Scott Woodward officially put Kevin Sumlin on the hot seat in comments about his expectations for the 2017 season. There’s just one problem: it doesn’t matter.
At this point I’d imagine most people have seen, heard or at least read about Texas A&M Athletic Director Scott Woodward’s comments about Kevin Sumlin and the Aggie football team. If you missed it the video is above. Here’s a brief excerpt:
“We were very disappointed as a program, both Coach [Sumlin] and I, and we just want to make darn sure we get it right. We’ve had a heck of a spring. Recruiting continues to go well. But Coach knows he has to win. He has to win this year. We have to do better than we’ve done in the past.”
The pressers have been all over this. What else do you do with comments like that?
What else is Woodward supposed to say? “We’re proud of the good work that Kevin Sumlin has accomplished but we’re content with finishing in the middle of the SEC West every year?” Of course not! He wasn’t stretching the truth. Coach Sumlin does need to start winning, particularly in November. But the penalty for not doing “better than he has done in the past” might not be as severe as you might think.
Texas A&M has never fired a coach that finished 8-5 or better in school history. In fact they have only had 10 seasons with eight or more wins in the past 20 years. Sumlin owns five of those. While he might not be winning conference championships, the university has to know better than to toss away one of their winningest coaches in school history.
Don’t get me wrong. If Sumlin falls apart next year and finishes 4-8 he’ll see a pink slip. However, if He finishes the season 8-5 again or even 7-6 with a few big wins (over perhaps Alabama, Florida, or LSU) he might still be in College Station. Why? Because Woodward was saying what he has to say. The truth is an 8-4 finish in the SEC West is a sign that the Aggies are a few pieces away from success, not heading into ruin.
***Stats from Sports Reference***