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Texas A&M Aggies Betting – Texas A&M Aggies 2011 College Football Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/5/2011 4:01:57 PM
texas a&m aggies betting

What will sports betting analysts say about a college football program that seemed to be dead in the water halfway through the 2010 season but now has good reason to expect a run at the 2011 Big 12 championship? Things turned around very quickly for a team and a school that were losing morale and hemorrhaging confidence at one point in time.

The Texas A&M Aggies were trudging through a 3-3 season and sinking into quicksand. Their No. 1 quarterback, Jerrod Johnson, was imploding. Through the first half of the 2010 season, those results were nowhere to be found. Coach Mike Sherman looked like a man headed for the unemployment line, and the program was this close to requiring a fresh start just a few short years after the failed regime of former coach Dennis Franchione. A&M was boring but persistently triumphant under R.C. Slocum. The Aggies had scrambled to remain relevant since Slocum exited, and when the football team stumbled through its first six games in 2010, there was little hope that Sherman would get the job done.

Then the world changed for a program that performed an impressive resurrection, one that even made MLB baseball betting students take notice once the World Series ended in the state of Texas last fall.

Just as surely as A&M ran into a dead end, Sherman flipped the switch, made one change, and transformed the outlook for his team and his career in the process. Sherman tabbed Ryan Tannehill as Johnson’s replacement at quarterback. Tannehill doesn’t have anything close to Johnson’s speed, and his arm isn’t quite as dynamic as well, but the No. 2 Aggie signal caller spent the final six regular-season games of 2010 making dramatically better decisions than the man he replaced. Tannehill’s combination of ball security and sound decision making enabled A&M to win games the NFL way: by making fewer mistakes than the opposition. The Aggies became a more efficient and airtight team – they won a few games in shootouts but were also able to prevail over tough defensive teams such as Nebraska in low-scoring grinders. One by one, formidable foes kept falling to the Aggies: Oklahoma, Baylor and Nebraska went down. Moreover, although Texas suffered its worst season in over a decade, the trip to Austin on Thanksgiving night was not a slam-dunk victory. The Aggies had to earn it, and they proceeded to do just that. A 9-3 season and the win over Bevo created just the kind of season Sherman and the AggieLand faithful needed. A Cotton Bowl loss to LSU did little to diminish the good vibe flowing from this program after a redemptive six-game stretch.

Returning ten starters from a squad which won six of its last seven games has the fans in College Station amped for the 2011 campaign to begin. Tannehill, who came out of nowhere during the middle of the season to lead an inspired Aggie resurgence, is back with his best offensive weapons. Running back Cyrus Gray and wide receiver Jeff Fuller, both All-Big XII selections, are primed to take their games to another level. Wide receivers Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachuku, along with four linemen, also return from an offense which placed in the top 20 in passing yards. Points and turnover margin, however, are more important than the often-hollow yardage category. We’ll see if Tannehill can finish drives as well as he did last season.

The defense must replace all-world linebacker and top-tier NFL draft pick Von Miller. How you replace a Dick Butkus Award winner is beyond a single individual’s capability. But defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter, now in his second year at A&M, has a great scheme in place. Before his arrival, the Aggie defense was ranked near the bottom of college football. After 2010, Texas A&M ranked 21st in scoring defense. Look for more improvement in 2011 despite the loss of Miller.

The Aggies face off with Oklahoma State in a week three matchup with huge implications for the Big 12 race. Texas A&M also gets Missouri and Texas at home this season. A non-conference visit to Arkansas in week four will be a difficult task, as will a November 5 meeting with Oklahoma in Norman. The schedule is just enough to test the Aggies without overwhelming them. All eyes will be on Sherman. Can he get the Aggies back to the elite level by turning last year’s good season into a great one this time around?

Any sports bet that tabs A&M to win the Big 12 (over and against Oklahoma) is foolish, but a bet that expects nine wins from this team is just about right. A 10-win prediction also makes sense with the Aggies this season

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