25. Texas A&M Aggies
Last year: 8–5 (4–4 SEC); Lost to Kansas State in Texas Bowl
SI Top 100 players: Two (S Armani Watts, WR Christian Kirk)
Player you need to know: Junior wide receiver Christian Kirk may be Texas A&M’s most dangerous offensive weapon, but sophomore running back Trayveon Williams is its most valuable piece on that side of the ball. The former four-star recruit had no issues transitioning from the Texas high school ranks to the SEC as a true freshman last season: He rushed for 1,057 yards on 6.78 yards per carry with eight touchdowns. At 5' 9", 200 pounds, Williams is shifty and explosive. With questions at quarterback, the Aggies won’t hesitate to let Williams do the heavy lifting on offense. A sophomore leap seems like a realistic possibility.
Path to the playoff: The SEC West is an unforgiving beast, and A&M probably won’t get through it without at least a couple of losses. The Aggies do host Alabama (Oct. 7), but a late trip to LSU (Nov. 25) is daunting, as is a tricky non-conference matchup at UCLA (Sept. 3) to open the season.