It’s the most wonderful time of the year: football season. The 2015 NCAA football season kicks off September 3, just in time for the long Labor Day weekend, giving us time to recover from the madness, and the season’s first Game of the Week is Texas A&M University vs. Arizona State University in Houston, Texas.
While these two teams will be meeting for the first time on Saturday, head coaches Kevin Sumlin of A&M and Todd Graham of ASU have coached against each other before. From 2008 to 2010, Sumlin and Graham met as head coaches for the University of Houston and the University of Tulsa, respectively, in the USA Conference. More is at stake than just bragging rights, though, as both coaches hold similar winning records: Graham with 28-12 at ASU and Sumlin with 28-11 at A&M.
This season, the Aggies will be looking to make a comeback of sorts after they finished out 2014 uncharacteristically not ranked with a record of 8-5, while the Sun Devils completed the season at 10-3. Both teams had clumsy defenses that allowed 451 and 417 yards per game respectively last season. The Aggies have made changes and improvements, like adding defensive coordinator John Chavis, and the Sun Devils have more than four times as many veterans returning. Both teams are led by strong quarterbacks – Kyle Allen for A&M and Mike Bercovici for ASU – and will most likely spend the game playing tag on the scoreboard, as both are surrounded by a stellar supporting cast.
A lot of people are expecting, or at least hoping for, ASU to light up A&M for the upset, however, while it’s possible, the Aggies are built Texas-tough and I don’t see them bending to anyone this early, especially Arizona State. While the fight will not be easy for either team, it will surely be entertaining.
Watch Texas A&M vs. Arizona State University Saturday, Sept. 5 at 7pm ET. on ESPN.