Prepping for SEC title game, LSU faces struggling Texas A&M

LSU has exceeded expectations as much as any team in the country.Texas A&M has fallen as far short of expectations as any team in the country.The two surprising teams will conclude the regular season against one another Saturday night in College Station, Texas.The No. 5 Tigers (9-2, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) have more football ahead of them, facing No. 1 Georgia in the SEC Championship on Dec. 3, then moving on to a major bowl game or perhaps even the College Football Playoff.The Aggies (4-7, 1-6) were No. 6 in the AP preseason poll after landing a historically high-ranked recruiting class but have lost their last six SEC games.”This is as arguably as talented a football team as we’ll see all year,” LSU coach Brian Kelly said. “They’re young in some areas, but it doesn’t take away from the talent that they have on the field. … Certainly this is their game. Last one that they play this year again LSU, their rival, they’ll play their absolute best against us, and we’ll have to meet and exceed our play.”The Tigers took the lead in the SEC West when they upset Alabama 32-31 in overtime on Nov. 5. They clinched the division a week later despite not playing their best in a 13-10 win at Arkansas. They bounced back with a strong performance in a 41-10 rout of UAB last Saturday.”The UAB game might not have been as important to other people outside of the walls, but inside the walls that was a huge game for us. In terms of, you know, doing our job, the way the job needs to be done,” Kelly said. “The wins have been nice, the individual achievements have been really neat, the SEC West championship, but I’m most proud of the mental toughness that this group has shown.”The Aggies nearly upset Alabama on the road before losing 24-20 on Oct. 8, but their only win since September was a lackluster 20-3 victory against Massachusetts last Saturday.