In a column that should bring a smile to a few Alabama fans, the Dallas Morning News’ Kevin Sherrington doesn’t quite call for the firing of Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione (above), but you don’t get the impression he’ll object too loudly if it happens, either.

He’s nearly three years into his dream job, working under a deal that pays him $2 million a year through 2012, and what have the Aggies gotten for their money?

A 16-16 record. And it doesn’t look like the returns will be any better any time soon.

The Aggies are on the road against Tech and Oklahoma and finish at home against Texas, a bitter rival making an emphatic case for the Rose Bowl.

Chances are good A&M ends up 5-6. And that’d make two losing seasons in Franchione’s first three.

A little perspective: R.C. Slocum coached 14 seasons at A&M and never had a losing record.

Sure, injuries hurt. Eleven players have had their seasons cut short. But the Aggies haven’t been good at times even with a full deck, since the opener, when Franchione set the tone for a disappointing season by passing up a two-point conversion and allowing Clemson’s comeback.

Comparisons don’t help. Two years ago, you couldn’t find too many critics who’d say Vince Young was playing better than Reggie McNeal. Even as late as last season, McNeal had his partisans.

But now? Turned loose by his coaches, Young has infused his team with confidence and enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, McNeal, the most talented A&M QB since Kevin Murray, looks as lost as his revolving set of receivers.

Bottom line: McNeal’s not the same. And offense is the Aggies’ high point. The defense, an A&M trademark for more than 30 years, is in shambles.