11:08 PM

    I’m not a big predictions guy, and in this case, I’ve got no proverbial dog in the fight, but I will say this: I can’t wait for 3:30p ET!

    Whether you love ‘Bama or A&M, hate them, love the SEC, hate the SEC, whatever, if you’re a college football fan, this one’s going to be fun to watch.

    Enjoy everyone!

    ‘Bama fans, I’d be worried if I were you… all three CFT guys picked YOUR team. That can’t be a good thing :)

  24. greggatx says: Sep 13, 2013 11:54 PM

    I don’t like either team but for this one time I’m pulling for (wait for it ) the tide in a tsunami! The tide will score many points against the defense and I think they will contain baby football somewhat. Should be a high scoring game. Hook’em Hooks!! lol

  25. txnative61 says: Sep 14, 2013 2:43 AM

    So while everyone seems preoccupied with what Nick Saban is doing, I’m inclined to see Kevin Sumlin as the one with a chance to make a statement in this game. Impressive debut after a great start at Houston, he can cement a place in big time coaching by again besting the master. Problem for the Aggies??—”How ya gonna keep em down on the farm once they’ve seen the bright lights of the big city?”

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