Texas A&M and Louisiana Tech were supposed to meet to open the season, when neither team was ranked in the Top 25.
On Saturday in Shreveport, La., when the Aggies and Bulldogs play their game that was postponed on Aug. 30 because of Hurricane Isaac, both teams are ranked and ready to move up.
For No. 22 A&M (4-1), freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel has become a breakout star who leads one of the nation's top offenses. No. 23 Louisiana Tech (5-0), meanwhile, has earned a national ranking for the first time since 1999 thanks to its best start since 1975.
The Bulldogs are looking for their first win over the Aggies after losing all 10 games in the series.
"I see a better team," Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin said when asked to compare Louisiana Tech from the first time they were scheduled to play until now. "They are not going to be intimidated by us one bit and they shouldn't be ... they've played in big football games and this is a chance for them to make a statement on national TV so we are going to get their best shot."
Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Dykes has worked to keep his team, which has a nation-best 12-game regular-season winning streak, from looking ahead to the Aggies. Now that it's here, he thinks the Bulldogs are ready for the challenge.
"Our guys have some confidence and we know what is ahead of us Saturday and I do not think any of us are afraid of Texas A&M," Dykes said. "We understand we are going to have to play well, but that is in our hands."
It's likely to be a shootout with these teams combining to average more than 1,000 yards of offense a game.
Louisiana Tech knows the experience Manziel has gained in A&M's five games, including three against Southeastern Conference opponents, will make him — and the rest of the team — much more difficult to deal with.
"The negative is we are not catching them early," Dykes said. "They are playing well and executing well. They are settled in their quarterback position. They are just a football team that has a lot of confidence right now."