The SEC is shaping up to be interesting as teams are hitting midseason form. While some teams are clearly at the top of the conference, no one is unstoppable. Alabama struggled on the road against an injured Texas team, and the Georgia Bulldogs have looked bad in two straight weeks.
One team that has failed to meet expectations is Texas A&M. The Aggies had College Football Playoff hopes, but two early losses have essentially cut them from contention. Jimbo Fisher’s seat would be scorching if it weren’t for his massive buyout, and Texas A&M’s offense lacks firepower.
However, all that could change with an upset this weekend. The Aggies face the Crimson Tide, the top-ranked team in the country. A win this week would go a long way in settling things for the fans in College Station, but is that possible? Here are the necessary details and predictions for this intriguing matchup on Saturday night.
Texas A&M Aggies vs. Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday, October 08, 2022 – 8:00 PM EDT at Bryant-Denny Stadium
A Rare Revenge Game
Alabama rarely has to play revenge games, but the Aggies got the best of the Tide last year. That was one of Bryce Young’s first starts in his Heisman campaign, and mental errors told the story in that one. This year, Alabama will look to clean things up with fewer penalties and turnovers.
That game gave Texas A&M confidence, but earlier losses in the year had already eliminated them from SEC title contention. The same can be said about the team this year with the CFP race, so perhaps the Aggies will rally around this moment.
However, that game was played at Kyle Field. Playing in Bryant-Denny Stadium is a different beast. The last team to beat Alabama in Tuscaloosa was LSU in 2019, and that was still a one-possession game against one of the best teams in the history of college football.
The offseason was full of drama between these head coaches. Nick Saban made comments regarding how the Aggies were wading through the NIL waters, and Jimbo Fisher took offense to it.
In fact, he planned an emergency press conference to address the statement. In his speech, he called Nick Saban a narcissist.
Obviously, Saban won’t let this game be about him and Fisher. Still, Fisher used to coach for Saban, and he is the first former assistant to ever beat Saban as a head coach. This adds to the stakes of the game, but it will inevitably be decided by the players on the field.
Speaking of which, one key injury could decide your NCAAF pick for this game.
Bryce Young Injury Update
Bryce Young landed awkwardly in the Arkansas game, and Jalen Milroe had to step in at quarterback. Milroe played well, but it is hard to fill in the shoes of a Heisman winner.
Young sprained his AC joint, and he is listed as day-to-day. This means that he could theoretically play, but it’s not uncommon for an injury like this to keep a player out the following week.
If Milroe has to start, expect Alabama to run the ball consistently. Milroe has a strong arm, but his best strength is his ability to scramble and run through defenders. He is incredibly athletic, and he will find a way to get first downs with his legs.
If Young plays, it will be interesting to see if he is fully healthy. He may limit his deep passing to avoid re-injury.
Either way, expect Jahmyr Gibbs to see the ball more. He is coming off of a career game against Arkansas.
Texas A&M vs. Alabama: The Picks
Alabama has questions at quarterback, but the defense has been elite this year. Will Anderson smells blood in the water, and he will get after the quarterback all game.
Still, I can’t predict a win of over 24 points, which is where the current spread is. If both teams try to chew the clock, the likelihood of a win by that many points decreases.
I like Alabama to win, but look for the Aggies to cover this lofty spread as the under hits. Alabama will score some explosive plays, but this will generally be a low-scoring affair at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
NCAAF Pick: Texas A&M +24.5 (-110) at BetMGM
NCAAF Pick: Under 52 (-110) at DraftKings