Four games are key to A&M's success

The first three games should be pushovers, but what games will give the Aggies the most fits in 2007? Aggie Websider takes a look at each game, ranking them in order from the easiest to the most difficult.

It's that time of year again. Time to break out the season predictions, but with a twist--degree of difficulty.

Several things go into this formula in addition to the head to head talent level. Is the game home or away? Where does it fall in relation to other games on the schedule? And most important, what does my gut tell me?

Let's get started.

12.) Louisiana-Monroe - Home game, against a team that will be incredibly overmatched talent-wise. McGee and Co. will use this game as a tune-up before traveling to Miami and the Aggies should be cranking all cylinders in week three.
Aggies win, 55-6

11.) Montana State -
This is a game of unknowns for the Aggies. They've got a new coach, two quarterbacks and a relatively talented defense. This game could be closer in the first half than many would like, but in the end, the Aggies will adjust to the Bobcats game plan, and the second half will be an exhibition.
Aggies win, 45-13

10.) Baylor -
The Bears are going to have a tough go of it this year, which head coach Guy Morriss is painfully aware of. He put his 6,000 square foot home on the market already and rumors coming out of Waco this August is that they have a lot of people trying out at quarterback, but not much promise from any of them. This one won't be pretty for the Bears, as the Aggies put them back in their place.
Aggies win, 49-10

9.) Fresno State -
Fresno State is a dangerous game for the Aggies because the Bulldogs are always going to put up a fight. The Bulldogs also have a lot of unknowns coming into the season, and they've got some athletes who couldn't get into larger programs because of academics, so they will play with a chip on their shoulder. But the Aggies depth will once again be too much for an inferior team at Kyle Field.
Aggies win, 31-16

8.) @Texas Tech -
This one probably surprises a lot of you, but I just don't think Tech has the horses this year. Yes, the game is in Lubbock, yes I was in the sixth grade the last time the Aggies won there. But this year's team is going to change a lot of trends, and winning in Lubbock will be one of them. Tech loses a lot of starters and I think there was a reason that Mike Leach seemed to be applying for every head coaching job that was available in the offseason. If the A&M secondary is as improved as I think they are, the Aggies could win this one big.
Aggies win, 42-34

7.) Kansas -
The Jayhawks gave the Aggies all they could handle in Lawrence last year, but this year, they've got to come to Kyle Field. In addition to a change of venue, the Aggies have improved more than the Jayhawks in the offseason and return nearly all of their key starters from 2006. The Jayhawks are a team that shouldn't be overlooked though, especially sandwiched between games at Nebraska and a possible showdown of astronomical proportions the following week at Oklahoma. If the Aggies stay focused on Kansas this game shouldn't be a problem, but beware of the trap game.
Aggies win, 31-17

6.) Oklahoma State -
The Cowboys are getting a lot of love from preseason magazines and writers from area newspapers, but I just don't think they've got the talent that A&M has, especially when the game is at Kyle Field. Bobby Reid will give the Aggie secondary all it can handle though in a nail-biter.
Aggies win, 31-28

5.) @ Missouri -
The Tigers are picked to win the North by some publications this year, and they'll probably finish no worse than second in their division, but that's good enough for fourth in the Big 12 South. It will be a very close game, but the Aggies depth and ability to control the clock and keep Missouri's offense off the field will be the difference in Columbia. Take your TUMS, this one will be another nail-biter.
Aggies win, 27-24

Now this is where things get interesting. So far, I've got the Aggies winning eight games with the four most difficult games to go. These four games will determine if the Aggies have a good team, a great team or a really special team in 2007. If they fail to win any of these four, they would still fall under the category of good team. If they win one or two of these (in addition to the other eight of course) they would be a great team. If they somehow win three or four of these games, go ahead and put them into your top-five teams in A&M school history and book your hotel room in San Antonio for the first weekend of December. I'll buy the tortillas for your fajitas (yeah, I know...they're free).

4.) @ Miami - This game is a big time game for Franchione and the Aggies. It's on national TV and could be the game that Jorvorskie Lane and Mike Goodson grab the rest of the nation's attention. The A&M offensive line will have an opportunity to show what they're made of on a national stage as well, and the Miami defensive line may be fast, but will they be able to handle a heavy dose of Jorvorskie Lane between the tackles? It's going to be a great game at the Orange Bowl, but the fourth quarter will belong to the Aggies in a come from behind victory that sets the stage for the rest of the year.
Aggies win, 24-20

3.) @ Nebraska -
The Cornhuskers are the most talented team in the Big 12 North in my opinion, but have questions at quarterback, although by the time A&M plays them in week eight, those questions should be answered. It's a road game, and Nebraska has a reputation for being a tough place to play, but four years ago, I was extremely underwhelmed by my trip to Lincoln. It's a big stadium, they all wear red and they're gracious winners, but it's not the most intimidating place to play in the Big 12. The A&M secondary is going to be improved, but I don't know if they're good enough to handle Nebraska. But if they are, this game could go either way.
Nebraska wins, 31-27

2.) Texas -
I almost put this game at No. 3, but because of all the hype that will surround this game (with a trip to San Antonio on the line for the Aggies) it's going to be a pressure cooker for the Aggies. They're going to be tired of hearing how last year was a fluke though, and Stephen McGee is going to will the Aggies to a victory in his last game against Texas at Kyle Field (and another prediction, he'll finish his career 3-1 against Texas). If Mack Brown thought the Aggies were more physical last year, wait until he sees this year's offensive line.
Aggies win, 24-13

1.) @ Oklahoma -
Most of the national media will probably bill this as a mis-match just because of the national reputation of Oklahoma, but with the exception of the obvious 77-0 catastrophe in Norman, this series is filled with memorable games over the past five years. A&M knows how to play Oklahoma and with a healthy Stephen McGee, a veteran offensive line and a running back corps that rivals any duo in the nation, the Aggies will give OU all it can handle, and could pull of the major upset in a game that may decide the Big 12 South champion. If that's the case, ESPN Gameday will probably be in attendance as well, so Norman, Oklahoma will be rocking. It will be a barn burner, and the only reason I am picking Oklahoma is because it's on the road. But don't count McGee and the Aggies out, this is another game that could go either way.
Sooners win, 21-16

Worst case scenario for the Aggies this year is 8-4, but the sky is the limit for this team with so many returning starters on both sides of the ball, a quarterback that refuses to let his team lose and a defense that should continue to improve.

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