Texas A&M football: Unranked Aggies are favored over No. 8 LSU

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

Texas A&M football hasn’t beaten LSU since joining the SEC in 2012, but that didn’t stop oddsmakers from favoring the Aggies.

This is rivalry week in college football. For Texas A&M football fans, that used to mean playing Texas. Now that the university has joined the SEC, the conference saw fit to move the LSU game to Thanksgiving week, bringing back memories of the old Southwest Conference rivalry for older fans.

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It might not feel like it for the new generation, but these teams have met a great number of times and have a history worthy of most rivalries in the SEC. In the 56 total meetings, LSU leads the series 33-20-3, winning each of the last seven matchups going back to 2011.

LSU has been among the elite programs in college football over the last 20 years. They won two national titles in 2003 and 2007 and appeared in another in 2011. Les Miles was the head coach for much of this run, but was fired in the middle of the 2016 season. Ed Orgeron took over and was eventually named the permanent head coach.

It was widely speculated current Aggies head coach Jimbo Fisher would have taken the LSU job if offered.

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Orgeon has done a great job with the Tigers. They went 9-4 in his first full season and are currently No. 8 in both polls with a 9-2 record. LSU has beaten four top 10 teams this season, including a shellacking of current No. 5 Georgia.

Despite all of this success, the Aggies are currently favored to beat LSU. The line opened between -1 and -2, and is actually moving in favor of the Aggies. It went from -2 to -2.5 on Odds Shark.

So what could the oddsmakers be thinking? For one, Texas A&M actually has a run defense this season. This wasn’t the case in any of the previous seven matchups against LSU. They have the ability to make the Tigers one dimensional and put the game in the hands of Joe Burrow.

We’ve seen this movie before. A&M was supposed to have it good against Mississippi State and Auburn, which both feature the running game as well, but Nick Fitzgerald and Jarrett Stidham carved up the Aggies porous pass defense.

There are reasons to believe that won’t happen with Burrow. Fitzgerald has killed the Aggies in his career — he went into that game with a ton of confidence despite struggling in conference play. Stidham also had success against the Aggies last year, and he struggled for most of this year’s game until Kellen Mond shifted momentum with a late red zone interception.

Burrow isn’t nearly the quarterback these two are. Mike Elko doesn’t have as much to fear and they should be able to make enough plays to keep the LSU offense out of the end zone.

Still, LSU’s defense will keep them in the game. They are an elite unit and Mond will have to take care of the ball or it will be a long night.

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There is a path to victory for the Aggies, but it’s still strange to see them favored as the unranked team facing a Top 10 team. Hopefully they come out with the same intensity as if they were underdogs and play with a chip on their shoulder.

Jeff Shull is the Site Expert for the Gig Em Gazette on FanSided. Follow him on Twitter, and be sure to follow the Gig Em Gazette on Facebook and Twitter.