Move over, Steve Spurrier. The SEC has a new sly-smiling coach with a gift for gab.
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin continues to speak his mind, poke some fun, and feed the press solid sound bite after solid sound bite. At SEC Media Days two weeks ago, the third-year coach hung some reporters out to dry when they asked poorly conceived questions regarding ex-Aggie QB Johnny Manziel. Last week, the ex-Oklahoma assistant responded to Bob Stoops' jabs at A&M's non-conference schedule by basically telling his old boss, "Anytime, anywhere, pal."
Yesterday, speaking at an Aggie booster event, Sumlin let fly again. Asked whether or not his up-tempo offense has at times hurt his team's poorly-performing defense -- an issue we tackled ourselves last week -- the A&M coach said the following:
"That's just our [philosophy]. What we did and what we have done is give our team the best chance to win, based on the pieces we have. Will that change? Yeah, I think it changed a little offensively. But you understand the type of pressure that that has put on some traditional people in this league, otherwise they wouldn't be bitchin' about it... That's this week's sound bite."
The man doesn't lack for confidence. And he knows exactly which of his words will make headlines.
Speaking to A&M fans, he also reiterated a point that he'd already made at SEC Media Days -- His team is just now developing SEC quality depth, so look out. "I think we're getting really, really close to competing to being in the top of our league," he said last night. "And if we do that, I think it's been proven over the course of time (and) you've heard other coaches say it's easier to win a national championship than it is to win the SEC."
With his Cheshire cat smile and willingness to speak his mind, Sumlin is fast becoming one of the league's go-to coaches for a quote. Perhaps that shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. At Media Days he did point out that he'd once taken a golf trip to Ireland with Spurrier and Stoops. Apparently the 49-year-old coach picked up a couple of pointers on public speaking from his elder golfing buddies.