COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Here we go again.
The biggest knock against Kevin Sumlin and his teams at Texas A&M has been their inability to win in the second half of the season once they hit conference play. And just when the hot seat had cooled off a bit for Sumlin, there his Aggies were Saturday night getting pushed around in a 35-14 loss by a Mississippi State Bulldogs’ team that looked more comfortable at Kyle Field than the hosts.
Just like that, Sumlin’s seat has heated up again.
Last year, the Aggies were 6-0 before going 2-4 in the second half of the regular season. In 2015, they were 5-0 before finishing 3-4 over the final seven games. Same story in 2014 with a 5-0 start followed by a 2-5 flameout.
In fact, since finishing 11-2 and 6-2 in conference play in his first season as the Aggies’ coach in 2012, the Aggies have finished no better than 9-4 overall and 4-4 in conference play. Of course, Sumlin had Heisman winner Johnny Manziel at quarterback for that 2012 season, and that 9-4 finish came during Manziel’s sophomore encore in 2013.
Forgive the Aggie faithful then if Saturday’s result against the Bulldogs felt all too familiar. It’s hard to know for certain whether the Aggie administration is considering a change, but if Sumlin wants to change the narrative, he’s got another opportunity Saturday when the Aggies host the Auburn Tigers, ranked No. 14 in the first College Football Playoff rankings.
Mississippi State, meanwhile, is ranked No. 16 in those rankings, and the Bulldogs will get a breather back at home in Starkville, Mississippi, with UMass coming to town.
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