One SEC football team poised to take a step forward in 2024

After further review, the Texas A&M Aggies are one of the underrated SEC football teams for the 2024 season.
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Those of us who have not paid close attention to the 2024 Texas A&M Aggies have been surprised the ESPN FPI has the Aggies at No. 14. Coming off a 7-6, 2023 season, there has been little reason to expect much from the Aggies in Mike Elko's first season. Elko is not the problem. Replacing Jimbo Fisher with Elko gave the Aggies one of the most respected SEC football coaches.

The transition from Jimbo was more than $75M painful for the Aggies. Twenty-six players opted to transfer and more than a few were significant losses. Evan Stewart to Oregon and Walter Nolen to Ole Miss were reason enough to doubt the Aggies in 2024.

A closer look shows that similar to Alabama Football, negative assessments of the Aggies were overblown. Mike Elko and his staff have stabilized the situation and will not have a major talent deficiency in the coming season.

As one who questioned the FPI ranking, I added the Aggies to my list of four overrated SEC football teams. I am flipping that opinion, with the admission that I missed some key points. After my downgrade argument about the Aggies, the new Blue Chip Ratio (BCR) was released. For many years the BCR has been a valuable tool to suggest team success. The Aggies have the fourth-highest BCR at 79%, only surpassed by Ohio State, Alabama, and Georgia. Factor in transfers and the Aggies sit at 63%, in a tie for eighth in the FBS.

There are three other solid reasons to be more bullish on the Aggies than I had realized. Mike Elko does not have much head coaching experience but he is highly rated as a defensive coach. With Portal additions, including Nic Scourton from Purdue, Scooby Williams from Florida, and Dezz Ricks from Alabama, the weak A&M pass defense of last season could be improved. If lesser-known defensive backs, BJ Mayes and Trey Jones hold up, the Aggies' defense could be much improved.

Another reason for optimism is quarterback Conner Weigman. Weigman's potential has long been touted. Injuries have slowed his progress, but in short duty last season, he completed almost 69 % of his passes. Some college football insiders believe Weigman is a future NFL QB, who will have much success in 2024.

The third solid reason is A&M's schedule. The Aggies do not play Alabama or Georgia. Their SEC games away from College Station are Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Auburn - all of which can be wins. The Aggies are a trending pick to open with a win over Notre Dame. Most importantly, Texas must battle the Kyle Field crowd and the Aggies in late November.

An SEC Football Turnaround for the Aggies

ESPN has A&M projected at 7.6 wins vs. 4.5 losses. Eight wins is a good bet and nine wins would be no surprise. Two A&M fansites are predicting a 10-2 regular season for the Aggies.

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