It only took one game for Kevin Sumlin’s hot seat to heat up.
His Texas A&M Aggies blew a 34-point lead, a 27-point fourth-quarter lead and watched helplessly as future NFL quarterback Josh Rosen torched his defense. A Texas A&M Board of Regents member couldn’t even wait until the next morning to lash out at Sumlin. Kirk Herbstreit wasn’t having any of it, pushing back harshly against the member’s assessment:
“I’m sure I may be criticized for this post but I honestly don’t care. I’ve been on the Board of Regents for the A&M System for almost seven years. During that time, I’ve not once commented on Kevin Sumlin and his performance during his tenure at our school. I never said a word when he and his agent manipulated a much bigger and longer contract. I said nothing about his arrogance and his mishandling of multiple player controversies. I said nothing when we had multiple awesome recruiting classes, only to see key players leave our school or underperform. But tonight I am very disappointed and I have to say this. Kevin Sumlin was out-coached tonight, which isn’t new. He recruits well, but can’t coach the big games, or close games. Our players were better tonight. But our coaches were dominated on national TV, yet again. I’m only one vote on the Board of Regents but when the time comes my vote will be that Kevin Sumlin needs to GO. In my view he should go now. We owe it to our school and our players. We can do better.
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Is Kevin Sumlin going to be fired immediately? Probably not. The Aggies still have a lot of football to play in 2017 and, given the way they poured it on against a talented team in the first three quarters, the talent exists to make a real run in the SEC this season.
With that as the backdrop, though, Sumlin’s job status could be even more tenuous. Because of just how tantalizing the team looked in the early going, it becomes almost easier to criticize the coach.
“If the team can play like that, why don’t they do it all the time?”
The answer, of course, is that no college football team plays at maximum capacity at all times. Not even the team clad in crimson from Tuscaloosa. Still, the “night and day” change between portions of this very visible meltdown will do nothing to assuage doubters of Sumlin and will provide very little background for those supporting the embattled head coach.
Kevin Sumlin became an extremely hot name in the profession during his quick ascent and the outset of his tenure in College Station provided quite a bit of optimism. On Sunday night in Los Angeles, though, the disastrous loss suffered by his team went a long way toward upping the pressure and, potentially, spelling out his downfall as the head coach at Texas A&M.