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09/10/2013

The fear: The Aggies are going to get slaughtered

220px-Katherine_Webb_2012Las Vegas has No. 1 Alabama anywhere from a 7.5 point to 8.5 point favorite over No. 6 Texas A&M in this biggest game in the world on Saturday.

Personally, I would rather see Johnny Football and the Aggies run all over Nick Saban's team for the second consecutive season but too many variables don't feel right.

No. 1 - Alabama is not coming off an emotional win at LSU this time. 
On Nov. 3, 2012 Alabama rallied to win at LSU, 21-17.
The next week, A&M scored 20 first-quarter points and held on to defeat the Tide, 29-24.
This was not a luck win, but a lot of things broke right in order for Aggies to do this.

No. 2 - Johnny Manziel is not a secret.

No. 3 - That Aggies team was better at that point. The defense may be bigger and more talented, we think, but not as experienced as the group that defeated Alabama.

"You're right - the placement of the game after an emotional game, not having seen Manziel and his style - all of those things in every game is a factor," said CBS color anlayst Gary Danielson, who worked the game last season and will on Saturday, when I asked him about these variables being dramatically different this time.

"I think (Aggies defensive coordinator) Mark Snyder had a brilliant game plan. They mixed it up and really bothered them. I thought Nick Saban and Kirby Smart didn't manage Manziel effectively; they tried to pin him in the pocket. I thought (Alabama QB) A.J. McCarron started very slowly. To beat these great teams like Alabama or LSU or Ohio State, or Texas a few years ago, you have to have effecient quarterbck play."

Os-fbc-heisman-watch-johnny-manziel-makes-a-bi-001"Alabama learned a valuable lesson; they had one area they could depend on and that was running left with Ed Lacy. Look at Alabama this year and they don't have that. They don't have that dominant offensive line and they don't have Ed Lacy."

Alabama has had two weeks to prepare, and A&M's defense does not look as good. 

Since the start of the 2009 season, Alabama has lost five times. 
2012: No. 15 Texas A&M, 29-24
2011: No. 1 LSU, 9-6
2010: No. 2 Auburn, 28-27
2010: No. 12 LSU, 24-21
2010: No. 19 South Carolina, 35-21 

I would prefer to see the Aggies, and Manziel, do this but my fear is Vegas is right.

Twitter @MacEngelProf
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