A New Era

Marshall Ingram, Writer

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This past week Texas A&M football decided to part ways with head coach Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin was the Aggies head coach for 6 years achieving a 51-26 record. Some look at that and say how could they fire him for that. Then they look at his SEC record of 25-23. With the facilities A&M has and the advantage of recruiting, being in Texas, they are looking to be much better than a mediocre team.

 

When Texas A&M hired Kevin Sumlin in December of 2011, the future was unpredictable. Before this he was the head coach at the University of Houston, proving a dynamic 35-17 record. But how would he fare in a power 5 conference like the SEC? In 2012, Sumlin named a small, unproven quarterback named Johnny Manziel the starter. The season for the Aggies was uncertain. After a, hard fought, opening day loss to Florida the Aggies showed some potential. After that loss the Aggies bounced back to a 10-1 regular season record, also beating number 1 Alabama. They also had the leading candidate for the Heisman trophy in Johnny Manziel. Manziel ended up winning the Heisman with a record-breaking season, and putting on an electrical performance each Saturday. Texas A&M was selected to play in the Cotton Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners. This game looked like a rematch for the ages. That idea was demolished after the Aggies defeated the Sooners 41-13. Texas A&M thought they had found their savior at head coach. The following season A&M posted an impressive 9-4 record. The season contained a Heisman run from Johnny Manziel again, but losing this time to Jameis Winston, and a Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl comeback win. The Aggies were down 38-17 at one point in the game, but with the offense putting on an unstoppable performance, and the defense with key plays in the end, they came out with the win. Sumlin had put the Aggies on the national spectrum. Receiving commits from the top players in the country put A&M in a good position for the years to come. In 2014, Texas A&M started off with a 5-0 record, and ranked 9th in the country. The Aggies looked like national champion contenders, but they finished the season with a 3-5 record, and a 59-0 loss to Alabama. 2015 and 2016 were about the same. Starting off the season strong, but then letting the rails come off in the second half of the season. The offseason of 2017 brought tremendous amount of pressure for Sumlin to win. Receiving hate mail, petitions for him to be gone, and the Texas A&M athletic director basically confirming that he was on the hot seat contributed to this pressure. In the opening game of the season A&M was beating UCLA 44-10, and looked like a solid team. But then Josh Rosen and the Bruins came alive, and came back to beat the Aggies 45-44. This did not help with Sumlin’s situation. He brought the Aggies back to win the next four games, but then finished the season with a 7-5 record. The day after the season finale loss against LSU; Kevin Sumlin was fired. Many of the players were extremely disappointed by the matter. Players reported that he was a classic, good person. Recruits were disappointed as well, but the past 4 years he didn’t live up to expectations.

 

The truth is that Texas A&M is not looking to be mediocre. With the facilities they have like one of the best locker rooms in the country, and Kyle Field they want to be a lot better. Also, being in Texas is one of the best advantages in college football. From a recruiting spectrum, they should be, and are, receiving the top recruits in the country. When you factor in all of this A&M wants to be at the top of the SEC and the country every year.

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A New Era