Place chart

Athlon predicts second place for A&M in SEC West

Steve Lassan with Athlon predicts the order of arrival in both Southeastern Conference divisions for 2022 after selecting the league preseason all conference teams yesterday. Lassan has usual suspects Alabama and Georgia atop the SEC West and East, but he has Texas A&M as the biggest tide challenger for the upcoming season.

Momentum is high at College Station after the coach Jimbo Fisherman inked the No. 1 recruiting class for ’22. The next step: winning the West Division and advancing to the CFB Playoffs. While both of those goals are hard to achieve with Alabama in the same division, a double-digit win total is within reach. A quarterback injury Haynes King in Game 2 of 21 created a major problem for the offense, but the depth chart is in better shape with the transfer of King, LSU Max Johnson and real freshman Conner Weigman in the mix. Aggies need more big plays from the passing game and a real freshman Evan Stewart could provide some outside, by partnering with Ainias Smith to give the offense a powerful one-two combo to the receiver. Devon Achane is the running back’s next star, and three returning starters provide a solid foundation up front. The defense was among the best in college football last season, keeping teams at 15.9 points per game and 4.7 yards per snap. This unit is in a state of transition forward with ByMarvin Leal and Tyree Johnson headlining the list of departures. However, thanks to the recruitment of 22, new coordinator DJ Durkin has no shortage of talent up front. In addition, the secondary is one of the best in the country. How well Texas A&M’s quarterback room grows and how quickly Durkin can recharge that defense will determine whether or not this team can make the playoffs.

Lassan is one of many observers who are optimistic for the Aggies due to the fact that recruiting Fisher has allowed the Aggies to reload despite 11 players signing National Football League contacts and there has uncertainty (but more options) at quarterback. 2022 recruiting class returns may not pay off right away, but sophomores Shemar Turner inside and Tummise Adeleye away could play an important role in replacing Leal and Johnson. This means that the drop in losses for these players might not be as precipitous as it might seem on the surface. The quarterback situation should work out with more talent and experience available than a year ago.

There are also a few underrated aspects to this team. First, the Aggies’ special teams should once again feature the best combination of SEC specialists and returning men. Second, the schedule starts and ends well for A&M, with most of their home games falling in September and November. If they can avoid a long spell away from Kyle Field in October with outings against Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi State, ten wins are almost a certainty…and maybe a CFP spot if all goes well. good.

Here is the expected order of arrival for the two divisions:

SEC West


2.Texas A&M

3. Arkansas

4. USL

5. Ole Miss

6. Mississippi State

7. Auburn

SEC East

1. Georgia

2. Tennessee


4. Florida

5. South Carolina


7. Vanderbilt