Looking ahead to gameday: Texas A&M

Editor’s note: In preparation of the upcoming football season, K-Stated will look ahead to all 12 games on the Wildcats’ 2011 schedule. Next up, at Oklahoma State.

Texas A&M is making headlines all across the country today, because it is contemplating a move to the SEC. But let’s, at least for a moment, put aside the topic of conference realignment and take a look at the Aggies’ football team.

A&M is coming off a breakthrough year of sorts, in which it ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak, beat both Oklahoma and Texas and played in the Cotton Bowl. Because of a poor start, the Aggies only finished with an 9-4 record, but for a program that has been down in the dumps lately it was a definite step in the right direction.

A mid-season quarterback switch to Ryan Tannehill sparked the strong finish, and the 6-foot-4 senior will start from Day 1 this time around. That, along with Mike Sherman appearing to settle in after three years as coach, has the Aggies ranked in the Top 10 of preseason polls.

With the losses of leading tackler Michael Hodges, sack master Von Miller and a difficult early schedule, Texas A&M may be a bit overrated at this point, but it definitely has the potential to make a run at a second-place finish in the Big 12. It will have to win a lot of tough games for that to happen, though.

One of those tough games could be on Nov. 12 at Kansas State. It’s a game most Aggies fans have probably already circled as a win, but, remember, the last time A&M came to Manhattan it left on the wrong side of a 62-14 beatdown.
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Now at the podium: Texas A&M

Mike Sherman started his news conference here at Big 12 media days with a very direct question:

With Nebraska about to leave the conference, how important is it that the Aggies regain their elite status of yesteryear and fill the void left by the Cornhuskers?

Sherman’s answer was very direct as well.

“I think the Big 12 needs Texas A&M to step up to the plate and be that type of team,” he said. “I think we’re ready to accept that challenge.”
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Gameday Preview: Texas A&M at K-State

If Iowa State vs. Kansas State was Farmageddon, what does that make Texas A&M vs. Kansas State? The Aggie Bowl?

Whatever people call it, it is an important game for both sides. Kansas State is looking to go back above .500 and take a run at a 3-1 conference start. Texas A&M is seeking its first Big 12 win and trying to inch closer to bowl eligibility.

The Vegas oddsmakers have the Aggies as a five-point favorite, and the game should be a close one.
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This week’s player to watch: Von Miller

Aggies' Von Miller

Here’s all you really need to know about Von Miller: He leads the nation in sacks.

Through five games, the junior from Desoto, Texas has tackled the quarterback in the backfield nine times and may well turn out to be the best pass rusher K-State sees all season.
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