South Carolina Texas AM CFB Pick

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Texas A&M

vs

South Carolina

Week 1

College Football Pick

8/28/14

South Carolina hosts Texas A&M on Thursday, August 28th with a 6pm est. kickoff time and while there are a handful of other Games on this day, no question this one is the one with the most interest. As we write this a month before the Game, South Carolina is a -12 point home favorite at 5 dimes sportsbook.

Why all the interest? Well, for one, it’s the first SEC Game of the year. Oh yeah, another reason might that there was this kid named Johnny Manziel who played for Texas A&M and he was pretty darn good. But he’s moved on to the NFL and college football fans everywhere want to see what his departure means for the Aggies.

Manziel was a Game changer, no question about it. There have been many “Super Stars” that have come and gone from college football over the years, but only a small handful have had the ability to singlehandedly make an average team VERY good. Put Johnny football on any poor to average football team and their win total increases considerably. That’s exactly what Texas A&M was and is without Manziel. Average.

The Aggies outscored opponents. They won without a defense. They gave up 30+ points 8 times last year and 28 points in two other Games. They only shut down two teams, SMU and UTEP, but it didn’t matter. They just wanted the ball so Johnny could work his magic.

What worked in the Johnny Manziel era will NOT work with their current roster. Not only is Manziel gone but so are a couple of his favorite targets. The Aggies will likely have to rely more heavily on their running Game which means fewer points on the scoreboard. The problem with that strategy is that their defense can’t stop anyone. Sure, they return 8 starters to the defense, but so what. That’s 8 starters returning to a BAD defense.

South Carolina is the better team in this matchup. They lost their QB as well (Connor Shaw) but his replacement, Dylan Thompson has seen plenty of action and while Shaw was a solid player, losing him will have no where near the same impact as the Aggies losing Manziel.

The Gamecocks return 7 on offense and 6 on defense. That defense was 2nd in the SEC in points allowed last year and while they’ll have to replace some key players, the Gamecocks recruit well. They have won 11 Games in each of the last three seasons. Winning like that makes recruiting all the more easier. Winning brings talent.

We see this Game falling somewhere around the number, which is SC -12. Somewhere around the number means maybe they win by 10 or 11, or maybe they win by 14 to 17. That’s the type of Game we see. The Aggies may have some success running the ball behind a solid offensive line, which could prevent South Carolina from running away with this one.

We’ll take the Gamecocks here. South Carolina -12

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