Staff Predictions for Alabama at Texas A&M
When Texas A&M joined the SEC in 2012, most Alabama fans probably never envisioned a series that would impact the season as much as it has.
These teams have met three times. The Aggies and Crimson Tide split the first two on late-game finishes, but last season ended with a 59-0 blowout win for Alabama. Kevin Sumlin's team hasn't forgotten about that embarrassment and want to seek revenge in College Station on Saturday.
The winner of this game will be in great shape to represent the SEC West in Atlanta so the stakes are high.
Barry Sanderson (Host of Inside the Locker Room)
Wimp Sanderson (Host of Inside the Locker Room)
Alabama is much more physical and tougher than Texas A&M. Look for the Tide to keep the ball on offense with long drives. Alabama 31, Texas A&M 21
Gary Harris (Host of The Gary Harris Show)
The atmosphere in College Station is going to be off the charts! A&M is jacked up and ready for the Tide. Having said that, Bama can't afford another loss and the Tide loves silencing the home crowd. Alabama 24, Texas A&M 17
Chris Stewart (Host of The Chris Stewart Show)
Last year doesn't factor into this one at all. Sure the Aggies want revenge, but it's not as if Nick Saban actually ran it up. Texas A&M embarrassed themselves - it wasn't Alabama's fault. That's all history now. It'll be closer, but Bama still wins. Alabama 38, Texas A&M 27
Ryan Fowler (Host of The Game)
Ryan McMunn (Producer)
This is one of the best match-ups in the SEC, considering both teams' strengths and weaknesses. A&M are looking to continue their perfect season and the Tide are trying to convince the selection committee that they still belong in the College Football Playoff.
Trey Brooks (Producer)
Alabama's defense is solid against pro-style offenses. A&M however uses a pass-first version of the spread that attacks all sides of the field. Bama's DBs will be tested early an often. The Aggies have improved dramatically on defense, and Myles Garrett will be tough to handle. All in all, A&M is the closest thing Alabama will see to a complete team this season. Being on the road won't help matters either. Texas A&M 31, Alabama 27
Kevin Connell (Contributor)
Even after taking a surprising 59-0 beatdown in Tuscaloosa last season, it seems like few, if any, are doubting Texas A&M’s capabilities heading into this year’s game. And considering that the Aggies are off to a 5-0 start, ranked in the top 10 and playing at home, that’s probably a wise move.
Not only is Texas A&M as tough as ever offensively, with Nick Saban going as far as calling them the “best skill players that we’ve played against” earlier this week, but its defense has taken significant strides as well under new defensive coordinator John Chavis.
Conversely, Alabama’s secondary has improved this season, but it’s still liable to give up a big play or two against a team more than capable of doing that. And whether it’s due to injuries or another reason, the Crimson Tide’s offensive tackles – Cam Robinson and Dominick Jackson – haven’t had great years so far, which could be problematic against two Aggies defensive ends who rank near the top nationally in sacks.
Oh, and it will be loud, too, in a stadium that has expanded since the last time the Tide played there two years ago. Texas A&M 30, Alabama 28
Ben George (Digital Managing Editor)
Disclaimer: I picked Texas A&M to beat Alabama last year so take this prediction for what its worth. I think the key for Alabama winning this game is the same thing they'll need to do the rest of the way: run the football and avoid turnovers. With the special teams starting to show consistency, the offensive gameplan and protecting the football are the two keys. If Lane Kiffin keeps giving the Derrick Henry the ball 20+ times, they'll be successful. I think that happens this weekend and Alabama wears down the Aggies. Alabama 27, Texas A&M 20