Texas A&M’s sophomore quarterback Kenny Hill took the reins of the Aggies offense and made history Thursday night so could this be a good time to bet A&M to win it all in your NCAA football picks?
Hill Doesn’t Miss a Beat
Or perhaps I should say Kenny Hill doesn’t miss Johnny Manziel because he is now the lead dog in head coach Kevin Sumlin’s prolific offense. I’m not sure what Hill will do for an encore but his debut was nothing short of historic. The Aggies marched into hostile territory on Thursday night and dismantled 9th ranked South Carolina as 10-point underdogs in NCAA football odds to the tune of 52-28. Kevin Hill was living large and in charge striking for three touchdown passes while setting school records for completions (44) and passing yards (511) in a game. It was also the second most completions and fifth most passing yards in SEC history.
Though Johnny Manziel was a carnival barker with the chops to back up his bluster, Kenny Hill emerged more as a master conductor of a well-tuned symphony preferring to lend the spotlight to his cohorts rather than basking in the limelight himself. Hill struck early and often on the field of battle, commanding his offense with all the confidence of an air force general, yet it was a much more reserved and demure Hill who reluctantly greeted the media in his postgame press conference.
"I just wanted to get the first press conference over with," said Hill, who hadn't spoken with reporters before. "I get nervous up here."
After the upset victory Johnny Manziel tweeted: KENNY FOOTBALL #gigem, Hill responded with: "I don't really like 'Kenny Football.'"
And let’s not forget that A&M’s opponent was not chopped liver. The Steve Spurrier coached Gamecocks were 11-2 last season and defeated Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl to cap off a successful campaign. Big things were expected of Spurrier’s club but Columbia, South Carolina just got a large dose of reality as they begin their season 0-1 due to the prodigious arm of a previously untouted yet undeterred sophomore quarterback from Southlake, Texas.
Texas A&M NCAA Odds
One side note that cannot be understated was the absence of blindside brick wall Jake Matthews who left A&M for the big money and bright lights of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons. In addition it should also be noted that tailback Tre Carson struck for three trips into the endzone while wideout Malcolme Kennedy had 14 catches for 137 yards. Could it be that much of the credit belongs to chief architect and head coach Kevin Sumlin whose offensive schemes seem to work effortlessly regardless of who is running them? It is starkly reminiscent of the next man up, plug-and-play mentality of coaching legend-in-the-making Bill Belichick of the NFL’s New England Patriots.
We shall see if the good times continue after the Aggies dispose of the likes of Lamar University, Rice and SMU before they meet SEC weak sister Arkansas. After they play the Razorbacks, A&M will take on Mississippi State and Ole Miss, currently ranked 18th in the nation. Therefore, it is highly possible that the Aggies will be undefeated heading into their clash with SEC powerhouse Alabama on October 18th in Tuscaloosa.
Currently the College Football odds on Texas A&M are 50-1 at PaddyPower.com to win the BCS National Championship. There are plenty of games to be played and battles to be won before anyone can speculate as to their chances of actually contending for a title this season. However, if you take a look at how they manhandled South Carolina on the road then it may not be the worst idea to get down now on the Aggies as a longshot in your NCAA football picks.