There will be no bigger hyped game in college football this season than Alabama and Texas A&M, featuring the National Champions playing ‘Johnny Football’, with the winner suddenly becoming a de facto favourite to go to the National Championship (despite the fact that there will be still 9 games to go in the season).

In last season’s game, Texas A&M beat ‘Bama at home, creating a nuclear explosion throughout college football. The win helped to snare Manziel the Heisman Trophy – the award given out for the country’s best player – in 2012, and to make sure that ‘Johnny Football’ became a celebrity.

Alabama on their first game of the season – offensively – did very little, scoring just one offensive touchdown. The offensive line – newly assembled after three of its best starters went to the NFL – looked uncomfortable against Virginia Tech’s different defensive schemes, and the offense stuttered. They were definitely helped by Christion Jones, who took a kick-off and punt back to the house.

Texas A&M, in their first two games of the season have struggled. There is no denying the fact that with their controversial-but-brilliant quarterback Johnny Manziel, their offense can score with anyone in the country. Manziel can perform wonders in his feet, and his throwing game seems to have improved, but will it be enough for an Alabama defence which is nothing short of suffocating. The Crimson Tide will definitely take advantage of the absence of Luke Joeckel, Manziel’s trusted right tackle who was one of the NFL’s first round picks.

The thing which really scares us in Texas A&M’s lack of defence, and we think they are going to struggle against Bama’s rushing duo of TJ Yeldon and Derrick Henry, which couples fluidity and grace (Yeldon) with a battering ram (Henry). If Alabama’s offensive line can stop Texas A&M’s defensive rushers and let their running backs control the game, the Aggies have problems. And if ‘Bama quarterback AJ McCarron – who is good at winning the big games – can connect with his best wide receiver Amari Cooper – then A&M’s pretty weak secondary will suffer.

But as we’ve mentioned, the Aggies themselves have a weapon in Manziel, who ran the Crimson Tide ragged in 2012. They’ve also got one of the game’s best wide receivers, Michael Evans, to take advantage of ‘Bama’s young secondary.

Alabama’s big advantage is on the coaching sidelines. Why? Nick Saban’s the best coach in college football, and there’s no denying it. He’s not been beaten on the road since a loss at LSU in November 2010. He’s won two straight National Championships and the last two out of three. He prepares like no-one else in the country… and he’s had an extra week to prepare. In fact, Alabama has been preparing for this game all off-season long.

BOTTOM LINE: Alabama wins, and by more than the spread of eight points. That doesn’t mean that this isn’t going to be a great game, but a late Alabama TD (while the Tide are up a field goal), makes the loss look worse than it actually is. This will be a classic.

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