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UTEP Football: Look Ahead to Texas A&M as Manziel Investigation Continues

The Miners are three weeks away from their season opener against the New Mexico Lobos, and as they get ready for that first opponent, the investigation into the starting quarterback for their 8th opponent continues.

Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Unquestionably, the most exciting match-up this season for the Miners and Miner fans is their game AT College Station. After all, it's not every week during the season that a Conference USA team gets to go head-to-head against a power-conference school, or an SEC school for that matter. In week 9, the Miners will do exactly that.

However, dominating recent news, is the story concerning Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, and the investigation into his participating in multiple autograph sessions, allegedly for profit. It has been proven that Manziel did, in fact, participate in those signings, but it is questionable whether or not he actually profited from them.

A similar situation in 2010 was the scandal at Ohio State involving quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Pryor was suspended for the first five games of the season for improper benefits from sales of memorabilia.

If Manziel is found guilty of improper benefits, he could face a similar fate, and could perhaps be sitting out when the Miners face the Aggies. The true competition for the Miners would come if Manziel was ruled eligible to play. But in the case that he does not, the Miners could have a good chance at stopping the SEC's top offense of last season, which averaged about 560 yards per game.

For the Miners, anything this season is possible under new head coach Sean Kugler. Junior quarterback Jameill Showers, interestingly, is a former Aggie, and backed up Manziel a year ago. If not for his transfer to UTEP, he could have possibly been under center for the Aggies November 2nd. reported that Showers demonstrated a strong performance during the UTEP football camp in Alpine, going 9 for 15 and passing for 150 yards in their camp scrimmage. Other quarterbacks taking reps in the scrimmage include Mack Leftwich, Blaire Sullivan, and Garrett Simpson.

Now while it's not guaranteed that Manziel will be ineligible for the UTEP game, or any game at that, we can consider the interesting possibility of it. As the investigation is still up in the air, the Miners work to prepare for that match-up, whether or not Manziel takes the field.