Kevin Sumlin

Kevin Sumlin on SEC scheduling: Whatever happens, happens


Texas A&M is entering year three in the SEC this fall, which means head coach Kevin Sumlin is still playing the role of the new kid on the block. When the SEC announced earlier this week it will continue with an eight-game conference schedule with protected cross-division match-ups, Sumlin did not feel a need to have much of a reaction.

“It doesn’t really matter what I want,” Sumlin said during a coaches conference call Wednesday. “I learned that quick.”

Texas A&M is paired with South Carolina in the cross division games, with the Aggies and Gamecocks paired despite having no real history against each other the way other pairings such as Alabama-Tennessee and Auburn-Georgia have. Why couldn’t the SEC at least pair Texas A&M and Missouri, both having joined the conference from the Big 12 a couple of years ago?

“We’re the new guys in the league,” Sumlin said. “I just kind of listen and see what happens. Whatever happens, happens and we play it.”

Sumlin has been able to do plenty of listening this week. LSU Athletics Director Joe Alleva voiced his displeasure with the new scheduling policy, as did LSU head coach Les Miles. Even Texas Athletics Director Steve Patterson made a crack on the new schedule policy.

“For me, after listening to other programs and the commissioner, there’s a lot of tradition in the league that would have had to change,” Sumlin continued. “We didn’t really have a dog in that fight as far as long-standing cross-over rivalries.”

New traditions will come over time of course. The Aggies have some good history already with division rivals Arkansas, LSU and Alabama, so all is not a lost cause.

Starting Navy S Kwazel Bertrand undergoes surgery, likely out for season

Kwazel Bertrand, Jacobi Owens
Associated Press
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Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.

Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.

And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.

“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”

Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.

Unitas Award whittles watch list in half down to 15

FORT WORTH, TX - OCTOBER 03:  Trevone Boykin #2 of the TCU Horned Frogs looks for an open receiver against the Texas Longhorns in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 3, 2015 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season?  Watch lists are being whittled.

The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior.  The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.

The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).

The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten.  The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).

Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.

Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah