Texas A&M Football: Firing Kevin Sumlin would be Aggies’ worst possible move


Texas A&M football fans need to continue to support head coach Kevin Sumlin as he builds an elite program in College Station. 

The Texas A&M football fans who are calling for head coach Kevin Sumlin’s head after and 8-4 regular season need to get a grip on reality. Sumlin is one of the best football coaches the Aggies have ever had and the fans need to exercise some control while he continues to build the program.

The internet has made the world smaller and faster. If you want something, in a lot of cases it can be delivered to your house within an hour. You can communicate with people around the world from a smart phone. Unfortunately, all of this amazing technology has led to a culture that is devoid of patience.

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Everyone demands instant gratification. Instead of suffering through a loss as a fan and just accepting it as part of competition, fans stream onto social media and demand the coaches heads on a platter. They want an instant remedy for their mental anguish and that remedy is to fire whoever the coach is.

Forget about the upheaval replacing a head coach can cause in a college football program, these fans want to feel better right now and the only way to fill that feeling of emptiness inside is to fire the head coach. This need for instant gratification is why there are no more programs identified by their coaches like Nebraska was with Tom Osborne or Florida State was with Bobby Bowden.

The average college football fan does not appreciate how hard it is to find a coach who is the right fit for their program, much less one that can win games consistently. Texas A&M found the right coach in Sumlin, now the fans need to be patient while he builds towards a championship.

When Texas A&M entered the Southeastern Conference in the 2012 season they were coming off a 7-6 campaign and most predicted they would struggle to be .500 in the SEC. The best case scenario involved a seven or eight-win season and a minor bowl. 

Under Sumlin’s guidance, they surpassed expectations and went 11-2 in their first campaign in the league. They produced the second Heisman Trophy winner in the program’s history and expanded their brand nationally.

The Aggies’ early success under Sumlin and all-world quarterback Johnny Manziel covered up some issues within the program. The simple fact of the matter is that the Aggies did not have a roster capable on competing in the SEC on a weekly basis when Sumlin arrived on campus.

The had a dearth of defensive line talent which is very troubling when you compete in the most physical league in the country. You need talent and depth on both sides of the ball if you want to compete for championships in the SEC.

The Aggies had good talent in their starting lineup at most positions, but they were severely lacking in quality on their depth chart. Sumlin has rebuilt the roster through solid recruiting.

The 2015 season marked the first during his tenure when he was not forced to start true freshman out of need. If a true freshman played in 2015, it was because he beat out a solid player ahead of him and not simply because he was the only player available.

Aggie fans have had to be patient while they watched their team go through growing pains during the last two seasons. Injuries during the 2015 season left the Aggies with one healthy running back and a true freshman quarterback for extended periods of time.

Oct 31, 2015; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies quarterback Kyler Murray (1)  Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

It is hard to win in any league with a true freshman quarterback, much less in the SEC. It is a positive when you bring in top-10 ranked recruiting classes, but fans need to continue to be patient while that talent is developed and gains experience.

Expecting championship seasons while relying on multiple true freshmen in the starting lineup is unrealistic. Replacing coaches because they are not winning championships with true freshmen starting is lunacy.

During his first four seasons in Aggiesland, Sumlin has a winning percentage of .706. That is second in Texas A&M’s history behind only R.C. Slocum considering coaches who have coached at least 30 games. He accomplished this feat while rebuilding the roster and competing in the toughest conference in the country.

The Aggies had major issues on defense in 2013 and 2014 and Sumlin went out and hired the best defensive coordinator in the country in John Chavis. In 2015 the Aggies have struggled on offense against every decent defense they faced. Fans should expect Sumlin to go out and find one of the best offensive coordinators in the country in order to resolve that issue.

Building an elite college football program is not a sprint, it is a marathon. The Aggies have built the foundation under Sumlin, now they need to be patient while he completes the job.

There are multiple examples of fans who have grown tired of their program winning, but not winning enough this season. Georgia, USC, Miami and a number of other schools are in the market for a new head coach.

Georgia just fired Mark Richt after his Bulldogs went 9-3 in the regular season. In 15 years at the helm, Richt won at least 10 games on nine different occasions. The Bulldogs went two decades without winning an SEC title until they won two during Richt’s tenure.

Will Georgia be better under a new head coach? Maybe they will, but it took them 20 years to find Richt. The odds of finding a coach who will produce better results than he did are extremely long.

Winning consistently raises expectations and breeds complacency in fans. If you had told Aggie fans that they would have gone 8-4 before the 2012 season had started, must of them would had celebrated. Sumlin’s early success at Texas A&M has caused fans to expect and demand more.

The Aggies are finally at a place where their best players on the field are going to be upperclassmen. The fans should put their pitchforks down and let Sumlin show them what he can do with a veteran squad on the field.