Big Expectations for Texas A&M

It has been sometime since the Aggies have been the football team to watch in Texas.

As the college football season prepares to kickoff, the Eyes of Texas will be focused on College Station to see what the Aggies can do.

The team went on a run at the end of last season after making a switch at quarterback, winning six in a row before losing the Cotton Bowl to LSU to end the season. It was a strong enough finish to earn the Aggies their first top 25 finish in both polls (No 21 Coaches and No 19 AP) since the 1999 season.

With the majority of the starters on both offense and defense returning, the expectations are understandably high. Confidence is so high in College Station that a new record in season ticket sales (42,151 as of last Friday; previous record was 38,877) has been set with a month left before the season opener against SMU September 4.

"Along with winning national and conference championships, another goal we've had is to sell out Kyle Field in season tickets," Aggie Director of Athletics Bill Byrne said. "With the tremendous support by our fans, the 12th Man, and the performance by our football team under the direction of Mike Sherman, we are making progress toward that goal.

Combine the season ticket sales with the 31, 000 for the student body and 73,151 seats in the 83,002-seat stadium are in the hands of season ticket holders.

With an offense like the Aggies have and a defense that was starting to remind people of the “Wrecking Crew” days, Texas A&M is one of the most exciting teams in college football.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has only been defeated once (LSU in the Cotton Bowl).  The hard hitting running back tandem of Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael are back; last season they combined for nearly 1,800 yards rushing.  Wide receivers Jeff Fuller, Ryan Swope, and Uzoma Nwachukwu combined for 20 touchdown grabs last season.

The Aggies will not be the only show in Texas. SMU quarterback Kyle Padron is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the nation. He had some growing pains last season, but with June Jones’s tutelage he is a gunslinger in waiting.

Texas cracked the preseason top 25 (No 24). Coach Mack Brown had one of the nation’s best defenses last season, but his quarterback turned the ball over way too much.

TCU may be starting a first-year starter behind center, but three of the last four BCS champions had first year starters at quarterback.

Although they are not ranked, Houston and Baylor both look to shake up the ranking this year. Baylor has one of the more electrifying players in college football in Robert Griffin III returning to lead a team that looks to make winning the new norm for the Bears. Case Keenum was granted a sixth year of eligibility after missing most of last season to injury. Be ready to watch the passing records fall.

Regardless of the potential for Texas, SMU, TCU, and all the other college teams in the football-crazy state of Texas, until the Aggies get knocked off their perch as the highest ranked team in the state the Eyes of Texas will be focused on Texas A&M.
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