When John Chavis left the LSU Tigers to become the defensive coordinator of the Texas A&M Aggies, he walked away from a $1.3 million contract.
Chavis reportedly wanted his annual salary increased to $1.7 million to make him, along with Auburn’s Will Muschamp, the nation’s highest paid defensive coordinator.
When LSU brass decided that wasn’t going to happen, Chavis refused to sign a new contract. Instead, Texas A&M stepped up to the plate and lured him away to College Station.
Whether or not Texas A&M matched Chavis’ asking price, the assistant coach won’t see the full amount of his contract next season due to a buyout in his previous contract with LSU.
Chavis owes LSU $400,00 as part of the provision, according to The Shreveport Times‘ Glenn Guilbeau. The school intends to pursue the money it is owed.
“I’m not sure if we’ll get it, but we’re going to try to get it,” LSU board member Ronald Anderson told Guilbeau. “That was part of his contract. It’s his obligation.”
Whether or not LSU receives the payment may determine the future of former defensive line coach Brick Haley. Haley is currently on staff, but he was replaced by Ed Orgeron. Unlike Chavis, Haley signed a new contract offered after the season. However, his status along with the $450,000 contract remain uncertain until Chavis’ situation is finalized.
Haley is currently serving as a staff “intern.”
“I’m told that by June, if he decides to stay, they’ll decide what he’ll be doing and that title would change,” Anderson said.
Where have you gone Johnny Manziel?
The answer is Cleveland, and the Texas A&M Aggies obviously miss their former quarterback’s presence.
The No. 7 Alabama Crimson Tide annihilated the No. 21 Aggies 59-0 Saturday. Nick Saban‘s squad dominated every level of the game. The Crimson Tide racked up 602 total yards. Meanwhile, the Aggies’ explosive offense was held to only 172 total yards.
While Alabama earned an opportunity to move up the national rankings, Texas A&M is going in the opposite direction after its third-straight loss.
Over the past two weeks, the Aggies have been outscored 66-0 during the first half against the Ole Miss Rebels and the Crimson Tide.
After the past three seasons, Sumlin’s squad lost multiple top talents. Manziel, wide receiver Mike Evans and offensive tackles Jake Matthews and Luke Joeckel were first-round draft picks. Players such as running back Christine Michael, defensive end Damontre Moore, linebacker Sean Porter and wide receiver Ryan Swope were also drafted. As well as Sumlin has recruited for the Aggies, it’s still a young team at key positions and lacks talent in others.
The Crimson Tide easily exploited Texas A&M’s problem areas. It starts up front with an undermanned defensive line. Alabama’s offensive line mauled its way to 298 rushing yards. Texas A&M couldn’t counter.
The Aggies’ normally explosive offense couldn’t stretch the field. Quarterback Kenny Hill was under pressure throughout the contest and forced off his spot. Alabama played sound football by keeping everything in front of them and not allowing yards after the catch.
These problems became a recipe for disaster.
Fans of Texas A&M should expect plenty of changes after this week. Sumlin already stated at halftime of the game some players would be replaced.
No one should be safe after Texas A&M laid another egg, including Hill after throwing six interceptions the past three games.
Cameron Robinson, Arie Kouandjio, Bradley Bozeman, Leon Brown and Austin Shepherd were the stars of No. 7 Alabama’s first-half pummeling of the No. 21 Texas A&M Aggies.
Who are these five men? They’re Alabama’s starting offensive line.
The Crimson Tide lead 45-0 after two quarters of play behind the strength of its running game. Alabama’s offensive line absolutely dominated up front. The skill positions benefited with 226 rushing yards.
Last year Alabama ran for 234 yards the entire game. Texas A&M, meanwhile, has zero rushing yards after the first half and 51 total yards of offense.
It didn’t matter who was running the ball for Alabama.
Junior T.J. Yeldon ran over, through, around and by multiple Aggies nearly every time he touched the ball. The star running back accumulated 113 yards rushing on only 13 carries. Backup running back Derrick Henry averaged one less yard per carry and chewed up 58 yards with only eight carries.
Quarterback Blake Sims even got in on the act. The senior-signal-caller ripped Texas A&M’s defense with a beautiful 43-yard scamper. Sims broke multiple ankles during the long touchdown run (see: below).
Alabama didn’t take its foot off the gas after scoring 31 points due to the running game. The impressive ground attack simply opened up the passing game for the Crimson Tide. Sims found junior wide receiver Amari Cooper open for a 24-yard touchdown with 4:10 remaining in the first half.
The Crimson Tide decided to make a statement during the first half and they did so. All they have to do during the second half is continue to run the football and attempt to stay healthy.
Texas A&M, on the other hand, will attempt to salvage some of their pride. Kevin Sumlin‘s squad was embarrassed by the Crimson Tide during the first half. It’s now up to Texas A&M to pick itself up, play respectable football and improve in the areas it was dominated earlier in the contest.
If there were any lingering questions regarding the legitimacy of this year’s Ole Miss squad even after its victory over Alabama, those were put to bed Saturday with a lopsided 35-14 victory over the No. 14 Texas A&M Aggies.
The Aggies were never in the game after Ole Miss jumped out to an early 21-0 lead.
The Rebels are loaded with talent at every level with its defense quickly establishing itself as one of the nation’s best. The most impressive aspect of Ole Miss’ victories the past two weeks is how the defense adapted to different different styles from Alabama and Texas A&M.
Alabama is one of the biggest and most physical offenses in college football, whereas Texas A&M’s spread offense is one of the most dynamic. Yet, Ole Miss was able to compete and flourish against both. Why? Because Ole Miss owns top talent along the defensive line and in the secondary. Multiple players at each level have the potential to change the game with one play, whether it’s defensive end Robert Nkemdiche or safety Cody Prewitt. It’s a talented unit that consistently rallies to the football and sticks to their fundamentals.
The “Landsharks” have also proven to be opportunistic, as the College Station Eagle‘s Aubrey Bloom noted.
The biggest question mark regarding Ole Miss is the team’s senior quarterback, Bo Wallace.
Wallace brings plenty of experience to the offense, but he’s prone to make a mistake or two each game. He refrained from doing so the past two contests. During Saturday’s game, the Rebels’ quarterback completed 13-of-19 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown. Wallace also led Ole Miss with 50 rushing yards.
If Wallace can continue to play mistake-free football, Ole Miss may not lose a game this season.
The schedule doesn’t necessarily let up in the coming weeks, though. After hosting the Tennessee Volunteers next weekend, the Rebels will visit Baton Rogue to face the LSU Tigers followed by a meeting with the Auburn Tigers. But with an elite defense, a play-making quarterback and talent at every position, the Rebels possess the necessary ingredients to be the best team in college football this season.
When Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin was asked about his team’s first-half performance against the No. 3 Ole Miss Rebels, he said, “We got whipped up front.”
In fact, he said it three different times during the short interview. And the coach is absolutely correct in his assessment.
Ole Miss’ defense dominated Texas A&M’s offense through two quarters of play. For the first time in Sumlin’s tenure at Texas A&M, the Aggies were held scoreless through one half. The Rebels lead 21-0.
The self-proclaimed “Landsharks” feasted on the nation’s No. 3 offense. Texas A&M only managed 174 total yards. The play of the Rebels’ defense culminated in a 75-yard interception return for a touchdown by safety Cody Prewitt.
As good as Ole Miss’ defense was, Hugh Freeze‘s offense was nearly as good. The Rebels already ran for 99 yards on the ground, including a pair of rushing touchdowns from quarterback Bo Wallace. The senior was also 9-of-13 passing for 125 yards.
Ole Miss couldn’t have asked to play a better first half.
Texas A&M, meanwhile, wasn’t able to to establish any type of running game. Ole Miss also tackled well in space, which prevented the Aggies’ talented skill positions from breaking big gains after the catch. An improved running game, better protection from the offensive line and the ability to threaten the defense vertically are three key areas Texas A&M needs to improve upon to compete in the second half.