Kevin Sumlin’s tenure at Texas A&M started brilliantly: 11-2 in his first season with Johnny Manziel and Mike Evans, and the Aggies finished the season 5th in the country. Expectations grew, but A&M slipped a bit to 9-4 in year two. And Sumlin never got to nine wins again.
After six years in College Station, Sumlin was fired. He never had a losing season. This is the problem with the SEC. Sumlin was never worse than 7-5, but that’s not good enough to delusional fans when Nick Saban is a few hundred miles away going to the playoff every year.
I love how Texas A&M thinks it is some kind of national power. Sure, R.C. Slocum had a nice run in the 80s with several Top 10 finishes, but that was playing in the SWC. When they stepped up in class into the Big 12, they had 0 Top 10 finishes in 16 years (and three different head coaches).
The SEC is much more difficult than either conference. Good luck, Aggies.
Less than 24 hours after Sumlin was canned, he was immediately snapped up by Arizona State, according to a report:
What a victory that would be for the Sun Devils. It’s a no-pressure spot where Sumlin should be able to recruit talented West Coast athletes to fit his offensive-minded system.
[UPDATE: Bruce Feldman says not so fast on Sumlin to Tempe.]
Why is there no pressure on Sumlin in Tempe? Because he’ll start the season as maybe the 7th best coach in the conference: Chris Petersen (Washington), Chip Kelly (UCLA), David Shaw (Stanford), and Kyle Whittingham (Utah) are clearly the Top 4. Even the next tier of coaches has guys like Justin Wilcox (California), Mike Leach (Washington State), Willie Taggart (Oregon) and Rich Rodriguez (Arizona).
The SEC can’t come close to touching that depth.