The SEC West looks loaded heading into the 2015 season. Most of the debate this offseason has been in regards to whether it's Alabama or Auburn that's the best team in the conference, but that has left several very good teams -- teams good enough to be ranked in the preseason polls -- garnering little attention in terms of national title talk.
But Sports Illustrated sees another SEC West team as a potential College Football Playoff contender: Texas A&M. The magazine this week named A&M its top "dark horse" candidate for the four-team playoff, even in a division that has the looks of a juggernaut.
Sports Illustrated cited quarterback Kyle Allen's year of experience, five-star challenger Kyler Murray's potential, "the SEC's best group of receivers" and a defense that, after a few rough years, is expected to make big strides this season under new defensive coordinator John Chavis, who was pried away from LSU.
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The schedule isn't terrible either, considering the difficulty of the division, with the Aggies playing only three true road games and getting both Alabama and Auburn at home.
Granted, a lot of things would need to go right for A&M to find its way into the four-team playoff field a year after going 3-5 in the SEC and losing 59-0 to Alabama, but at least one media outlet sees it as a legitimate possibility.