Now that Kevin Sumlin is out at A&M, a look at who could potentially become the next coach in College Station

Kevin Sumlin is out at A&M. Who will be next? Bob Levey/Getty Images

Kevin Sumlin was fired as head coach of Texas A&M after six seasons, opening up one of the most appealing jobs in the region. 

Sumlin started off his A&M career with a bang, going 11-2 and winning the Cotton Bowl. He went 9-4 in his second season, but the post-Johnny Manziel era resulted in three straight 8-5 seasons and a 7-5 this year with a bowl game to come. 

He finishes his career at A&M with a 51-26 mark, but only once did he have a winning conference record in the tough SEC West, and that was his first season. He recruited like a fiend, but simply could not compete with the Alabamas, Auburns and LSUs of the world year-in and year-out.  His record against those teams was an abysmal 4-14, including 0-6 against LSU, 1-11 against Alabama and LSU. 

After Saturday's loss to LSU, Sumlin said "You go to sleep at night knowing that things are in a better place than certainly when I got here six years ago." He did accomplish that. But he was being paid to be a top 10 program, compete with the big boys and occasionally make a run at the playoffs. That did not happen. He will get a $10.4 million buyout, and was the 10th-highest paid coach in college football in 2017. Sumlin is a good football coach and will get another oportunity. (Perhaps at Arizona State). Was firing Sumlin the right move? Only time will tell. Things do not always improve with a coaching change. But the expectations at A&M are high -- maybe unrealistic -- and Sumlin did not live up to them over the past four seasons.

So what is next? Several names have been floated all season. The Aggies will be competing with  Tennessee (although it looks like Greg Schiano is the choice there), Mississippi State and Arkansas in the SEC alone. Chip Kelly is already off the market, heading to UCLA. The Florida job was the crown jewel of what was available, but Mississippi State coach and former Florida coordinator Dan Mullen filled that void Sunday. Ole Miss also filled its opening.

There are no guarantees A&M will be better off with a new coach. In fact, things could get worse. But that's the game in college football. This year's silly season might be the silliest yet.

With that in mind, let's take a look at 10 of the names that have already popped up in relation to the A&M job and others. Some of these make little sense and won't happen, and there are some pretty good jobs available that A&M will be competing with for a new coach. (Updated with the Mullen hire; originally he was on this list).

Jimbo Fisher, Florida State

The Seminoles are headed for a 6-6 season after losing their quarterback in the opener. But prior to 2017, Fisher's worst season was a 9-win year in 2011, and he has a national championship on his resume. He built those records in the ACC, which is strong at the top but not nearly as deep as the SEC, so duplicating it at A&M might be hard. Still, he would be a coup. It's seems doubtful he would leave FSU, where he has had tons of success and makes $5.7 per year, especially since he turned down LSU last year. But there is a lot of smoke. Fisher was coy and evasive when asked if he would be at Florida State next season. It would not be a shock if he wound up getting a massive new deal at FSU, or bolting for A&M. Many Aggie insiders believe it is a done deal, but a lot of people at LSU thought the same thing last year. Aggies AD Scott Woodward worked with Fisher at LSU, and they reportedly have a good relationship. This would be the best possible result for the Aggies and a home run hire.

Chad Morris, SMU

The former Clemson OC has probably reached the limit of what he can do at SMU, and he attended A&M, has great ties to the state of Texas and would be a nice fit. Not as sexy as Fisher but would be a solid hire with a lot of upside.

Les Miles, former LSU coach

The Aggies know him well, as he pummeled them five straight seasons. He went 114-34 in 11 years, including a national championship and two SEC titles at LSU before being shown the door. His lack of offensive prowess got him booted at LSU, and might give A&M pause.

Scott Frost, UCF

One of the sexiest names among up and comers, where Frost winds up will set off a lot of dominos. That's unlikely to be A&M, because he played at Nebraska, which is also open. That job would likely be more appealing for Frost, whose star is on the rise after an unbeaten season.

Matt Campbell, Iowa State

Campbell has quickly made Iowa State relevant, going 7-5, and his name is going to be thrown out all over the place. But he has zero ties to the state of Texas, and that rarely works in the state. He will more likely end up elsewhere.

Neal Brown, Troy

Brown has gone 18-5 in two years at Troy, a team which had little success before he arrived. He also did something this season Sumlin never did at A&M -- beat LSU, a win that put him on everyone's radar. He was OC at Texas Tech so he has some ties to the state. Still, he has only been a head coach for three years and it would be a huge jump.

Justin Fuente, Virginia Tech

Another long shot, but Fuente built Memphis and got the Hokies to their first 10-win season since 2011 last year and followed it up with a 9-win season (so far) in this year. His last two seasons at Memphis his teams won 10 and 9 games respectively. Coached as an assistant at TCU so he has ties to the state. A dark horse hire that could turn out very well.

Larry Fedora, North Carolina

He has ties to the state, but his teams have tailed off big time the last two years. He would have been a much sexier hire last season and would be more questionable now. 

Chris Petersen, Washington

He has gone 36-16 in four years at Washington and made the college football playoff in 2016. The only real tie is he worked with A&M's AD Woodward at Washington. He has spent all but one year of his coaching career out West, however, so it's hard to say if he would be interested. Still, worth a phone call. Would be a terrific hire.

Kyle Whittingham, Utah 

This one seems out of left field, but Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman reported he was on the Aggies radar. Has done a terrific job at Utah, but seems like an odd fit. 


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The Houston Astros managed to win the AL West once again, and while things got a little nerve wracking toward the end of the season, when it mattered most, the 'Stros took care of business.

It certainly didn't hurt to get a little help from the Mariners, beating the Rangers 1-0 on Sunday, paving the way for the Astros to secure the division. Rangers fans and members of their broadcast team were none too pleased with the Diamondbacks resting some of their starters on Sunday.

But let's be real, with the division on the line, the Rangers couldn't even manage to score a single run on Sunday against Seattle. That's why they're playing in the Wild Card series, not because of how Arizona approached Sunday's game.

So what did we learn during these must-win games over the last week? A lot was made of GM Dana Brown's comments on the team's flagship station. Brown was hoping manager Dusty Baker would put the best offensive lineup on the field. Yainer Diaz did not start a single game of the Diamondbacks series. But Chas McCormick played every game of the Mariners and Diamondbacks series, except for the finale against Seattle, after being hit in the back with a fastball the night before.

Michael Brantley played in two of three against Arizona, so he appears to be an option Dusty will turn to moving forward. And with the Astros only scoring 1 and 2 runs in two of the three wins against the D-Backs, the Astros need every bit of offense they can get.

Plus, we discuss how getting extra rest for Michael Brantley, Jose Abreu, and the bullpen could pay huge dividends for the club. And don't look now, but Jose Abreu is getting hot at just the right time!

Be sure to watch the video above for the full discussion.

And be sure to watch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every Monday on SportMapHouston's YouTube channel.

Listen to ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM for Houston's best sports talk.

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