Can SEC newcomer Texas A&M actually compete in the SEC this season? SB Nation's Bill Connelly says there's a chance.
The Aggies underachieved last season with a 6-6 record but still have the same talent that made them a preseason top 20 team. Four of those six losses came by four points or fewer and were aided by bad luck. Connelly says with even neutral luck, that could turn into a 10-2 record.
Offense will be the key. Besides returning seven starters, incoming offensive-minded coach Kevin Sumlin is inheriting a few of great offensive weapons, and the Aggies still have one of the best offensive lines in the country. Working against the team's favor, though, is the lack of a Case Keenum-type passer and the fact that you need a stout defense to compete in the SEC.
Granted, that bad luck and coulda-woulda-shoulda 2011 season was in the Big 12. Logic suggests that by higher-level competition alone, it's tough to say the Aggies' record will reflect their talent potential. But while Connelly doesn't explicitly say the Aggies will be better in 2012, there is evidence to suggest they could be a darkhorse.
For more on Aggies football, visit SEC blog Team Speed Kills, plus SB Nation Houston.