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Would Sumlin Leave A&M For USC? National Writer Says The Jobs Aren’t Even Close

Kevin SumlinBetcha Bruce Feldman of is getting some angry emails from the Lone Star State today.  That’s because he gave an opinion Texas A&M fans won’t like when asked to compare the job in College Station to the Southern Cal job that might soon be offered to Aggie coach Kevin Sumlin:


“If you’re Kevin Sumlin, you can dominate the Pac-12 South.  It’s really hard to dominate a division where Nick Saban is there, LSU is always going to get players and Auburn has gotten cranked back up — and that doesn’t even speak to (the rest of) that league.  If you’re USC, you can beat Oregon or Washington or whoever comes in there eight or nine out of 10 times for the best players in Southern California, if you really want them. 

And they have really good facilities and really good history.  To me, it’s not even close.  USC is a huge job there.”


There’s no arguing with a single point Feldman made.  The Trojan job is one of the top five jobs in the land and as a private school it can throw enormous money at any coach Pat Haden desires.

But would another coach from a major SEC program — thinkin’ ’bout you, Lane Kiffin — jump to LA?  It has been rare for big-name schools to swipe coaches from other big-name programs.  The exception to the rule has been Kiffin from Tennessee to Southern Cal and Bret Bielema from Wisconsin to Arkansas.  Aside from Bielema, here’s how the rest of the SEC’s programs hired their current coaches:


Alabama — Nick Saban from the NFL, not directly from LSU

Auburn — Gus Malzahn stepped up from Arkansas State

Florida — Will Muschamp was a defensive coordinator

Georgia — Mark Richt was an offensive coordinator

Kentucky — Mark Stoops was a defensive coordinator

LSU — Les Miles moved from Oklahoma State, so he goes in the Bielema category

MSU — Dan Mullen was an offensive coordinator

Missouri — Gary Pinkel stepped up from Toledo

Ole Miss — Hugh Freeze stepped up from Arkansas State

South Carolina — Steve Spurrier came out of retirement after an NFL stint

Tennessee — Butch Jones stepped up from Cincinnati

Texas A&M — Kevin Sumlin stepped up from Houston

Vanderbilt — James Franklin was an offensive coordinator


And that’s just the SEC, the bestest football league in the country.  So, yes, it’s rare to see someone jump from one major program to another.

As we’ve stated on many occasions, we view the Texas A&M job as a gold mine.  The recruiting base is there.  The money is there.  The facilities are improving/expanding.  There are plenty of reasons to believe Sumlin would stay put even if offered the USC job.


Does he want to butt heads with Bama, Auburn, LSU and the rest of the SEC every year?  The Aggies — even with a superstar like Johnny Manziel — might lose five games this season if they fall to Missouri and then in their bowl game.

Also, are rumors of a disconnect between Sumlin and AD Eric Hyman true?  Hyman arrived after Sumlin, of course.

And what does Sumlin believe his team will look like next year, post-Manziel?

From our end, it’s more likely that Sumlin will jump to the NFL if offered a good situation there.  He’s already admitted that someday he might like to test himself in those waters.  And pro football writers are already drawing connections between Sumlin and the Houston Texans and the Washington Redskins.  But Feldman is right, the USC job would probably provide Sumlin a little easier path to conference and national championships.

With Sumlin playing coy, don’t expect this story to go away until Southern Cal makes its hire.



I have read several articles regarding Kevin leaving Texas A&M but if you break it down, why would he?-    First the money issue. I do not see that being a factor due to the cost of living in Texas vs Cali. Even if they offer him $6 mil a yr, that is about equal to $4 mil here, due to state income tax, housing market and just overall cost of living. His family loves College Station and he gets whatever he wants. He is also established as solid recruiter in Texas High Schools. Where he now has recruits starting to knock on his door to come play ball. -    Secondly, if you are going to compare facilities that really makes you scratch your head. A&M is in the process of having the second largest stadium in the SEC with a fan base that will not turn their back on a coach for a bad year.-   Thirdly, the way to the National championship runs thru the SEC. No ifs, ands or butts that is the truth. If he leaves, I believe it will be for the pros. - The list goes on. One thing I will say, learn from the past. Coach G failed at Kentucky for more money and the Cadillac job of basketball. Not realizing what the university expected or fan base. At least he didn't get fired while going home on a bus in the middle of the season.


It was about 10 years ago A&M hired Dennis Franchione while he was still the Alabama head coach.  Of course, he probably wouldn't have considered it if Alabama wasn't under sanctions at the time.

But that does indicate that all these jobs with money & large fanbases have potential, and which one is viewed as the best is mostly about who's been the head coach recently.  A&M dropped in prestige in large part because of Franchione's failed reign, and it has taken half a decade to regain most of it.  Alabama was thought of as a good job, but not as good as it is now that Nick Saban has been coach.  LSU, similarly, wasn't thought of nearly as highly before Saban (though everyone saw the potential).


Hugh Freeze came to Ole Miss from Arkansas State not Central Arkansas

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator


There are exceptions to the rule -- I listed two -- but there are usually some strange circumstances involved.  Franchione leaving Alabama due to NCAA sanctions was certainly one of those situations.

All things being equal, you usually don't see coaches leave one top 25 program for another.  

Many thanks for reading the site,


John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator


Good catch.  Not sure why the heck I typed that when I've written stories on the Freeze and Malzahn both leaving Arkansas State.  Rushing... or stupid.  Or stupidly rushing.

It's corrected.




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