SEC West’s Impact Game: Alabama at Texas A&M, Sept. 14
Did you hear about the showdown happening in College Station during week three? If not, you need to check your pulse. The college football world descends upon Aggie Land for the most anticipated bout in the entire country for 2013.
Johnny Manziel, AJ McCarron. Nick Saban, Kevin Sumlin. Revenge, dynasty. Oh, the storylines and the passion.
The Aggies ruined the Tide’s perfect season last year by going into Tuscaloosa and pulling an unthinkable 29-24 upset. Alabama watched Texas A&M’s scrambling and electrifying quarterback turn John Elway in the fourth quarter, hitting Malcome Kennedy on a 24-yard touchdown pass for the final go ahead score. Manziel combined for 345 yards and two touchdowns, and, most importantly, zero turnovers.
2013’s showdown is expected to be bigger than last year’s. It’s earlier in the season, and the Tide and Aggies both have the two easiest schedules in the SEC. The winner immediately jumps to the favorite for the SEC and the BCS, while the other one must win out to force a rematch. A rematch? Yep. It’s not out of the question, as this game is set up perfectly.
Alabama’s bye week gives the Tide an extra week to prepare, and the Tide have nearly every favorable matchup across the board except one: the secondary. Alabama lost safety Robert Lester and corner Dee Milliner. So, Deion Belue, John Fulton and Geno Smith, among others, will have the tough job of covering Mike Evans and a slew of other Aggie receivers who measure 6-2 and taller. We saw Manziel exploit the matchup last year, and he could do it again this year. The Aggies have a distinct advantage going up top against the Bama secondary.
With that being said, the Tide have the major advantage going against an unproven and inexperienced Aggie defense. AJ McCarron, Amari Cooper and TJ Yeldon could have a field day.
But that’s why we play the game; that’s why it’s the most anticipated matchup in 2013.
Other two impact games:
LSU at Alabama: LSU-Alabama takes a backseat to A&M-Bama this season. It’s not forever, but certainly this season. This is always the most physical matchup in college football every year, and 2013 will be no different. The last time LSU ventured into Tuscaloosa they exited victorious, and LSU should have beaten the Tide last season, too, if not for a late game-winning drive. Say what you want about Les Miles, but he’s 3-3 against Saban in the last six regular season games.
Texas A&M at LSU: This is a revenge game for Texas A&M. The Tigers went into Kyle Field and beat the Aggies last year, ruining any chance they had to make it to Atlanta. The Tigers’ new-look defense and revamped offense will try to make it two in a row against Johnny Football in the second to last football weekend. Both teams will be as fresh as possible with bye weeks the week before.
Photo Credit: John David Mercer-US PRESSWIRE