For years, there have been lists of teams trying to challenge Alabama in the SEC. But college football guru Phil Steele has pegged the team he sees as the best fit for that category this year.

“I think it’s definitely Texas A&M, and I would put Texas A&M into that first tier,” Steele said during an interview with Chris Gordy of the Locked on SEC Podcast. “When I talked to (head) coach Jimbo Fisher last year, towards the end of the year — I was going over his offensive line with him for the Joe Moore Award — and he was telling me that despite as good as Texas A&M’s offensive line was last year with the five returning starters, he said, ‘Phil, we’re going to lose four starting offensive linemen. But we’re going to be more athletic, we’ll probably have more NFL prospects, this may even be a better offensive line this year.’ And they get to play (five) games, prior to playing Alabama. So the offensive line will have plenty of time to get in shape, prior to that game.

Steele predicts that Haynes King will win the QB competition, and he likes the running backs as the No. 1 unit in the country in Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane. He also likes TE Jalen Wydermyer.

“Remember, last year they lost all their wide receivers heading into the year,” he said. “They were very inexperienced. They’re all back this year.”

H/T Auburn Undercover.