Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin made one of the biggest hires of the offseason in luring defensive coordinator John Chavis away from SEC West rival LSU. Chavis is a defensive-minded guru who should turn around that side of the ball for the Aggies. Measurable defensive improvement coupled with Sumlin’s offensive repertoire could have Texas A&M going from pretenders to yearly contenders, perhaps as early as this season.
However, it cannot be overlooked that Sumlin has seen his record in College Station trickle from a 11-win debut in 2012, to nine wins in ’13, and just eight a year ago. Former Big 12 foes and in-state rivals, Baylor and TCU, are at an all-time high in terms of on-the-field performance and enthusiasm within the Lone Star State. Even with the Texas Longhorns still struggling to find their footing that does little to change the high expectations emanating from the 12th Man.
The 2015 college football campaign brings promise of a new season along with hopes and a few expectations. Aggie fans expect Chavis to turn around a defense that finished ranked 102nd in the nation under Mark Snyder, are hopeful that Sumlin will find a return to a powerful running attack, while maintaining what was one of the nation’s best passing attacks (306 ypg) in 2014. With seven starters returning on offense and six on defense the possibility for contending for a SEC West title is favorable, once a few question marks are answered, and thanks to the schedule.
Texas A&M’s 2015 slate shapes up pretty favorably. The Aggies do not leave the state of Texas until Oct. 24, which means they six games in front of home state fans before facing a hostile crowd. It’s three more home games after that before closing out the regular season with back-to-back road games at Vanderbilt and LSU. But don’t take this to mean Texas A&M’s schedule is easy, however, as after all the Aggies do reside in the SEC West. All seven teams in the West made Athlon Sports’ preseason Top 25.
Based on home-field advantage vs. being on the road, projected toughness of opponent, and Texas A&M’s style of play vs. opponent, the following is a ranking of the Aggies’ regular season games from easiest to toughest in 2015.