2. Texas A&M @ Alabama (Saturday, September 22 – Week 4)
This game could easily sit at the top of this list, and for all intents and purposes this Week 4 matchup is 1b. Before Jimbo Fisher was hired at Texas A&M, the talk around the country was that Jimbo taking the A&M job would mean he was running away from Dabo Sweeny.
I’m not sure running to not only Nick Saban’s conference, but to his division really counts as running away from competition as much as it is running to even better competition. Like Clemson, the Alabama game is another measuring stick for Fisher and company.
How much did the team learn from the Clemson game? Have they had enough time to digest that, learn from it, and implement what they’ve learned in just two weeks? Those are the questions I’ll be looking to answer in this game.
The Aggies tend to always play Alabama close, no matter how good or bad the team is that season. If the 2018 Aggies exceed expectations like the 2012 team did, maybe the Aggies shock the world again and walk out of Bryant-Denny with a W.
This game has implications on the SEC race of course, but also on what the ceiling is for the Aggies. To finish September above .500 the Aggies need to find a win either at home against Clemson or on the road against Alabama. Tall order.
Should the Aggies pick up that surprising win, a nine or 10 win season isn’t out of the question. If they finish the month 2-2 then a fifth consecutive 8-4 or worse finish with a mid-tier bowl appearance is likely.