3 games that will define Mike Elko’s first season as Texas A&M football head coach

Which three games are most consequential for Texas A&M football in year one of Mike Elko?

Oct 28, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame leprechaun mascot Kylee Kazenski leads the Notre
Oct 28, 2023; South Bend, Indiana, USA; Notre Dame leprechaun mascot Kylee Kazenski leads the Notre / Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
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A late-season roadtrip to Jordan-Hare Stadium is Texas A&M football’s biggest road test of the year

Though the Tigers of Auburn finished 2023 quite disappointingly, with three straight losses including one to New Mexico State, they could be a team that makes some noise in the upcoming year. Hugh Freeze pulled in an impressive recruiting class, including several five-stars, especially at the receiver position, but is still missing a surefire signal-caller.

Nevertheless, it does look like Freeze is beginning to build something on the Plains, despite some of the staff turmoil going on down there. Given that the Aggies will be playing at Auburn so late in the year, they may have had time to figure things out and gel when A&M rolls into town.

This is, without a doubt, the toughest road game the Aggies will face in 2024. The others? The aforementioned visit to Gainesville, a trip to Columbia, SC, and confronting Jeff Lebby’s Bulldogs in Starkville. Mississippi State is the other candidate here, but I’ve got them with much longer odds to topple A&M when all is said and done.

This is a late-season test that both teams will be struggling to not overlook, given that both play rivalry games the following week. I believe Texas A&M football will have the advantage here at the end of the day, especially if the QB situation doesn’t get sorted out—Elko can have his defense feasting in that kind of scenario—but it is still a game to watch carefully.