After a tumultuous career, Kevin Sumlin will reportedly be fired by Texas A&M. Who’s next?
He just so happened to be in the same division as Alabama and LSU.
Partially a victim of his own early success, Kevin Sumlin became the hot coach with the hot offense and the hot player, with Johnny Manziel and the high-powered attack giving Alabama fits and looking the part of a possible next-big thing.
But it was never quite enough.
After an 11-2 first season, Sumlin was able to recruit some of the hottest prospects and some of the best quarterbacks, but the Aggies were stuck in the land of the above average.
Put Texas A&M in, say, the Big Ten West or Pac-12 North over the last few years, and it probably has a few more ten-win seasons and battles harder for the conference title.
Or better yet, it would’ve been fascinating to have seen what A&M could’ve done in the Big 12 under Sumlin. With Texas down, A&M likely would’ve won at least one conference title and come up with a few ten-win seasons over the last six years.
But in the SEC West, A&M had to run into the Alabama brick wall every year, and Sumlin could never, ever get past LSU.
Lose those two games, and there’s little room to be anything other than mediocre in the SEC.
With three straight 8-5 seasons, he probably would’ve made it four in a row – assuming a loss to LSU this week and a bowl win to close things out – but this is it.
According to The Houston Chronicle, win or lose, Sumlin will be done after the LSU game as the program tries to jump on the coaching carousel and get its shot at one of the new hot prospects.
Money won’t be an issue. A&M wants to start winning now, and $5 million a year will be the easy price tag. But who’ll take this? Who wants to deal with that same Alabama/LSU problem?
Let’s just start with this: take out Chip Kelly. Take out Lane Kiffin. Those two might be the hot guys on the block, but A&M isn’t going to want to deal with either of those two.
And now all eyes turn to Jimbo Fisher.
There might be other names floating around, and there might be some thought about throwing a Les Miles at the problem, or assuming Scott Frost could be the one to step in and be the next young rising superstar to build around …
Texas A&M is going to want a guy with a national championship on the resume.
It’s a strange call, considering FSU might have been the nation’s biggest disappointment this season, but Fisher knows how to recruit, he knows the SEC, and he’s one of the few guys out there with the heavyweight gravitas to take on the Nick Saban empire.
He’ll have to be thrown somewhere in the neighborhood of around $6 million just to get out of bed, but if Texas A&M is ready to get on with its life, this is the guy who’s likely the No. 1 draft pick.
And for Kevin Sumlin? He’s still considered a terrific head coaching prospect who’ll get another big gig very, very soon.
He’s still got a great offensive scheme, and despite getting canned, he actually knows how to win.
Don’t scoff at eight wins on a regular basis. Put him on UCLA, or get him into Lincoln, or even consider him at Ole Miss, and he’ll do just fine.
And with Jimbo – or some other A-list head man – A&M will regularly win ten games a season.
And lose to Alabama and/or LSU, and struggle to win the SEC West.