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Aggies ranked No. 18 in ESPN Power Rankings

August 11, 2014
 | 
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)

Coming off a 9-4 season and a Chick-fil-A Bowl victory, the Texas A&M football team enters the 2014 season ranked No. 18 in the ESPN Top 25 Power Rankings.

The Aggies, who started fall camp on Aug. 1, are less than three weeks away from a nationally-televised season-opening clash with South Carolina on Thursday, Aug. 28 in Columbia, S.C. The first-ever matchup between the two schools, the Aggies and Gamecocks will battle in the first-ever college football game on the SEC Network, which debuts on Thursday, Aug. 14.

The ESPN Power Rankings included seven teams from the Southeastern Conference: No. 2 Alabama, No. 5 Auburn, No. 9 South Carolina, No. 12 Georgia, No. 13 LSU, No. 18 Texas A&M and No. 19 Ole Miss, five of which are on the Aggies’ 2014 schedule. Texas A&M has never played more than four top 25-ranked conference opponents in a single season.

Texas A&M returns 11 starters (five on offense and six on defense) and 51 total letterwinners from last year’s squad that posted a 9-4 record and finished the year ranked No. 18 in the Coaches and Associated Press polls. The Aggies’ 51 returning lettermen (22 offense/22 defense/7 special teams) are the second-most in school history.

ESPN arrived at its Power Rankings using a 13-member expert panel combined with its Football Power Index. The Football Power Index predicts and ranks team strength based on expected points added from offense, defense and special teams, adjusted for opponent strength. Using preseason FPI, ESPN Stats & Information has projected each team's chances of winning each game on its schedule based on the difference between the two teams' FPIs, game site and game type.

ESPN’s Top 25 voter’s panel includes:

Colin Cowherd, ESPN Radio/TV

Butch Davis, ESPN analyst

Heather Dinich, ESPN reporter

Brad Edwards, ESPN Research

Chris Fallica, ESPN Research

Rod Gilmore, ESPN analyst

Desmond Howard, ESPN analyst

Danny Kanell, ESPN analyst

Ivan Maisel, ESPN reporter

David Pollack, ESPN analyst

Mark Schlabach, ESPN reporter

Scott Van Pelt, ESPN Radio/TV

Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN reporter

ESPN Top 25 Power Rankings

1.      Florida State

2.      Alabama

3.      Oklahoma

4.      Oregon

5.      Auburn

6.      Ohio State

7.      Michigan State

8.      UCLA

9.      South Carolina

10.   Stanford

11.   Baylor

12.   Georgia

13.   LSU

14.   USC

15.   Notre Dame

16.   Clemson

17.   Wisconsin

18.   Texas A&M

19.   Ole Miss

20.   Washington

21.   North Carolina

22.   Nebraska

23.   UCF

24.   Texas

25.   TCU

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