5-6 overall, 3-5 conference, 4th Big 12 South
Against the spread
4-6 (3-2 home, 1-4 away, 4-4 grass)
7-2-1 (3-1-1 home, 4-1 away, 5-2-1 grass)
+.45 per game
2005 Season Summary
It took head coach Dennis Franchione just two seasons to raise the level of expectations at Texas A&M from just hoping for a winning season to climbing all the way to the top of the Big 12 South division. Franchione’s first team in 2003 went a disappointing 4-8 straight up and 2-10 against the spread but that was written off as a rebuilding season in which the Aggies were learning the system and ways of their new coach. In 2004, Texas A&M improved to 7-5 both straight up and against the spread which included a Cotton Bowl loss to Tennessee.
Causes for concern
Franchione was reeling in highly touted recruiting classes to College Station and had redshirted most of that talent which meant that the Aggies were stockpiling for a title run. While the public vibes were excellent, the fact remained that there were some causes for concern at Aggieland, however. Texas A&M, despite their improved record, lost to “church school” Baylor in a major upset and had blown big leads throughout their game against Oklahoma, as well as being outscored 20-0 in the second half in their rivalry game against Texas. All of that was capped off by a “not ready for prime time” 7-38 blowout loss to Tennessee in the Cotton Bowl. So while the Aggies appeared improved they also had a long way to go before reality-matched expectations.
Opened up in trouble
Texas A&M opened their season with a Saturday Night TV game at Clemson against a Tigers team that they upset in 2004, which was the springboard to their comeback season. Despite being a notoriously tough venue to play in, A&M was installed as a 2.5-point chalk and proved unworthy in a 24-25 loss as the Aggies opened up in trouble for 2005. The home opener was a brief respite that took the fans’ minds off of the Clemson loss as the Aggies clobbered SMU 66-8 as 28-point chalks. Once again and for the last time, Texas A&M looked like a powerhouse that would be in the thick of the Big 12 South race.
Texas A&M next hosted 1-AA Texas State in a game that was pushed ahead from Saturday to Thursday night due to the threat of hurricanes. A&M won by just a 44-31 margin, which was an alarming win in the sense that powerhouse programs are to blowout 1-AA competition. The game could not just be explained away by it being a schedule change. As it turned out this game that was not on the betting boards was a portent of things to come.
The Aggies next hosted Baylor in a highly touted revenge matchup. Everyone seemed to ignore the fact that Baylor was improving under Guy Morriss and was playing solid football, operating under the assumption that A&M would have their way with the Bears in revenge. As it turned out, A&M was a –23.5-point revenge overlay in a 16-13 squeaker of a win. At Colorado the following week as a 3-point dog, the Aggies were blown off the field in a 20-41 loss.
Calm before the storm
A&M came home to face rebuilding Oklahoma State and took a 62-23 win as 20.5-point chalks to improve to 4-2 straight up and 2-3 against the spread to reach the high point of the season and the calm before the storm. At Kansas State the following week, A&M escaped with a 30-28 win as 5.5-point chalks.
A&M came home to host Iowa State as an 11.5-point chalk and was shocked on their home field in a 14-42 loss that proved once and for all that this team was in over its head as a touted contender. This was followed up with a most discouraging 17-56 loss at Texas Tech as 13.5-point dogs for their third straight loss against the spread and completion of a free fall vs. the line.
Bargain value vs. toughest foes
A&M suffered the indignity of being a double-digit-dog against its two most challenging opponents, Oklahoma and Texas. They lost 30-36 as 13-point dogs at OU and then as a whopping 28-point home dog against Texas, failed 29-40 to end the year as a bargain value vs. their toughest foes.