Texas A&M football has a chance to get into a top tier bowl game this season, and current projections indicate the Aggies will finish the season strong.
Now that the college football regular season is about two-thirds of the way finished, bowl projections will be the talk of the town until the end of November for teams not fighting for a spot in the College Football playoff. Unfortunately for Texas A&M football, their two losses will keep them out of the running for the national championship.
There are too many good teams that will finish undefeated or with just one loss this season. That’s OK. No one expected Jimbo Fisher to come in here and overtake Alabama overnight.
However, the Aggies will be looking to finish strong and get into a respectable bowl game, preferably around December 31 or January 1. They began the season 5-2 and are currently riding a three-game win streak. The task at hand is to avoid the second half collapse that Kevin Sumlin’s teams became infamous for.
Most of the major publications have released complete bowl projections. In looking at these, they seem to agree on a middle of the pack finish for the Aggies. Here are a few of those projections.
- USA Today – Outback Bowl on Jan 1 vs. Penn State
- ESPN’s Kyle Bonagura – Texas Bowl on Dec 27 vs. Iowa State
- ESPN’s Mitch Sherman – Music City Bowl on Dec 28 vs. Virginia Tech
- Sporting News – Gator Bowl on Dec 31 vs. Wisconsin
- Bleacher Report – Citrus Bowl on Jan 1 vs. Penn State
- CBS Sports – Outback Bowl on Jan 1 vs. Penn State
- SB Nation – Outback Bowl on Jan 1 vs. Michigan State
There is a consensus there, but it’s still surprising to see how much variation there is in these projections. From playing in the Texas Bowl to playing on New Years Day against one of the top finishers in the Big 10, those would be two very different finishes.
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Most of the bowl projections have Alabama in the playoff, and then LSU and Georgia definitely in the next tier of big bowl games. From there, it’s a flip between Florida and Kentucky, with one finishing around the same spot as the Aggies and one getting into that first tier with the New Year’s Six.
ESPN clearly doesn’t believe in the Aggies. Both of their experts have Texas A&M in worse bowl games than Missouri, Auburn and Mississippi State, which means they would finish below those teams in the standings. It feels like they would have to go 1-3 in conference play for that to happen. I don’t see it.
A spot in the Outback Bowl would likely mean a third place finish in the SEC West, which would be a successful season for Jimbo Fisher. This would almost certainly come with a 9-3 regular season record, about where most projected when the season started. Eight or nine wins will be seen as a good start to better things to come.