On Monday, the season’s first AP Poll came out, featuring the Texas A&M Football team, which landed at the 6th-ranked spot. As much as I’d like to sit here and preach about how much of a surprise this was, I’d be lying. Virtually everybody expected the Aggies to land at six, the same spot that they were placed in for the Coaches’ Poll.
Here’s what the full top ten looks like.
- Ohio State
- Texas A&M
- Iowa State
- Notre Dame
- North Carolina
Notable teams in this year’s top ten include three SEC teams, with A&M landing as the lowest-ranked SEC squad in the top ten. Texas A&M’s bowl game opponent from a year ago also found their way into this elite group, with North Carolina making an appearance at the 10th spot.
Texas A&M Football team will learn that being a fringe top-5 preseason team carries a weight
To be straight up with you, every preseason ranking before this one didn’t really matter. Media outlets usually have rankings created by a single individual, while the Coaches’ Poll is thought of as the second-best ranking system. In modern college football, the AP Poll reigns supreme. With a top-6 ranking in the AP Poll, there are certain implications toward the 2021-22 season that Jimbo Fisher and his team have to be ready for.
Primarily, the Aggies will have a target on their back. As a top ten team, every program that Texas A&M faces will be looking to knock them out. Opposing squads will be excited for an opportunity to face a top ten team that doesn’t have a concrete offensive line and a definite starter at the quarterback position.
As such, A&M will likely have a tough start to their season, especially if they’re going to be heavily favored in each of their first five games.
The first test for this team will be the ultimate test — a matchup against the Alabama Crimson Tide, who ranked first in this year’s preseason AP Poll. Before this, the Aggies have an objectively easy schedule, competing against Kent State, Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Mississippi State.
If they manage to start 5-0, which seems very likely, they’ll be facing Alabama to determine who the mid-season winner of the SEC is. Defeating the Crimson Tide would go a long way in this team’s hopes to make its first College Football Playoff appearance.
On the more positive end of things, the Aggies’ 6th-ranking proves that the college football world believes in them. It’ll be much less of an uphill battle to the CFP than it was a year ago.