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Bowl Picks: 2016 Texas Bowl, Texas A&M vs. Kansas State

[lead align=”default”]I hope you’re not bowled over today, which is another way of saying sick of bowls, because we’re picking the 2016 Texas Bowl.[/lead]

In this game, it’s the Texas A&M Aggies against the Kansas State Wildcats in an old Big 12 battle. The Aggies, of course, left the Big 12 for the big time, the SEC West. Meanwhile, K-State is arguably the fourth-best team in their conference right now.

As for Texas A&M, how the mighty have fallen. In the first College Football Playoff rankings, the Aggies were in. Now, they’re very far out. A&M was 6-0 going into the Alabama game, after having just beaten Tennessee in one of the year’s most thrilling games. Losing to Bama didn’t quite do them in, but losing to Mississippi State on November 5 did. The other Mississippi school drove in the last nail for good measure.

The Fightin’ Bill Snyders never had a playoff push, though they got better as the season progressed. K-State opened with a loss to Stanford and was 3-3 through the Oklahoma game, but won five of their last six to secure their bowl bid.

We know Trevor Knight can sling it, but the numbers themselves haven’t told a great story. He only completed 52 percent of his passes this season, with just one 300-yard game. He’s not the worst, but not the best, either. Yet, Knight does run the ball, and that adds some value to him and Kevin Sumlin’s whole team.

K-State gets their credibility on the backs of their defense, which is particularly good against the run. A&M’s offense has been fine overall running the ball, but their rush yardage declined precipitously from September to November.

2016 Texas Bowl: Team Backgrounds

Texas A&M Aggies
Southeastern Conference
8-4 (4-4 SEC)
38th bowl appearance in school history (17-20)
Best win: vs. Tennessee, 45-38 (2OT) on October 8
Worst loss: at Mississippi State, 35-28 on November 5
One stat: 90th in FBS in total defense (444.2 ypg)

Kansas State Wildcats
Big 12 Conference
8-4 (6-3 Big 12)
20th bowl appearance in school history (7-12)
Best win: at Baylor, 42-21 on November 19
Worst loss: vs. Oklahoma, 38-17 on October 15
One stat: 11th-best run defense in FBS (112.58 ypg)

2016 Texas Bowl: The Edge

Texas A&M is probably a better team than K-State, but not by a whole lot. K-State grinds teams down with their defense, and A&M was winning games on offense. They’re not winning so much now. I probably should take the Aggies but I’m just not feeling it.

2016 Texas Bowl: Pick

[header text=”Through 12-26-16 Bowls ATS” subtext=”43-53-2″]

[alert heading=”Texas A&M (-2.5) vs. Kansas State” type=”alert-info” block=”false” close=”false”]Kansas State +2.5[/alert]

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