Yeah, we’re gonna get another hour or two or three or ten of Johnny Manziel this and Johnny Manziel that. Then he’ll finally touch the football against Rice, sometime around 2 p.m. on Saturday (the game itself, Rice at Texas A&M, kicks off at noon).

But before that, Texas Tech and SMU begin the college football season Friday night (though it apparently got underway on Thursday in odd places like Hawaii, and one of the Carolinas).

A few predictions, for both the season and the weekend, some more serious than others.

Texas A&M will beat Alabama

I did not think to this be the case last week. I did not think this to be the case last month. I did not think this to be the case in April. I did not think this to be the case in February.

Because ‘Bama wants revenge, as we learned in mid-July:

But also, the Aggies aren’t as good without offensive tackle Luke Joeckel and several players from last year’s defense. The fact that the game’s in September rather than November favors the more veteran program. Plus everybody in the SEC is now more ready for Kevin Sumlin and Johnny Football and blah blah blah blah rammer jammer ball peen hammer.

But now? After the summer Johnny Manziel had? After the NCAA drama and anti-climax? You expect me to count Johnny Football (TM) out when he has even more to prove? Or count out the 12th Man at Kyle Field, which was already going to host the biggest game in College Station history, and will now be even more hyped?

Not me. Of course A&M is gonna beat the Crimson Tide again. They’ve got Superman!

The University of Texas will have a better season than the Aggies

Just kidding.

Seriously, I didn’t do this for the headline. It was what I’d planned to write. It’s not even a controversial opinion: the bowl projectors at both ESPN and SI have the Horns going to a BCS game while A&M settles for the Outback or Chik-Fil-A. And people also think the Horns will take care of a not-great OU team this year. 

But then I changed my mind about the Aggies beating ‘Bama. If that happens, there’s no way they’ll lose more than two games (and even then, maybe not until the SEC championship).

And until UT actually beats Oklahoma, I’m not ready to declare that they’ll go 10-2: BYU, TCU, Oklahoma State and Baylor all loom as potential losses.

I think the Horns can still get it done, but 9-3 is just as possible as 11-1.

Lache Seastrunk won’t be in New York for the Heisman Trophy presentation

The controversial Baylor running back, a transfer from the University of Oregon, has previously promised he would win the trophy. But running backs don’t win the Heisman anymore, and Baylor’s early schedule is so weak he’ll never gain momentum. One year after RGIII’s win, and one year before its move to a new stadium, the Bears are playing Wofford (a private Methodist school with 1600 students), Buffalo and Louisiana-Monroe.

And, at least for now, the non-conference slate in 2014 and 2015 isn’t much better. Bears fans are understandably tired of the college football conversation in the state of Texas being all UT and A&M (especially having out-performed both schools in 2011*). But TCU is playing LSU this weekend. And Texas Tech plays Arkansas next year. To take advantage of the national stage that RGIII and coach Art Briles brought to Waco, Baylor needs to get itself a non-Big 12 game fans of other schools might actually want to watch.

The Rice MOB should still take on Johnny Football

Sadly Rice’s musical jokesters were never scheduled to visit College Station Saturday. But can you be the country’s most topical and scathing band and not take on the biggest college football story in Texas?

If they don’t work Manziel into the September 14 halftime against Kansas, how about on the road at the Alamodome against UTSA? That’s close enough to Manziel’s high school home of Kerrville.

Besides, what else are they gonna do, Larry Coker jokes? A Castro brothers gag? Doug Sahm covers?

(Yes, they should also do Doug Sahm covers.)

Houston won’t lose to Southern

Yup, UH lost to an FCS team last year. Which is exactly why the Cougars will be ready for the Jaguars at Reliant.

SMU will beat Texas Tech

The Raiders have a rookie coach, even if he is Kliff Kingsbury, and, reportedly, a walk-on true freshman starting QB.

SMU has a grizzled coach (June Jones), a semi-legendary new offensive coordinator (Hal Mumme) and a much-maligned QB who once played nearly all of a BCS championship game against Alabama (remember him?). SMU also looked great in its bowl last year, and the game’s in University Park.

The Mustangs aren’t favored. Ford Stadium’s first-ever sell-out (really?) is almost surely due to fans from Lubbock. But SMU has got to win this game if they intend to have a decent season

And so does Tech, of course.

Rice will be up 10-7 on the Ags at halftime

Much better story that way. I mean, if A&M leads 35-0, isn’t it bad sportsmanship to even put in JFF for the third quarter?

TCU fans will be outnumbered in Arlington

No shame in it: it’s just a numbers game. And LSU fans travel crazy. But it’s too bad: the 20th-ranked Horned Frogs have a real shot against the 12th-ranked Tigers, and home-field could have helped. Instead, they’ll lose in overtime.

I won’t watch UT play on Saturday

Was seriously planning to stay home and flip between the Horns and TCU. But, y’know: Longhorn Network. (Though let me tell you, if I could switch from Time Warner to AT&T or Grande, oh, how I would! And not because of football.)

Update: Time-Warner, Longhorn Network reach deal. (I’m still not taking back that second sentence though).

Baylor will cover the spread against Wofford

It’s as high as 30.5 points, depending on the source. Here’s an in-depth breakdown of this match-up. 

Also playing:

Idaho at North Texas, Texas State at Southern Miss, UTSA at New Mexico. 

(AP Photo/Eric Gay)


*(correction in comments below.)