For a senior-laden team that started in the top 10, bowl eligibility was supposed to be a mere formality. But sitting at 5-5 with only two games left in their final Big 12 season, Texas A&M needs a win over the Kansas Jayhawks to ensure a bowl berth.
They couldn't have picked a better opponent, as Kansas has lost eight straight games while winning only one Big 12 game in Turner Gill's first two years in Lawrence.
That's why the odds makers have installed the Aggies as -30.5 home favorites despite their inability to close out games in the second half. The Jayhawks were surprisingly frisky last week, losing to Baylor 31-30 in OT, but for most of the season they haven't even been close enough in the second half to even consider mounting a comeback.
Kansas gives up 44.0 points a game, 120th in college football and only scores 25.1, 76th in college football.
Texas A&M, meanwhile, has to ignore the hypotheticals that hang over their season. Of their five losses, only one, a road game at Oklahoma, wasn't competitive.
They blew second half-leads against No. 2 Oklahoma State and No. 6 Arkansas, two teams still in the thick of the national title race, and then lost heart-breaking overtime games to Missouri and No. 13 Kansas State.
Their offense, led by the senior trio of QB Ryan Tannehill, RB Cyrus Gray and WR Jeff Fuller, hasn't been the problem, as the Aggies have scored 38.9 points a game, 12th best in the nation. The defense, who never recovered from losing No. 2 overall pick Von Miller, just hasn't been able to hold on to leads.
If they want to head into what could be their last Thanksgiving game against Texas in a long time playing for more than just pride, they'll need to take care of business against the Jayhawks on Saturday.
The game will be televised regionally on Fox Sports Net at 11:00 AM.