Even when Johnny Football and his Texas A&M Aggies lose, they make things exciting.
A&M will try to bounce back with a victory when it hooks up with SMU, an old Southwest Conference rival, Saturday night in College Station. Sportsbooks have given the Mustangs a 28-point head start in this game, according to OddsShark.com.
The total for over-under wagering was sky-high 78, one of the biggest totals of the year so far.
Texas A&M opened this season with a 52-31 win over Rice, but couldn't cover as 28-point favorites. The Aggies then ripped FCS Sam Houston State 65-28, covering at -35. Last week they fell to the Tide 49-42.
The Aggies led that game early 14-0, then allowed Alabama to score the next 35 points. Later, down by 21, A&M scored two touchdowns, the second in “oh, by the way” fashion with 15 seconds to go, to come away with a back-door cover as 9-point home dogs.
Aggies QB Johnny Manziel, despite all the off-field hubbub, has been his usual crazy self on the field, hitting on 71 percent of his passes for 960 yards and 11 touchdowns. His rushing numbers are down a bit, gaining just 153 yards on the ground.
His elusiveness from the pass rush was evident again in a couple of big plays against Alabama.
SMU, meanwhile, in its sixth season under head coach June Jones, opened with a 41-23 loss to Texas Tech, then had to come from behind to beat FCS Montana State 31-30, getting the winning score with 12 seconds to go.
The 'Stangs couldn't cover as 4-point home dogs against the Red Raiders and came nowhere near covering as 10-point favorites against the Bobcats. SMU had last week off.
Mustangs senior QB Garrett Gilbert, who performed admirably for Texas in the 2009 national championship game and started 11 times for the Longhorns in 2010 before transferring to SMU, has completed 69 percent of his throws this year for 705 yards.
He has just one touchdown pass, the game-winner last week against Montana State.
These two former conference rivals have met the last two seasons, A&M winning both games by scores of 46-14 and 48-3. On top of that, Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin, when he was head man at Houston, beat the Mustangs four times in a row.
Saturday's fireworks from Kyle Field will be televised by ESPNU, beginning at 7 p.m. ET.
Computer Prediction: 55-29 Texas A&M (via Odds Shark college football picks computer)