On the SEC Network last Thursday, 32 SEC football games were scheduled across ESPN networks, including Texas A&M’s first three games.
The Aggies kick off the season on ESPN with a 6 p.m. matchup with Arizona State in Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on Sept. 5. After that, A&M will host its next two opponents, Ball State and Nevada, at 6 p.m. and 11 a.m., respectively. The Ball State contest can be seen on ESPNU, while Nevada earns the early morning SEC Network slot.
Last season, A&M went 4-0 in non-conference play, winning by a combined 190-35. However, the Aggies biggest scare came in Kyle Allen’s first career start in an 11 a.m. game against Louisiana Monroe, in which A&M narrowly escaped 21-16.
The Nevada Wolf Pack come off a 7-6 season and third place finish in the MWC West division. If Louisiana Monroe can almost pull off the upset in the middle of the season, Nevada could pose a threat to an Aggie team that could be in the early season lull under an inexperienced quarterback.
The quarterback position should be exclusively between incoming freshman Kyler Murray and sophomore Kyle Allen. The decision will need to be made swiftly considering Arizona State finished the 2014-15 season 10-3 and ranked No. 12 in the AP poll.
In the past, head coach Kevin Sumlin gives the nod later than most coaches. His first quarterback, Johnny Manziel, was not named the starter until almost a week prior to the first game.
Similarly, sophomore Kenny Hill received notice about a week before A&M’s first game at No. 9 South Carolina, but the Aggies came out victorious regardless with a 52-28 blowout.
Lastly, the Cardinals are one of the Aggies lesser opponents, as they were unable to reach a bowl game last year. After these three, however, A&M will have to be primed and ready once more as it will travel to Jerry world for its first SEC opponent of the season: the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Western Carolina is A&M’s fourth and last non-conference opponent, but the Aggies won’t see them until Nov. 14, the third-to-last game of the season. The lone bye week will be on Oct. 10.