It's time for the Texas A&M Aggies to figure out what life without Johnny Manziel is like.
Despite losing their explosive quarterback, Kevin Sumlin still has plenty of talent returning and coming on board that should make the Aggies another tough customer in SEC West.
Kyle Field is undergoing a face lift and the players already love the changes, especially to the locker room. It's a beautiful state of the art facility which will help recruiting but Sumlin understands results are more important than shiny new toys.
Sophomore Kenny Hill will be the man under center to start the season. Hill beat out Kyle Allen in the offseason quarterback competition. With Manziel there the past two years, Hill didn't get much of a chance to show off his stuff during the game.
But the way he has prepared during camp has been impressive.
Hill won't go at it alone and he has one of the best offensive linemen in the country protecting him in Cedric Ogbuehi. Overall, four starters return along the offensive line.
At running back, Tra Carson, Trey Williams and Brandon Williams will all take part in a running back by committee. Trey Williams was the leading rusher of the group in 2013 with 407, but all of them fit Sumlin's scheme well.
At receiver, top recruit Speedy Noil should be able to step right in as a freshman and do some damage in the spread offense. The Aggies do lose Mike Evans, but Ricky Seals Jones returns after a season ending injury. Combine those two with Malcolm Kennedy and Texas A&M will be slinging it around again in 2014.
The defense was once again a nightmare for the Aggies but there is reason for optimism this year. College Station is anxious to see what freshman Myles Garrett brings to the table at defensive end. He is a physical freak for his age and is expected to be force in his first SEC season.
Linebacker Darian Claiborne was supposed to be an anchor of the unit, but he along with Isaiah Golden was dismissed from the program earlier this year. The Aggies now turn to sophomore Jordan Mastrogiovanni to lead the way despite only having 26 tackles a year ago.
The secondary has plenty of experience, not it's all about playing up to their potential in the SEC. Senior Deshazor Everett shouldn't have a problem building on his 73 tackles season and two senior safeties will definitely be huge factors.
Texas A&M opens the year with their first meeting against South Carolina in front of a primetime audience on the SEC Network on Thursday, August 28th. They get Missouri and LSU at home to end the season but before then, two tough road games at Alabama and Auburn.
Texas A&M's 2013 Schedule
08/28 at South Carolina*
09/06 vs. Lamar
00/13 vs. Rice
09/20 at SMU
09/27 vs. Arkansas (Cowboys Stadium – Arlington, TX)*
10/04 at Mississippi State*
10/11 vs. Ole Miss*
10/18 at Alabama*
11/01 vs. Louisiana-Monroe
11/08 at Auburn*
11/15 vs. Missouri*
11/27 vs. LSU*