Johnny Manziel's chances to bounce back

Johnny Manziel turned in the worst performance of his college career against LSU. Crystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY Sports

The presumption heading into last week's Texas A&M-LSU game was that, in the course of three-and-a-half hours, QB Johnny Manziel could get back in the Heisman race and maybe even become the pre-eminent favorite for the second consecutive November.

And why wouldn’t we expect that? It’s not as if we had seen Manziel struggle. Not for a while, anyway. And never as badly as he did at LSU in a decisive 34-10 loss.

I spent time with Manziel and the A&M program during the bye week before the LSU game, which turned out to be his worst college performance. Team officials joked afterward that I might not be invited back to College Station. (It was a joke -- right, fellas?)

Following are some stories from that access, as a way of examining what it is that has made Manziel and the Texas A&M offense so successful these last two seasons, what went wrong versus LSU, and whether (with the Heisman race still wide open) Manziel can bounce back and lead the Aggies to a win at No. 5 Missouri on Saturday night, ruining the Tigers’ SEC title hopes in the process.