Five straight bowl trips and an average of nine wins a year in the toughest division in college football ought to be cause for celebration. But Texas A&M hasn’t challenged for the SEC West title and has gone 1-9 vs. LSU and Alabama in Kevin Sumlin’s tenure. Thus: he’s on the hot seat. There’s not a lot that says things will cool off. There is no momentum from 2016 (a 1-4 finish when A&M looked like a wobbly grocery cart after starting 6-0) and no experience at quarterback. Running back Trayveon Williams will have to carry the offense and the defense – uncharacteristically underachieving despite the presence of No. 1 NFL draft pick Myles Garrett – has to play much better than a year ago.
Head Coach: Kevin Sumlin (sixth year at Texas A&M, 44-21)
Coordinators: John Chavis (defense), Noel Mazzone (offense)
Social Media: www.12thman.com, @12thMan, @CoachSumlin
2016 Record: 8-5 overall, 4-4 in the SEC, lost to Kansas State in AdvoCare Texas Bowl
- Sept. 3 UCLA
- Sept. 9 Nicholls State
- Sept. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette
- Sept. 23 vs. Arkansas (at Arlington, Tex)
- Sept. 30 South Carolina
- Oct. 7 Alabama
- Oct. 14 at Florida
- Oct. 21 off
- Oct. 28 Mississippi State
- Nov. 4 Auburn
- Nov. 11 New Mexico
- Nov. 18 at Ole Miss
- Nov. 25 at LSU
Circle The Date: The heat is on D-coordinator John Chavis (a former Alabama A&M assistant) and catching UCLA’s star QB Sam Rosen in the Sept. 3 opener could reveal a lot about the Aggies’ defensive personality, though the Sept. 23 game with Arkansas may save or cost Sumlin his job.
Top Returnees: WR/KR Christian Kirk, DB Armani Watts, P Shane Tripucka, RB Trayveon Wiliams, LB Otaro Alaka
Will Win SEC West If…: An awful lot of teams faltered and suddenly A&M had a Johnny Manziel clone at QB. So, in other words, ain’t happening.
What They Said: “For me, my job, nothing changes for me. And, you know, you’ve been around me a long time. Nobody puts more pressure on me than I put on myself and nobody wants to win more than I want to. And so whatever’s said, whatever the conversation, whatever’s written, it’s not going to affect how I do my job and it’s not going to affect my day-to-day operation.” – Kevin Sumlin
What We Say: Fifth in SEC West, Texas Bowl