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Kevin Sumlin looks like he’s worth the money for Texas A&M

Kevin Sumlin AP

Kevin Sumlin is one of a handful of college football coaches being paid a $5 million annual salary — and based on Thursday night’s thrashing of South Carolina he’s worth the money.

Texas A&M ran 99 plays — 99! — in its 52-28 win, and did so with a first-time starter in Kenny Hill at quarterback. But, as Yahoo’s Pat Forde argues, maybe last night’s win was just as much about Hill as it was about Sumlin’s system:

Clearly, the pony has plenty of tricks. Sumlin acknowledged a “chip on the shoulder” after reading media predictions calling for the Aggies’ demise.

“Let’s see if they can coach now that the best player in college football is gone,” he said. “… Probably had some coaches, including myself, who took some comments personal in the offseason.”

Sumlin knew what his offense had done before Manziel – when Case Keenum became the NCAA’s all-time leader in passing yards, touchdowns and completions at Houston. So he knew what his offense could do after Manziel as well.

Namely, churn out yards and put up points with spectacular ease. And speed. The Aggies clicked off a staggering 99 plays Thursday, exhausting and bewildering the Gamecocks.

This isn’t to say Texas A&M can win with any quarterback in there. But Sumlin has found three quarterbacks in Case Keenum, Johnny Manziel and Hill who can run his offense to perfection.

Armed with the right quarterback, Sumlin’s offense is incredibly difficult to stop. And make no mistake, Hill deserves a ton of credit for going into Columbia and playing as well as he did in his first career start. He completed 44 of 60 passes for 511 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions.

But if Sumlin can get that kind of game out of a first-time starter in a hostile environment…then yeah, maybe that $5 million price tag is worth it.

It’s the same $5 million price tag Spurrier poked fun at over the summer.

“A&M has recruited well, I know that. I read those rankings every year,” Spurrier said. “Kevin Sumlin has an excellent record as a coach. He’s a good negotiator, we know that also.”

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28 Responses to “Kevin Sumlin looks like he’s worth the money for Texas A&M”
  1. erockfox says: Aug 29, 2014 10:55 AM

    easy now….it’s not like they played an ACTUAL top 10 team.

  2. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 29, 2014 11:27 AM

    Wow…. I didn’t realize it was 99 plays….

    They easily could have scored on the 100th play too as they were on the 1 yd line….

  3. rolltide510 says: Aug 29, 2014 11:50 AM

    There’s some excuses that can be made for South Carolina; after all they spent all offseason thinking they were going to be playing Texassippi State.

    But yeah, watching that offense last night was terrifying. A&M gets criticized for its defense and rightfully so, but teams are going to have to put up 40+ on them to beat them, and the current crop of QBs in the SEC might have trouble with that.

  4. irishdodger says: Aug 29, 2014 11:59 AM

    Sumlin has proven at both Houston & TAMU that he’s a good coach that is growing into a great coach. They should be a player in the SEC West but as the first poster said, “it’s not like they played a Top 10 team”. Just b/c the AP pre-season ranked USCe as a top 10 doesn’t make it so. They were there b/c of last year’s performance & being a member of the SEC. Both defenses looked bad….USCe’s D just looked worse. How many times did a Gamecock WR get wide open deep for an easy score? And the USCe D looked like they took tackling lessons from last year’s TAMU D. While Bama, LSU & Georgia should all dominate this year, let’s quit assuming the other 11 teams in the SEC are dominant….b/c they’re not.

  5. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 29, 2014 12:01 PM

    A&M’s defense was actually much better than I expected too… The score could have been much worse had a true freshman not made rookie mistakes and given up 2 50+ yd bomb TDs.

    That was not the same abomination of a defense we saw against Duke. Not even close.

  6. irishdodger says: Aug 29, 2014 12:02 PM

    @rolltide,

    While I agree 100% w/ your second statement. I disagree 100% w/ your 1st statement….no excuses for South Carolina’s poor performance last nigh…especially at Willie B Stadium. That looked like a Big12 game.

  7. Al's Wingman says: Aug 29, 2014 12:11 PM

    The ol’ Ball Coach won’t be doing a jig any time again soon.

  8. sweepthleg says: Aug 29, 2014 12:36 PM

    I definitely believe A&M’s success has more to do with Sumlin, his offensive system, and the out recruiting UT in the state of Texas than Manziel.

    Manzeil was a good player but the system and a MASSIVE O-line put him over the top. South Carolina looked fast yesterday on Defense. A&M’s players though looked bigger and Kenny Hill was poised, went through his progressions and found the open man every time. A&M abused the SC corners on those outside match ups all night.

    I never caught what was up with Mike Davis? He didn’t start the game and didn’t receive a lot of carries even after it became clear that SC needed to slow the game down if they were going to have a chance. Dylan Thompson didn’t look good either.

    I hope Mike Bobo was watching and taking notes on how to attack SC so UGA won’t get tripped up in 2 weeks.

  9. tigersfandan says: Aug 29, 2014 1:12 PM

    Preseason rankings don’t always mean much and I hope voters won’t hesitate to move both teams drastically.

  10. thraiderskin says: Aug 29, 2014 1:23 PM

    I guess it wasn’t a fluke, some people have some back tracking to do! The Aggies woodshedded the cocks in South Carolina.

  11. whocares832 says: Aug 29, 2014 1:35 PM

    It’s a long season, championships aren’t won after one game. Let’s see how TAMU is at season’s end before crowning Sumlin. By the way, South Carolina looked horribly overrated.

  12. microbrewuga says: Aug 29, 2014 1:45 PM

    I can’t imagine the Gamecocks won’t be better prepared for their friends in Athens GA, than they were for the strangers from TX.

  13. goodfieldnohit says: Aug 29, 2014 1:52 PM

    Sumlin is The Truth. Accept it.

  14. Bearfan54 says: Aug 29, 2014 2:48 PM

    I don’t watch a lot of college ball but that A&M game
    Showed me Sumlin knows how to coach.
    Plus, it was fun watching Spurtier twitching
    As he stood on the sidelines watching his team get
    HANDLED.

  15. dcroz says: Aug 29, 2014 2:57 PM

    Sumlin’s stock keeps rising with each season. This guy is going to be able to write his own paycheck when the NFL comes calling…because TAMU has more than enough money to keep him in College Station no matter what other college team might want him.

    As for Spurrier: Can he not pay anyone a compliment that isn’t of the backhanded sort? He got his ass handed to him by Sumlin, and what does he do afterwards but imply something underhanded with the way Sumlin runs his program (“He’s a good negotiator…” in relation to his recruiting)? Grow up, Steve; you’re too good and been around too long to act like a little bitch after getting whipped.

  16. tgaustin says: Aug 29, 2014 3:10 PM

    Goodfield,

    Glad you finally came around.

  17. amosalanzostagg says: Aug 29, 2014 3:29 PM

    I wonder if the OBC will change his mind about A&M schedule?

  18. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 29, 2014 3:29 PM

    Some interesting numbers from last night.

    2 of 9: South Carolina 3rd down conversions

    12 o 17: A&Ms 3rd down conversions

    2 of 2: A&Ms 4th down conversions

    6 QB hurries to go along with 3 sacks for the A&M defense

    10:05 : The length of the drive A&M used to end the game. (That is so impressive to me. Teams are going to be struggling in the 4th quarter to stop the Aggies with this kind of pace)

    99: Number of offensive plays run by the Aggies

    And lastly… 1: Number of starts it took Kenny Hill to break Manziel’s single game passing record.

    SO to GBH for some of this.

  19. irishlad19 says: Aug 29, 2014 4:23 PM

    Another example of why team rankings are useless until the 5th/6th week of the season.

  20. cometkazie says: Aug 29, 2014 4:25 PM

    Come back Sunday and we can break down the rest of the first weekend games.

  21. scfan36 says: Aug 29, 2014 4:59 PM

    @dcroz

    Spurrier didn’t make the negotiator comment after the game. Good job making an assumption and flying off the handle. It was a joke he made over the summer referencing Sumlin’s lucrative new contract.

    Both during the game (halftime) and after, Spurrier said that his team was outclassed in every phase of the game by A&M, which like the content of this article you surely overlooked.

  22. 8to80texansblog says: Aug 29, 2014 5:47 PM

    I did watch Spurrier’s half time and post game pressers…. and lets just say he had a lot more class about him than the SC fans that showed up at the A&M yell practice Wednesday night.

    But Spurrier was very complimentary of Sumlin and the A&M players and basically said that SC got outcoached, outplayed and outclassed.

  23. dcroz says: Aug 29, 2014 5:49 PM

    scfan36:

    Sorry, I didn’t notice the summer part, but it still is part and parcel Spurrier wanting to imply that everyone else but he cuts corners.

    In the meantime, good luck with East Carolina next weekend; maybe they won’t be to you what James Madison was to Virginia Tech a few years ago.

  24. irishlad19 says: Aug 29, 2014 8:17 PM

    When they beat up on ‘Bama and LSU maybe he’ll be worth the money.7

  25. thefiesty1 says: Aug 29, 2014 8:30 PM

    The system works, pay the man.

  26. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 4, 2014 11:03 AM

    irishlad19 says:
    Aug 29, 2014 8:17 PM

    When they beat up on ‘Bama and LSU maybe he’ll be worth the money.7
    ___________________________

    Let’s see, he beat Bama his first year at A&M and put up the most yds Bama has EVER given up the next year….

    I will admit LSU and John Chavis has been a mystery to Sumlin but in ’12 he lost to them by 5 and his kicker missed 2 FGs and an XP….

  27. pushingiron says: Sep 5, 2014 8:57 AM

    I was there in the late 80′s when the Wrecking Crew started a tremendous run with Jackie, through the early 90′s with R.C. I remember Bonfire standing next to Dr. Red Duke, Yell practice, and beating t.u. like a drum year after year. I have seen some great Aggie Football, but with Sumlin you can see he is building something really special. Lose Johnny, then the next guy steps up and breaks his record. One of the things I am really excited about though is this young defense. You can see the talent, they just need some experience.

  28. 8to80texansblog says: Sep 5, 2014 10:05 AM

    Here’s an outstanding article about Kenny Hill and how well he played against S. Carolina.

    While reading it you get a real feeling that Hill is already a better QB than Manziel. Manziel was Johnny Football and just magic to watch but he wasn’t near the pure QB that Hill already seems to be. When flushed from the pocket Hill is always looking for someone to throw to, and when blitzes come, Hill feeling the pocket ans staying poised. Hill uses more than just his athleticism to be successful, and don’t sleep on his athleticism either.

    One idea this obviously dispels though is that Manziel was a system QB.

    http://www.sbnation.com/college-football/2014/9/2/6093743/kenny-hill-texas-am-offense-quarterback-air-raid

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