LSU & Florida Are Calling
Sports Illustrated predicts Texas A&M will win six games in first year of KevinSumlin: What SEC schedule worries?
Mike Sherman won six games at Texas A&M this season and got fired. Kevin Sumlin could win six games as the Aggies new coach next season and meet every expectation.
At least Sports Illustrated's.
The sports bible predicts the 2012 record of the 10 BCS programs that changed coaches in its latest issue and Sumlin and Texas A&M come out pretty well in the analysis. Despite moving into the punishing SEC, and losing plenty of firepower from an underachieving 2011 team, SI sees six wins for Sumlin. That's more than the magazine expects Mike Leach to win at Washington State (five), Charlie Weis to win at Kansas (three) and Jim Mora to win at UCLA (five).
There are not a lot of easy wins on Texas A&M's schedule, but Sports Illustrated clearly believes in Sumlin. And based on his track record at UH, why wouldn't you?
Of the 10 first-year coaches looked at, only Urban Meyer at Ohio State (nine), Larry Fedora at North Carolina (eight) and Rich Rodriguez at Arizona (seven) are projected to win more than Sumlin in year one.
Sumlin's always maintained that he's not afraid of no SEC schedule.
Now that schedule's come out and it's equal parts thrilling and terrifying for Aggie fans. For LSU (Oct. 20) and Florida (Sept. 8) are heading to Kyle Field, bringing those college football mega powers within a two-hour drive of Houston. Of course, there's also a three-game road trip from hell, sandwiched by games at Auburn and Alabama — and no Texas.
There are not a lot of easy wins on Texas A&M's 2012 schedule — outside of McNeese State and SMU — but Sports Illustrated clearly believes in Sumlin. And based on his track record at the University of Houston, why wouldn't you?
"He's got the charm and charisma to galvanize the fan base and attract top in-state talent as the Aggies move to the SEC," SI writes of Sumlin.
Sumlin, who's already recruiting Houston heavily, will be watching his new team try to close 2011 at 7-6 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl at Reliant Stadium on Saturday. Of course, the Aggies do not have to worry about the SEC aura then — Northwestern, a 6-6 team from the Big Ten is the obstacle.
Just two days later in Dallas, Sumlin's old team will try to finish 13-1 without him in Dallas.
UH's new coach, Tony Levine, didn't make Sports Illustrated's list of new BCS coaches. No one's predicting his win total without Case Keenum.