Quick Bama Thoughts:
Before you get your hopes up for beating Alabama at Kyle Field on Saturday you need to realize this isn’t 2012. We’re not walking into an Alabama game with an offensive line where all five guys will start in the NFL and four will be drafted in the first round. We also don’t have Johnny Football although I’m sure he’ll be around somewhere. Oh, and that Mike Evans guy. Or Spencer Nealy. Or Ryan Swope. Should I go on?
If Jimbo and Elko run out the same schemes they’ve been running for the last 18 games there is a ZERO chance we win this game. I suppose there’s a marginal chance if Nick Saban, his staff, and players have been in Mexico for the last two weeks and did zero preparation for this game. Our weaknesses are very evident and we’re just not that talented. Even a marginal effort by Bama will beat this Aggie team if it’s same scheme.
I don’t see Jimbo doing anything drastic scheme wise in this game. I go back to this year’s Houston Coach’s Night when he said he must trust his process more than wins and losses. You might see some wrinkles in this game but it won’t be enough. Maybe Jimbo will implement a totally different scheme on offense and defense but I just don’t see it happening.
From a personnel standpoint we won’t be much different than we’ve been all season. Roney Elam appears to still be out which has proven to be a major blow to our defense. He was our best secondary player in stopping the run and defending passes. I don’t know what’s going on with Ryan McCollum but until he starts snapping the ball the outlook for this offensive line doesn’t change. We will continue to get destroyed on the offensive line of scrimmage.
We’ve seen some glimmer of hope in the passing game with the emergence of Ainias Smith but I don’t think it will be enough. Our most talented running back can’t hold onto the ball. Jacob Kibodi had nice runs against Arkansas in the second half but they weren’t dominant by any stretch. The Bama defense ain’t the Arkansas defense.
Defensively Leon O’Neal and Anthony Hines appear to be better athletes than they are football players. We’re solid up the middle on the defensive line but we have no real speed on the edge to seal or bring a legitimate pass rush. Our cornerback situation is still questionable. The Bama passing game isn’t questionable so they’re probably going to light us up.
I’d love nothing more than to have a repeat of 2012 at Kyle Field. In fact, I’d trade beating Bama and going 6-6 to losing to Bama and going 7-5. That would mean going 1-2 against Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and South Carolina. I expect to go 3-0 against those teams but I’d trade going 1-2 if it meant beating Bama at Kyle Field.
Without a doubt I’d take beating Bama over Georgia and LSU at this point in the season. Beating Bama at Kyle Field would make a major statement.
It’s not going to happen though. We just don’t have the talent and Jimbo isn’t going to roll the dice.
So What’s Left for the 2019 Aggies?:
I think the most realistic outlook for the Aggies this season is to go 7-5 beating everyone but Bama, Georgia, and LSU. Even that won’t be easy as Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and South Carolina aren’t push overs. If we pull off those wins and win our bowl game that will be a solid season. It’ll be disappointing compared to pre-season expectations but turns out this team isn’t nearly as talented as everyone thought/hoped. If Jimbo can get to 8 wins and close out a Top 10 recruiting class we’ll be in pretty good shape.
The talk of winning a championship in 2020 should be dead. There’s no chance of that.
If you can’t stand Kellen Mond it shouldn’t matter anymore. Kellen will be gone after 2020 and he won’t be the reason we didn’t win more. There will be a game or two when he could have done more but in the grand scheme it won’t matter. Keep focusing on Kellen if it helps you cope but the issues on this team are much bigger than Kellen Mond.
The offensive line is our biggest issue right now. We have no talent with our upperclassmen and there’s no depth. We need a major injection of talented youth and then we need that talent to season with experience. Kenyon Green is the only person that fits that bill right now. There’s 4 more spots to fill.
You can blame Jim Turner’s leaving all you want. However, Jim Turner was here for 3 years prior to this season. Jim Turner didn’t recruit or develop any talent in those three years other than Erik McCoy. I don’t know if Josh Henson is the answer but this offensive line is devoid of talent and technique and Jim Turner has to take the blame for some of it. This offensive line has been questionable since Turner got here and really hasn’t improved. That must change for this team to have a chance at winning big and that only happens through recruiting and development. That could take 2-3 years.
Defensively we’re in better shape from a talent standpoint but there’s still a lot of development that must happen. We’re still looking for shut down corners along with safeties and linebackers that don’t continually get out of position while not being afraid to tackle. We also need defensive ends with speed to seal the edges on runs and bring pressure on passes.
I’m not trying to get anyone down. I’m just trying to be the bearer of realistic expectations. The 2019 Aggie Football team isn’t nearly as talented as 2018. 2020 won’t be the year we make the big leap. 2021 absolutely could be the year we take a leap if Jimbo can keep recruiting like he has been since he got here.
We need to be competitive in every game and let Jimbo sell the development story to recruits. What we don’t need is the wheels coming off where we’re losing to teams we shouldn’t be. That development story gets harder to sell.
Right or wrong Jimbo has his process and he’s going to stick to it. We won’t see the results as fast as we’d hoped but it doesn’t mean they won’t come in due time.
This weekend’s game will have very little outcome on if that happens more than likely.
I hope I’m wrong and Jimbo proves me the fool for the rest of 2019. I just don’t see the 2019 games against Bama, Georgia, and LSU as providing that boost we were hoping they might have. At some point those games will absolutely matter but I don’t think we’ll see it this season.
Turns out it’s going to be a longer road to Make Aggie Football Great Again than I originally imagined coming into this season.
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