It has been a lopsided rivalry between Alabama and Texas A&M since the Aggies joined the SEC in 2012, with the Crimson Tide winning eight of 10 games. Jimbo Fisher’s squad upset Nick Saban’s men last year, but Alabama had won the previous eight by an average of 22.5 points. So, it is not hard to understand why DraftKings sets the point spread for this year’s contest at Alabama -16.5.
The recent war of words between the head coaches has put this October 8 game in the spotlight. Should the recruiting class Texas A&M “bought”, per Saban’s accusation, pay off early in the season, the line will probably not remain as high at sportsbooks.
War Of Words: Nick Saban vs. Jimbo Fisher
Saban has never been one to shy away from a camera or from sharing an opinion. At an event this week in Birmingham, he said more than he should have about the application of NIL (name, image, and likeness) in college sports.
“We were second in recruiting last year, A&M was first. A&M bought every player on their team — made a deal for name, image, and likeness. We didn’t buy one player,” Saban said.
His comments about Texas A&M (and Jackson State) come around the 5:15 mark:
Here’s the full clip of Coach Saban’s comments on NIL and collectives.https://t.co/BxNNgYA9IG
— Crunch Time Sports Advantage Network (@CrunchTimeVIP) May 19, 2022
As expected, neither A&M’s Fisher nor Jackson State’s Deion Sanders was too happy with Saban. While Sanders was somewhat reserved with his immediate response, Fisher was not.
Texas A&M HC Jimbo Fisher just fired back at Nick Saban for saying they "bought" recruits.
Fisher calls Saban a "narcissist" and says he won't take his call.
"We built him up to be this czar of football. Go dig into his past." pic.twitter.com/iG4UQ4BH3I
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) May 19, 2022
Can anyone say, “gauntlet thrown”? “Shots fired”? Has this become personnel? If you listen to Fisher, the answer to that question is a clear “yes,” it’s personnel.
NCAAF · Fri (12/16) @ 11:35am ET
|Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL|
Texas A&M (8-4 SU, 7-5 ATS in 2021)
Fisher, his players, and A&M fans have every right to be angry with Saban. But it will take a lot more than anger for the Aggies to take down Alabama for the second year in a row.
The Aggies have just nine starters returning this season, four on offense and five on defense. Fisher needs several players from his heralded recruiting class to step up in a big way if the Aggies are going to be competitive. If they do not or they need time to develop, they may beat many teams on the schedule. But Alabama?
That star-studded recruiting class needs to exceed expectations for that to happen.
Alabama (13-2 SU, 8-7 ATS in 2021)
On the offensive side of the ball, Alabama may need a little time to get everyone on the same page. There will be two new starters on the offensive line along with several new skill position guys. Having Bryce Young at quarterback will help get the offense up to speed, and it doesn’t hurt that the first four weeks of the Tide’s schedule are relatively soft.
More on Bryce Young: 2022 Heisman odds
As for the defense, it could be one of the best units in college football in 2022. The secondary has the talent and depth to be among the nation’s elite. Will Anderson Jr. returns to lead the front seven from his linebacker spot, and the defensive line has a solid mixture of experience and youth.
It all comes down to whether A&M’s highly-regarded recruiting class can live up to the hype. If it does, the Aggies will probably enter this game undefeated and with a reasonable shot at beating Alabama. If that is the case, it is unlikely the spread closes +16.5, so if you believe in the A&M’s young guns, now is the time to take the points.
Also read: Season win totals for SEC teams |