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2021 Texas A&M college football preview: Aggies inch closer to college football’s elite

Texas A&M came close to their first ever College Football Playoff appearance last season and despite a new quarterback, expectations are high for the Aggies in 2021.

NCAA Football: Orange Bowl-Texas A&M vs North Carolina Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas A&M Aggies took a big step in the right direction in Year 3 under Jimbo Fisher in 2020. College Station finished 9-1 with the only loss being extremely forgivable to Alabama. The Aggies rebounded by beating Florida and finished the year on an eight-game winning streak.

Looking ahead to 2021 Texas A&M will see a significant drop in quarterback experience, but this is still a top-10 team, and the talent is there for the Aggies to potentially reach the College Football Playoff for the first time. Once again, the biggest road block to that possibility is a man named Nick Saban. Getting past him, as well as a volatile LSU team with plenty of talent as well, to win the SEC West is a massive task.

2020 Season Review

  • 9-1, 8-1 SEC (2nd in SEC West), Won Orange Bowl (41-27 vs. North Carolina)
  • Lost to Alabama 52-24 in lone loss, won last seven games by double digits

2021 Talent

2021 247Sports Composite Ranking: 8
ESPN Returning Production: 60% overall (99th): 46% offense (120th), 74% defense (57th)
Returning Talent Index: 1.32, 5th in SEC
Returning starters: 6/11 offense, 9/11 defense
* All rankings out of 130 FBS schools

Key Player

Quarterback: Haynes King (Freshman)

Kellen Mond is out after four years as the Texas A&M quarterback, and the Aggies will roll with freshman Haynes King or sophomore Zach Calzada. We’ll give King the edge at this point of the offseason, but whoever lines up at QB is set up for success with plenty of returning talent at the skill positions. The offensive line is very inexperienced, so that could be a problem for a young quarterback.

Offense (non-QB): TE Jalen Wydermyer (Junior)

As mentioned in the previous section, there is a lot of talent at the skill positions coming back for Texas A&M. The Aggies will enter 2021 with Jalen Wydermyer, who might be the top tight end in the country. He led the team in receptions with 46, and he went for 506 yards and six touchdowns. Wydermyer could be one of the most productive tight ends in program history, and he is primed for another big year.

Defense: DE DeMarvin Neal (Junior)

Texas A&M should have a very good defense in 2021, and their best player among the group is defensive end DeMarvin Leal. He is definitely an All-American candidate this season and should see plenty of interest in the NFL Draft assuming he has another big year. Leal finished with seven tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks last season to go along with an interception, one forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Team Stats Projections

2020 SP+ final: 9th overall: 10th offense, 13th defense, 57th special teams
2021 SP+ projection: 13th overall: 21st offense, 8th defense

Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

To win national title: +2800
To win SEC: +1000
Win total: 9.5 (Over +100, Under -125)

2020 Against The Spread: 6-4-0
2020 Point Total: Over 5-5-0

2021 Texas A&M Schedule

2021 Texas A&M Football Schedule

Date Opponent Time (ET)/TV Spread/Total
Date Opponent Time (ET)/TV Spread/Total
Saturday, Sep. 4 Kent State 8:00 pm/ESPNU TAMU -30
Saturday, Sep. 11 at Colorado 3:30 pm/Fox N/A
Saturday, Sep. 18 New Mexico 12:00 pm/SECN N/A
Saturday, Sep. 25 Arkansas (AT&T Stadium, Dallas) TBA N/A
Saturday, Oct. 2 Mississippi State TBA N/A
Saturday, Oct. 9 Alabama TBA TAMU +11.5
Saturday, Oct. 16 at Missouri TBA N/A
Saturday, Oct. 23 South Carolina TBA N/A
Saturday, Oct. 30 OPEN TBA N/A
Saturday, Nov. 6 Auburn TBA TAMU -9.5
Saturday, Nov. 13 at Ole Miss TBA N/A
Saturday, Nov. 20 Prairie View A&M TBA N/A
Saturday, Nov. 27 at LSU TBA N/A