The shootout at the end of the season in the Lone Star State nearly always favored the Texas Longhorns. However, this year is significantly different, as the Texas A&M Aggies hold the bigger gun in this fight, and they can take a real chunk out of the Texas football program with a win in Austin on Thanksgiving night.
The Aggies really just didn’t get quite enough oomph this year to be able to win the Big XII South, as they probably made the switch from QB Jerrod Johnson to QB Ryan Tannehill too late to save the campaign. Still, finishing with a Top 15 ranking in the nation is still a distinct possibility, as is a ten win season if it can win here and in a bowl game. Tannehill has led this offense to four fantastic games since coming into the fold, as he has really dominated even some of the best that the Big XII has to offer. Though he wasn’t dominant last week against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, it was the defense that stood tall, keeping Big Red out of the end zone in its biggest performance of the campaign. Tannehill has thrown for 1,306 yards and has a 10/3 TD/INT ratio in just five outings this year. RB Cyrus Gray has done a great job taking over for the injured RB Christine Michael. Gray has rumbled for 810 yards and ten TDs this season. Keep a close eye on WR Jeff Fuller as well. He is at 959 yards and 11 TDs this year, and he can reach the 1,000 yard barrier relatively quickly in this game.
It’s not often that you see a team ranked in the Top 5 in the nation at one point over the course of this season not make a bowl game. It’s even rarer to see a team playing for its life on Thanksgiving weekend a year after playing for the BCS Championship. However, that’s where Texas is right now, and this NCAA football betting affair is absolutely pivotal. A win would salvage a bowl appearance, as you know that there is no way that a bowl game is passing on the Longhorns that normally gets a team like the Iowa State Cyclones or Kansas State Wildcats. The problem here is that playing at home hasn’t been fun in conference play. The Horns already have losses to the Cyclones, the Baylor Bears, and the Oklahoma State Cowboys here, and they could drop yet another home game to finish the season winless in conference play in Austin for the first time in the HC Mack Brown era. QB Garrett Gilbert badly needs to improve his game, as it is clear that he is the key to victory. Gilbert has failed miserably in his second season in Austin, throwing for just 2,525 yards with more INTs than TDs.
Though we have a feeling that the Aggies are going to find a way to pull this one out, we’d feel a heck of a lot more comfortable taking Texas and points at home than we would be laying anything on the road in this series. A&M might find a way to win a squeaker, but we are still taking the college football odds given to us by the oddsmakers with the hosts.
College Football Free Pick: Texas Longhorns +3.5