For all intents and purposes, Texas A&M football coach Kevin Sumlin appears to be coaching for his job in 2017. Sumlin led the Aggies to the highest of highs in his first season in College Station, riding Johnny Manziel to an 11-2 record and Cotton Bowl win, but things have mostly puttered out as he enters year six. A&M is coming off three straight 8-5 seasons.
That has led many to believe that Sumlin enters the year on a scorching hot seat andif there was any doubt, A&M AD Scott Woodward essentially confirmed it on Tuesday. While speaking to ESPN Radio, Woodward was asked about Sumlin's status, and let's just say he did notsugar-coat his answer.
Coach knows he has to win and he has to win this year, Woodward told host Paul Finebaum. We have to do better than weve done in the past.
Again, those aren't minced words. But at least Sumlin goes into the season knowingexactly where he stands.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Sumlin's status certainly is interesting when you break down the bigger picture. Overall, heis a respectable 44-21 at College Station, but a quarter of those wins came in year one, when Manziel took over the football world on his way to a Heisman Trophy.
Since then, it's been essentially all downhill for the Aggies. Not only have they cratered three straight seasons with those 8-5 records, but in each case, they have raised the fan base's expectations with hot starts, only to crash and burn down the stretch.
Last year may have been the best example yet, as A&Mstarted 7-1 and actually opened at No. 4 in the first College Football Playoff poll. But after Nov. 1, the Aggies went just 1-4, with their sole victory coming over Texas San Antonio, while suffering losses to Mississippi State and Ole Miss, two clubs that finished the regular season 5-7. Then there was a bowl loss to Kansas State in a game that wasn't as close as the 33-28 final score indicated.
Add it up, and it leaves Sumlin firmly on the hot seat entering the season.
That isn't our opinion, but a fact. Straight from his boss' mouth.