Entering the season Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin was on one of the hottest seats in college football. Before this season began, the Aggies athletic director Scott Woodward said "Coach (Sumlin) knows he has to win, and he has to win this year."
That statement seems as definitive as can be, and the season has been up and down for the Aggies.
The season began with a disappointing game for Texas A&M, which collapsed and lost to UCLA after leading by as many as 34 points.
Right after the loss to UCLA, one A&M system regent, Tony Buzbee, took to Facebook to share a lengthy message calling for Sumlin to be fired. The lengthy message accuses Sumlin of having “manipulated a much bigger and longer contract.” as well as being arrogant.
The post ends with the statement that “when the time comes my vote will be that Kevin Sumlin needs to GO. In my view he should go now. We owe it to our school and our players. We can do better.”
After the UCLA loss, A&M won four straight games, and only had their streak snapped when they faced Alabama, a game where they played very well and came as close to beating the No. 1 team in the country as anyone has all year.
Following the Alabama loss, A&M won a close game over a strong Florida team. It appeared that the Aggies had mostly righted the ship, and Sumlin’s job appeared safe, at least until the end of the season.
This past weekend, Texas A&M was defeated by Mississippi State at home in a game that was never close. While Mississippi State is a strong team, they are not a team that you want to be dominated by, especially at home.
After the loss to Mississippi State, opinion on Sumlin has shifted again, with many calling for him to be fired.
To the dismay of many upset Aggie fans, a mid-season firing is most likely not in the cards for Sumlin. There are several reasons for this, most obvious among them is his salary. Sumlin has a base salary of $5 million, that he is on the books for through 2019.
Aside from money, there is no obvious answer at head coach for the Aggies. Sumlin has never gone worse than 8-5, has consistently had top recruiting classes, and has proven he can compete in the SEC.
What would a mid-season firing accomplish for Texas A&M? A new coach will not step in with so little of the season yet, so they would most likely be appointing an interim from within, and there is little reason to believe an interim coach would be any better than Sumlin.
That is not to say that Sumlin will not be fired after the season, as unless he can show improvement and pull out some big games down the stretch his seat remains one of the hottest in the country.
Only time will tell, but as of now Sumlin does not appear to be primed for a mid-season firing. His seat is still very hot however, and unless A&M can show drastic improvement, Sumlin will most likely be looking for another job after the season.