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Counting Down The 5 Most Important Players For The Alabama vs. Texas A&M Game

No. 1 might surprise you.

College football fans are only two days away from the salivating rematch of Alabama and Texas A&M in College Station. Last year, the Johnny Manziel-led Aggies quickly started with a 20-point lead, and Alabama was never quite able to catch up. This year, the Crimson Tide is out for vengeance, but it won't be easy doing it on the road.

I'm counting down the five most crucial players on either side for Saturday's afternoon matchup.

5) Jake Matthews - Matthews may be the most overlooked player in college football, simply because he is overshadowed by media magnet Johnny Football. I attribute a good percentage of Manziel's 2012 success to his stellar offensive line, led by current Jacksonville Jaguar Luke Joeckel and Matthews. Moving from right tackle to left this season has proven so far to be effective, but against a stellar Crimson Tide defense, he will have to step up his game and protect Manziel's blind side.

4) Alabama Offensive Line - All of us know that Alabama's line looked underwhelming against Virginia Tech two weeks ago, specifically the interior. Although Virginia Tech's front seven was noticeably better than A&M's, a bad offensive line never produces good results. We will have to see if Nick Saban has lit a fire underneath the linemen at practice since then, because if they play the way they did against Tech, Alabama virtually has no shot of winning.

3) AJ McCarron - The definitive leader of the Crimson Tide has to play a heck of a lot better in College Station than he did in Atlanta. Granted, the offensive line played poorly, but McCarron absolutely has to step up. A&M's defense did give up 28 points to both Rice and Sam Houston State, so the offense shouldn't have that big of an issue scoring. As always, that's easier said than done, however, and AJ will need to put up decent numbers to rival Johnny Manziel's.

2) Johnny Manziel - Woah, woah, woah. Slow down readers; there's a reason I don't have Johnny Football at number one. Manziel is obviously the most important player for A&M, as his performance always has and will continue to dictate the outcome for the team. If he plays as well or better than he did last year in Tuscaloosa, A&M probably has the advantage and likes its chances to win this game.

(Drum roll please.......)

1) C.J. Mosley - Alas, C.J. Mosley is the most important player in this game -- he is the key to containing Johnny Football. He managed 14 tackles and a sack in last year's meeting, and he will need to do more of the same on Saturday. Mosley is the leader of the defense, and Alabama has to keep Manziel in check to have a chance. As a future top-10 NFL draft pick, Mosley needs to lead the defense and try to hold Texas A&M to 21 points or less.