Kevin Sumlin entered the 2017 season in the crosshairs at Texas A&M and, well, the season-opener did not do anything to fix that. The Aggies blew a gargantuan lead to Josh Rosen and the UCLA Bruins in front of a national audience and, at that moment, it seemed like a formality that Sumlin would be on the way out in College Station.
Since then, however, the Aggies have righted the ship to the tune of a 5-2 record and the other loss at the hands of Alabama, was very competitive and reasonable given the opponent. To that end, it makes sense that Sumlin would be off the proverbial “hot seat” to some degree and one analytical model now essentially laughs off the notion that he would be in trouble.
Brian Burke of ESPN Analytics released something of an “unreasonable index” to highlight the likelihood of coaches with particular credentials being fired at their programs. In short, the model thinks Sumlin is widely safe, using a particular set of criteria to discern that 3.8 percent of coaches with similar bodies of work have been let go.
As noted above, it is no shock that Sumlin has coached his way off the hot seat, even as figures in similar preseason circumstances like Tennessee’s Butch Jones have not. The season isn’t over and there is still time for Texas A&M to falter but, for now, all signs point to (relative) safety.