Thursday, August 29, 2013

Let's Get Bold (Well, Sorta)

It's finally here.  I never thought it would actually get here.  It's been a long, hot summer, but the wait is over.  And with the season upon us, Aggie Rundown is here to offer you some bold predictions (well, some are bold... maybe not all of them).

Before we get to Scott's predictions (with excessive commentary), we wanted to give Mr. Trey Bahney (away in Istanbul right now) and Mr. Ben Berryman (just away right now) a chance to throw their hats in the ring.

Trey's predictions with his own brief commentary...  

1) Ricky Seals-Jones is going to absolutely light it up this year.  (Specifically Ricky will have MORE receiving yards than Swope had last year, which was 913 yards, if you were wondering)  
2)  DeVante Harris will return TWO punts for touchdowns. (OUTCHEA)  
3)  Auburn will surprise the SEC to the tune of 8 wins. (Auburn still has the personnel to run Malzahn's offense and they have supposedly found a legitimate quarterback in Nick Marshall)

Ben's predictions with Scott's brief commentary...

1) Kevin Sumlin will be the coach of the year.  (If we have a phenomenal season, Sumlin might be a good bet to sweep up some media accolades under the notion that they can then avoid giving as many to Johnny.  Predicting a conspiracy theory... check.)
2) Mike Evans will win the Biletnikoff award. (Given, that I wrote mine before reading Ben's, I feel like we might be drinking a bit too much kool-aid, heck, who cares... ALL IN.)
3) Texas A&M will beat Alabama at home, but lose to somebody no one thinks they could lose to.  (Ahhh, it feels good to temper our expectations a bit.  This is a foreboding (yet fair) prediction... who is it going to be though?  Ole Miss and Vanderbilt are obviously the savvy picks.  As Trey predicted, Auburn could be sneaky.  Will Mizzou bounce back?) 

Alright, if that wasn't enough... we got three more from Scott...

A&M goes into Baton Rouge and pounds LSU – Is this bold enough?  Honestly, I am torn.  Legitimate National Championship aspirations likely require no more than one loss (maybe not even that).  And our two big showdowns are Alabama and LSU (Ole Miss might be the next toughest), so we definitely can’t drop more than one of those.  Ok, it’s bold enough (plus, I added in the caveat of “pounding” them).  We could have taken them down last year if a couple bounces went our way.  They did a pretty stellar job of containing Johnny, but that was early season Johnny.  I’d like to think Heisman Johnny would have fared a bit better if we played them a little later.  Let’s talk about LSU though.  I think this could be quite the transition year for them for two main reasons.  First, they still have some rando by the name of Mettenberger playing quarterback.  Let’s be real, Mettenberger is not good.  Some stats to back it up: he never threw more than 2 touchdowns in a game (and he only threw 2 against Idaho, Towson, and Mississippi State… wow).   In a three week span against Florida, South Carolina, and Texas A&M, he completed less than 50% of his passes and threw for less than 450 yards.  Can we say that calling Mettenberger even “average” is a stretch?  I think so.  The second point, their defense lost a TON of talent.  They had seven defensive players picked before the 6th round, and that’s not even including the Honey Badger.  Listen, I know they have buckets and buckets full of talented players to step in, but if there was ever a time to expect some overall defensive regression, well, this is a good year to expect it.  I don’t think it’s LSU’s year and I bet Sumlin and the gang realize such things and make a statement in Death Valley this year.

Jake Matthews makes us forget all about the Luke Joeckel guy – Luke Joeckel is obviously a stud being the number one number two overall pick in last year’s NFL Draft (I’m not bitter or anything).  Could Matthews be even better?  It’s incredible that Joeckel was the starting left tackle from the moment he set foot on campus.  And he was a damn good one.  It would have never made sense for Texas A&M to even fathom a switch.  And because of all that Matthews was probably never going to get his due praise being on the right side and playing second fiddle to Joeckel.   But now Joeckel is gone and it’s Matthews time to shine.  Let’s go ahead and extend this bold prediction and say that he will definitely be a top five pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.  Matthews came back to prove he could handle the blind side and enjoy the opportunity to play alongside his kid brother Michael.  Speaking of… is Bruce Matthews still fertile?

Aaron Murray won’t be the first team All-SEC quarterback at the end of the season – You see how I just disguised my ensuing Johnny rant?  Here we go… 

Suck it NCAA, suck it media, suck it ESPN, suck Rovell, suck it Schad!  Johnny is back and Johnny wants blood.  Johnny wants blood from all the haters and the doubters.  Johnny is rich; he doesn’t need your money or any dealer’s money.  Johnny is a Heisman winner; he doesn’t need your blessing to succeed.  

The saga is finally over (hopefully).  Johnny has been dragged through woodwork by every self-righteous media talking head who never made a mistake (where has Mark May been?).  Obviously, Johnny is no saint, and he brings a lot of this on himself, but damn, nobody deserves the pariah treatment he has received.  But guess what, he is back, and now he gets to freely do what he does best.  Make plays, score touchdowns, give me heart palpitations, and win football games. 

My favorite thing to point out when discussing whether all the distractions will affect Johnny’s on-field performance is the Cotton Bowl last year.  The circus had begun, and prior to the Cotton Bowl, Johnny went on a month long tour with paparazzi’s at every stop.  And what happened when he got back to the football field?  Complete and utter domination; this gives me far more confidence than any preseason report.

When Johnny gets on the field, the circus can’t touch him for four beautiful hours, and the natural instincts kick in.  I can’t wait to watch. 

So let’s toss in some Johnny predictions while we are here…
  • How about 50+ touchdowns this year (the equivalent of 50+ middle fingers to all the haters).
  • How about a second trip to the Heisman ceremony (winning will be tough with the media).
  • How about a fat paycheck after being a first round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Boy do I wish I could be there to see Kyle Field erupt when Johnny takes the field at the start of the second half… Thomas Fritts, enjoy it for me.  (Damn weddings during football season)

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