For the second time in three years, one of the head coaches involved in the LSU-Texas A&M game appears to be headed to the firing line.
The Houston Chronicle’s Brent Zwerneman is reporting that Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin will be out after Saturday night’s season finale, regardless of the result.
Sumlin is expected to be dismissed in the day or days following the A&M game against the Tigers. The Aggies are a double-digit underdog to the Tigers, and an A&M victory wouldn't save his job at this point, the sources said.
A resolute Sumlin on Tuesday at his weekly press conference said that he expects to be A&M's coach next season.
"Why wouldn't I?" he said in response to a question from the Chronicle about his future.
Told that the Chronicle had learned he wouldn't be back next season, Sumlin responded, "I haven't heard that."
As you may remember, this same week in 2015 was spent with rampant speculation regarding Les Miles’ future as LSU’s head coach — to the point that by Friday, it was being openly speculated that Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher had already agreed to terms.
Speaking of which, back to Zwerneman:
The Aggies' top target is Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, according to people with knowledge of the school's plans.
Due to a combination of public pressure created by the rumor mill and political pressure brought to LSU Athletic Director Joe Alleva from multiple angles, the decision was made early on Saturday to keep Miles, followed by an inspiring victory for the Tigers, who carried their head coach off the field after the game.
Zwerneman’s report makes it pretty clear that, per sources close to A&M, Sumlin has no chance to save himself, even with a victory this week. After all, even if the Aggies do break the current six-game losing streak to the Tigers, that would leave them at 8-4 on the regular season, only matching the team’s success level of the recent years. And A&M AD Scott Woodward made it clear last summer that Sumlin needed to show improvement this season.
That said, big wins have a way of curing a lot of ills, and breaking this streak against the Tigers would be the biggest feather in the Aggies’ caps in some time. Now, what does this all mean for Saturday? Will the Aggies come out with an inspired effort and try to create their own carry-coach-off-the-field moment? Or will they show similar lack of inspiration we saw from Arkansas and Tennessee in similar situations?
We’ll find out on Saturday.