Sumlin facing big decisions after 3 game skid

In the aftermath of Bama kicking the crap out of A&M, I can’t help but think of the 2011 season. High expectations came crashing down as the Aggies fumbled double digit leads week in and week out. The frustration culminated with a final second loss to our rivals from Austin. Texas A&M, ranked as high as #8 nationally, finished 6-6 on the regular season before firing Mike Sherman.

As painful as that season was, it led to the hiring of Coach Sumlin and an incredible debut in the SEC. The Aggies shocked the nation going 11-2, finishing #5 nationally, and hoisting the Heisman trophy.

Similar to that 2011 season, Aggie fans have been exceedingly frustrated due to high expectations falling short. After starting the season 5-0 the A&M has dropped 3 straight in embarrassing fashion. The Aggies, ranked as high as #6 nationally, now find themselves out of the top 25. There are clearly problems across the board and Coach Sumlin has some big decisions to be made regarding the depth chart and the coaching staff. The quarterback play has been severely lacking. The offensive line just might be the most under-performing unit in the nation considering the talent on hand. And finally, the defensive front seven is once again dead last in the SEC in rushing yards allowed.

Simply put, there is no easy fix. But Sumlin has proven time and time again that he can adapt and field a winning team.

  • In 2012, he modified his offense to suit a mobile QB following his time with Case Keenum at University of Houston and inheriting Johnny Manziel at A&M.
  • He made the difficult decision to demote his good friend and offensive coordinator Clarence McKinney following 2013. The offense ranked #5 nationally that year but often sputtered at inopportune moments.
  • As the Aggie football program has had success, he has had to replace several coaches including Offensive Coordinator Kliff Kingsbury, Co-Defensive Coordinator Marcel Yates, Linebackers Coach Matt Wallerstedt, and Special Teams Coach Brian Polian. As a result, Sumlin has been tasked with bringing in a number of new coaches these past 2 years.
  • Sumlin has led the SEC in offensive production in both 2012 and 2013 setting many records along the way. Just because the offense has stalled the past couple of weeks, doesn’t mean he can’t get it humming again.
  • Finally but most importantly, he wins. People are all up in arms right now because of this 3 game slide. They should be; it’s frustrating. But it took Sumlin two and a half years to finally tally 8 losses. His predecessors, Mike Sherman and Dennis Franchione, accomplished that feat in just one season.

Again, there are several issues at hand but Sumlin is the guy to fix it. He has proven this over his entire coaching career and will once again make the necessary changes to field a winning football team. If he makes these adjustments to the depth chart and coaching staff, then the Aggies will come out of this stronger than before. But if he chooses to do nothing, then expect more mediocrity from Texas A&M football.

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2 thoughts on “Sumlin facing big decisions after 3 game skid”

  1. Let’s keep in mind this is Sumlin’s first year to play with his recruits. I believe this is his failure to instill discipline and establish a hierarchy and leadership structure on the team. Now every player is his own boss.

    Sumlin does not have a team, he has a group of boys who think he is cool.

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    1. There are too few seniors in the starting lineups. There’s a complete lack of leadership this for the first time this season (masked by defensive seniors in 2012; Manziel and Evans in 2013). The defensive scheme is passive. The quarterback that has little confidence and can’t complete the easy pass.

      Yes, it’s effectively Sumlin’s first year of his own recruits, but he needs guys to step up. I believe that our two true freshman in Speedy Noil and Myles Garrett are doing that. But they are just true freshman. There needs to be upperclassman on the team that take over when the team is down and out. Right now, there is just no fight or passion with this team – a problem that is just as much on the players as it is on the coaches.

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