The 2012 football season was a fun ride for the Texas A&M Aggies. They were expected to get overwhelmed by their first season in the SEC, but they took the league by storm behind Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. Manziel and head coach Kevin Sumlin are back in 2013, as well as an explosive cast of supporting players. Can the Aggies put in a repeat performance, or will they crash back to earth? Let's take a look at their schedule and see how things will play out.
2013 Texas A&M schedule
Projections from Football Outsiders' 2013 college football almanac.
The Aggies will play in what is probably the most hyped game of the 2013 season on Sept. 14 when they host Alabama. A loss in that game won't necessarily derail their season, but may throw off their national title hopes. That game will be very difficult, but it's one of only two games this year where the Aggies aren't clearly the better team. A late season visit to Baton Rouge is the other, and A&M will have a chance to avenge one of their two losses in 2012.
In addition to those two obvious showdowns, A&M will have potentially tricky roadtrips to Arkansas and Ole Miss, both of which are capable of springing the upset. The good news for the Aggies, though, is that as brutal as their SEC West slate is, they get off relatively light against the SEC East. A&M avoids Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, and gets Missouri and Vanderbilt as their cross-divisional foes.
Considering all the talent that's coming back and their schedule, Texas A&M should go at least 10-2 in 2013. Things may play out differently now that they are the ones with the target on their backs, but they have the talent to withstand many teams' best shots. Whether 2013 is a good season or a great season will come down to the Alabama and LSU games.