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