1) Texas A&M reached into the Top 10 of the rankings before losing three straight in rather ugly fashion. What is the feeling like in College Station about this team?
Oh man. Not good. Expectations were pretty tempered on August 27th for a transitional, rebuilding year. Then, on August 28th, A&M marched into Columbia and beat the piss out of Carolina. Our fans are into grandiose hyperbole, so those expectations got shot up with steroids and the Ags were suddenly the darlings of the college football world.
Now? We've gotten stomped by the Mississippi schools, Saban gave us one of the worst losses in program history, and we looked criminally apathetic in a "win" over La-Monroe. All the while, the team has shown little to reveal that they give a shit or have any pride. Oh yeah, and our once-Heisman candidate quarterback who is suspended has hired Sean Salisbury for life and quarterbacking advice.
The feeling could probably best be portrayed as eating a quart of warm mayonnaise and getting on a rickety state fair roller coaster in August. A delight, really.
2) Texas A&M has been doing very well in the recruiting rankings over the last few years and the offense looks to be explosive at times. Has there just not been as much of a focus on defensive recruiting, or are the defensive issues somewhere else? Anticipate any staff changes after this season?
I think therein lies much of the frustration. A lot of emphasis has been placed on recruiting SEC-caliber guys on the defensive side of the ball. I really do think a lot of those guys are there or on the way, but they are young and raw right now. A lot of Ags want DC Mark Snyder run out on a rail, but I'm not so sure the issues have to do with scheme necessarily. Maybe it's development? Maybe it's some jacked up cultural issue in the locker room. While it's often ugly (and this Saturday will be very ugly), I do think a lot of these young defensive players are going to develop into quality SEC talents.
3) Kyle Allen will be making his first road start. Are you worried about how he'll play in that environment in only his second start?
Yes. He looked mostly awful against Monroe. He seemed tight and to be forcing things. At this point, I hope Sumlin and Co. just turn him loose for better or worse. Getting your first road start as a true frosh at Jordan-Hare on CBS? What could possibly go awry?
4) What are your biggest concerns for this game? Biggest areas of optimism?
I'm only concerned about the offense, defense, and special teams. Everywhere else we should be fine. I'm optimistic that we will be very generous guests.
5) I know of Myles Garrett, Speedy Noil, and Kyle Allen. What other Aggies are there that are flying under the radar that Auburn should be on the look out for?
On offense, when things are clicking as it is designed, our running backs are good. Tra Carson, Trey Williams, and Brandon Williams were all blue chip recruits and are 1. Either criminally underused or 2. Running behind an offensive line that has the fight of a down comforter.
6) Thoughts on how the game plays out? Prediction?
Being the underdog is a lot of fun when your team plays its ass off on every play. We are not that kind of underdog. I expected to see a lot of piss and vinegar against La-Monroe after what occurred in Tuscaloosa, but we were treated to a listless, shameful performance at home. So until I see a little give-a-damn from the team, I'll guess 52-20 Auburn.