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Take Two: Sumlin is out - Why did he fail at Texas A&M?

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Kevin Sumlin
AP Images

THE STORYLINE

Kevin Sumlin is out at Texas A&M. The school announced Sunday that Sumlin had been fired after six seasons and a 51-26 overall record.

"Kevin's tenure included some remarkable achievements and he leaves our program as one of the winningest football coaches in our storied history," Texas A&M athletic director Scott Woodward said in a statement. "Kevin made us a better all-around football program and led our program with dignity and character. He's a first-class person."

Sumlin's tenure is another study in a job well done for some time. but also major disappointments that led to his demise.

Things started so well for Sumlin in College Station as the Aggies went 11-2 and then 9-4 in his first two seasons. Hopeful starts then crumbled late in the season numerous times and that could be one major reason why Sumlin lost his job.

In the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Texas A&M started 5-0 both times only to finish 8-5 both times. Last season, the Aggies were 6-0 but again finished 8-5.

Immediately, Sumlin was on the hot seat this season as Texas A&M gave up 35 unanswered points to UCLA in the opener and lost to the Bruins by one point. After that loss, a board of regents member took to social media in a wild rant about Sumlin’s job status.

Sumlin also deserves some blame for completely bungling the quarterback situation in College Station when it comes to losing both Kyle Allen and Kyler Murray to transfer. Freshman quarterback Kellen Mond’s situation wasn’t exactly handled with aplomb as he was replaced as the starter.

Sumlin never had a losing season at Texas A&M. But there was major mismanagement and many disappointments. And those did Sumlin in.

FIRST TAKE: MARK PASSWATERS, AGGIEYELL.COM

“There are a number of things you can point to for causing Kevin Sumlin’s demise, but the simplest one is that he didn’t get the job done against the SEC West. He beat Alabama once, was winless going into his final game against LSU and was 3-3 against Mississippi State, with all three losses being humiliating. He was .500 against Auburn and Ole Miss. He was 6-0 against Arkansas, and they’re supposedly interested in hiring him.

“Mediocre is no longer acceptable at Texas A&M, nor should it be. They’ve invested more than $500 million in Kyle Field and football facilities, brought in more revenue than any athletic program in America, are on national TV every week and are in the nation’s best conference. Average doesn’t cut it now, and that is what Sumlin’s teams were once Johnny Manziel left.”

SECOND TAKE: MIKE FARRELL, RIVALS.COM

“It was two things: The quarterback situation certainly didn’t help but it was also the fast starts and the slow finishes. The record above .500 was helped by the beginnings of seasons. There was a stretch where they started off very, very well, moved up in the rankings and then ended up facing Alabama or another team and from that point on the season just went down the toilet.

“If you’re going to be inconsistent and lose a game early, and then lose a game in the middle of the season and then lose a game at the end of the season, that’s one thing. But if you’re going to start off most of your seasons with a good record and then absolutely crumble at the end, people get tired of that.”