Trouble at A&M

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is on the hot seat. Should he be?

Things are not good in Aggie Land. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is probably on the hottest seat in college football right now. With a disastrous collapse to open the season at UCLA, followed by lackluster efforts against inferior opponents, things are not good in Aggie Land.

It is easy to look at recent history and say Sumlin's job should be on the line, but looking at the big picture, should it be?

Sumlin took over a program that had not won 11 games since 1998 and promptly went 11-2. He followed that up with a nine-win season and three eight win seasons. The last time that happened at A&M? You have to go all the way back to 1989-1994, when the Aggies won at least eight games every year. Then went on probation. That Sumlin has done it in the SEC is even more impressive.

But the Aggies rightfully expect more. They spend as much as anyone, have a fertile recruiting base and expect results. And Sumlin has had some rough moments, losing several top QB prospects to transfers. (In Week 3, two of his former QBs, Kenny Hill and Kyle Allen, lit it up for their new teams. Hill was 24 of 30 for 365 and four touchdowns for TCU in a win over SMU, while Allen was 31 of 33 for 309 yards and two TDs as Houston clubbed Rice).

Meanwhile, A&M seems to be stuck with Kellen Mond, a highly regarded recruit who is a terrific athlete but is not a reliable passer, despite solid numbers himself that week.

Throw in a controversy over assistant coaches last year, and it all adds up to trouble in College Station. 

So what has to happen for Sumlin? There is still time to turn it around, but the SEC schedule looms and the Aggies could easily implode. If that happens, the decision is easy. But what if they manage eight wins again? Will that be good enough for the A&M community? Probably not. And the next question becomes who out there is better? Chip Kelly if he wants to come back to college? Maybe Chad Morris is ready for the leap? Les Miles and his lack of offense? There might not be a better answer than what is already on campus.

None of that may matter. Sumlin's seat is on fire, and putting out the flames might be impossible at this stage.

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Carlos Correa had a big home run Saturday night. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With four wins in a row, including the first two of this series, Houston had a chance to keep their momentum going to lock up a series win on Saturday in this four-game set. Although Texas would make it interesting late, the Astros would hold them off to get the victory.

Final Score: Astros 6, Rangers 5

Astros' Record: 23-17, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (1-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dane Dunning (2-3)

Action in the first

After getting trounced the night prior, the Rangers managed to grab early momentum with a run to start the scoring Saturday night against Luis Garcia. It came after a one-out triple set up a sac fly, giving Texas a 1-0 lead. Houston quickly took control back in their favor, though, putting up four in the bottom of the inning on a two-RBI single by Alex Bregman and a two-run homer by Carlos Correa, making it 4-1 Astros.

The scoreboard went quiet after that inning, with both teams slowing down at the plate. Garcia put together a decent night, allowing just the one run over five innings of work, erasing some runners throughout the night. His final line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 94 P.

Rangers tighten it up late

Bryan Abreu was the first reliever to enter for Houston, taking over for Garcia in the top of the sixth. He worked around a leadoff single, keeping it a three-run game, then returned for a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Correa led off with a double in the bottom of the inning, setting up a two-run Kyle Tucker homer, extending his recent hot streak and the lead to 6-1.

Ryne Stanek took over on the mound for Houston in the top of the eighth but worked himself into trouble with a single and walk to set up a three-run homer by Joey Gallo to make it a two-run game at 6-4. He would manage just one out before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to move on to Brandon Bielak. Bielak would allow a run while getting the final two outs, making it 6-5.

Astros secure the series

After a scoreless bottom of the eighth, Ryan Pressly would try to notch another save and close the door on the Rangers. He would get the job done, sitting the Rangers down in order, keeping Houston's winning streak intact.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game set will start at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Lance McCullers JR. (3-1, 3.10 ERA), fresh off of a recent gem, will look to continue his success for the Astros, while Kyle Gibson (3-0, 2.28) will try to stay perfect on the season for the Rangers.

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