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Sumlin laments lack of respect, vows Aggies will ‘fight our ass off’

Kevin Sumlin AP

A handful of days before Texas A&M opens its first summer camp as a member of the SEC, the Aggies have morphed into the Rodney Dangerfields of college football.

Speaking at an event in Houston this week, and with his tongue buried deep in his cheek, first-year A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin lamented the lack of respect he felt his squad received during the SEC media days earlier this month.

“Guys, based on every question I got, they don’t think we have any defense. They don’t think our offense will work, and we don’t have a quarterback or kicker. Other than that we have no problem guys,” Sumlin told the crowd according to the Bryan-College Station Eagle.

The head coach wasn’t the only playing the respect card; his players had the same feeling coming out of the media days.

Sumlin said he’s stressed an upbeat approach from day, but negatively is always a question or thought away, which was the case last week when he and three of his players attended the Southeastern Conference Media Football Days in Hoover, Ala.

“ I don’t think those people think we’re any good,” A&M offensive tackle Luke Joeckel said on the plane ride back. “They kept asking me what’s it like to be in the SEC. I tried to be positive, but I got the felling they think we’re going to get our brains kicked in.”

Joeckel didn’t exactly say “get our brains kicked in,” said Sumlin who got that same feeling after five hours of interviews.

Sumlin, though, did vow his Aggies wouldn’t just roll over in a conference that’s won the past six BcS titles.

“We’re coming to play, we’re coming to fight our ass off and win every game we can.”

A&M, along with Missouri, officially joined the SEC in July of this year after announcing they were moving from the Big 12 last year.  At least part of the reason for the pessimism on the part of the media when it comes to the Aggies’ first year in the conference is likely due to the fact they were dropped in the SEC West, home of the last three national champs (Alabama, Auburn) along with a program that will start the 2012 deep inside the Top Five (LSU) and another (Arkansas) that should find itself somewhere in the neighborhood of the Top Ten in the preseason polls.

Add that to the Aggies c0ming off a season in which it stumbled and bumbled its way through a 7-6 season that featured several late-game collapses, and breaking in a new starting quarterback in the best defensive conference in the country, and you get the low expectations on the part of the media.  Or, the lack of respect, if you will.

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15 Responses to “Sumlin laments lack of respect, vows Aggies will ‘fight our ass off’”
  1. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 29, 2012 12:54 PM

    Prove it on the field Sumlin and quit whining to the media. You’ll kiss Sam Houston’s coach on the mouth after LSU, Auburn, Miss St, and Alabama hand you your ass in 4 consecutive weeks.

    There’s only one way you get respect in the SEC, the old fashioned way.

  2. chuckmuncie says: Jul 29, 2012 1:00 PM

    Can they beat Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, Alabama or Mississippi State? No. They will fight Ole Miss for the cellar for the next 5 years and someone else will be coach.

  3. kdbroom says: Jul 29, 2012 1:38 PM

    Geez. Just what about A&M demands immediate respect? Their last major bowl win was a Cotton Bowl back in the late 80s. In recent years they have been little more than a middle-of-the-pack team from a lesser conference, and now they’re moving into the conference that is the undisputed king of college football for six years running. They’re going through a coaching transition after having lost their best player (Tannehill). Nobody with any common sense should expect them to have any immediate success.

  4. huskerzfan says: Jul 29, 2012 2:19 PM

    A&M and Missouri are going to be much more competitive than most SEC fans think.

    A&M had Arkansas against the wall last year before their 2nd half meltdown.

    LSU and Alabama are only on A&M’s schedule once. That means they still get to play Florida, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Auburn, and Miss State. All of these teams A&M is more than capable of beating.

    Missouri gets to play Georgia, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Florida, and Tennessee. All of those teams they are capable of beating.

  5. gopokes0714 says: Jul 29, 2012 2:23 PM

    Geez, isn’t the reason A&M left the Big 12 was lack of respect? They just got get it, no one hands you respect, you have to earn it.

    Trust me I know as a Poke fan. We are “little brother” to OU but are defending conf. champs and fiesta bowl winners, with a better record the last 3 years. It doesn’t change over night, you have to work for it.

    You want instant respect in your conf.? Join the Big East. You and Boise St can duke it out every year.

  6. houndofthebaskervols says: Jul 29, 2012 3:34 PM

    @ huskerfan

    LOL Arkansas came out flat and exploded on TA&M in the second half. Basically, they took them for granted. That wont happen with conference opponents this year.

    If they manage to lose to Florida by no more than 20 then you can have your respect for A&M, but more likely they’re going to be wondering what hit them when the 8th best team in the league drills them at home. ha ha

  7. southernpatriots says: Jul 29, 2012 3:57 PM

    If the Aggies play like they played several years ago when they beat the vaunted great Texas team and Oklahoma in the same season, they should be able to compete with many SEC teams and surprise any teams who take them for granted.

    However, the brutal schedule and the great defenses of the SEC will prove to be a great test for both A&M and Missou. They need to prepare for the conference shock they will face, even some of the lower ranked teams will provide tough defenses.

    A&M and Missouri are both now full members of the SEC. My family and I will support them, as will all SEC fans, against any and all non-SEC opponents. However, we will oppose them in every possible way when they play our respective team–in our case LSU. I would not want to be any team that plays LSU this year, since the Bengal Tigers seem to be playing with a purpose and great motivation. Personally, it is great to play the Aggies again and now we will have to come up more Aggie jokes!

  8. jesse1834 says: Jul 29, 2012 4:40 PM

    Like Coach Sumlin, But these next few years will be rough in the SEC for A and M.

  9. hoggette says: Jul 29, 2012 5:25 PM

    Welcome to the SEC! We have been relevent a few times the last 20 years but took until recently to be potential winners in football. Must say we won Natl Championship in Basketball and several final fours when we chnaged conferences Our track and field and baseball were very good. Football is much harder. I think A & M and Missouri is much better than people think but it will be much harder than they think or know. Go Hogs and SEC.

  10. coolhorn says: Jul 29, 2012 6:05 PM

    Enjoy your newest conference member SEC fan, and remember, there are no take-backs. agricultural is all yours now.

  11. kdbroom says: Jul 29, 2012 6:49 PM

    A&M has a lot of potential down the road, but not right off the bat. They look to take some lumps along the way until they learn their own new schemes, they adapt to the speed and physicality of the SEC, and they learn their conference opponents’ tendencies. Right now, they have to learn 8 new conference opponents this upcoming season, whereas all of their SEC opponents only have to learn 1-2 new conference opponents (Mizz and/or A&M). They’ll have their work cut out for them in the next few years.

  12. TxGrown says: Jul 29, 2012 9:39 PM

    southernpatriots says:
    “If the Aggies play like they played several years ago when they beat the vaunted great Texas team and Oklahoma in the same season…”

    “… now we will have to come up more Aggie jokes!”
    They won”t.

    You will.

  13. dcroz says: Jul 29, 2012 9:49 PM

    I see a lot of thumbs-down on here, indicating a bunch of Aggies are not approving of the negative commentary.

    But, here goes another from a ‘Bama fan.

    TAMU has a long and storied football tradition, and I have no doubt that they are going to have some great recruiting classes of talent from Texas that want to play in the SEC. But this year is not going to be their year. While people can debate which conference is top-to-bottom the best in the country, there is no doubting that the SEC West is the toughest in the country. Alabama and LSU are once again going to be among the favorites to play in the penultimate BCS National Championship Game, Arkansas would be if Petrino had thought more with the head on his shoulders instead of the one lower on his anatomy (and may still be with all their talent), and Auburn has the talent and schedule to once again make another national title run with a couple bounces of the football. And Mississippi State is no gimme.

    And face it, Aggies: If the game ended at halftime, you’d have been playing in New Orleans for all the marbles last year. You were a top-five team in the first thirty minutes…and a bottom-five team in the second thirty. You fired your coach and have a new staff; and while Kevin Sumlin did a great job at Houston, remember that this is the same coach who threw up all over himself in the Conference USA Championship Game last year as the Cougars saw their unbeaten season go up in flames in spectacular fashion to Southern Miss. Hence the reason why your team is being taken kinda lightly right now.

    I am sure that you will have plenty to cheer about in College Station on fall Saturdays in the coming years. This year, though, will be rough. With your relatively-weak non-conference schedule (though don’t sleep on SMU or Louisiana Tech on the road) you should be able to make it to 6-6 and get a bowl bid. That will be a respectable start.

  14. florida727 says: Jul 30, 2012 7:18 AM

    Note to Sumlin: respect is not given, it is earned.

    Accomplish something in the best division in the best football conference in America and you’ll be given what you deserve. Until then, be respectful of those that have already earned it.

    That said, I do expect them to do well. They do have a good program and I know some of their fans. They’ll be a good addition to the league and not just in football. But as far as the respect thing goes, Coach, jury’s still out on that one… for now.

  15. tlmoon2112 says: Jul 30, 2012 12:32 PM

    Dear Coach Sumlin,
    there are only 2 ways to get respect in the SEC:

    1) WIN

    2) Pay Mike Sligh off like Nick Saban does.

    Your team isnt the only team looking for respect this year. Alabama is now officially listed as the only NON-Conference winner to hoist the crystal ball in the air….and the only to shatter it into a thousand pieces too. The real world of college football (everyone who is NOT an Alabama fan) cannot wait till January to crown a LEGITIMATE Champion again.

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