- Created on Friday, 02 December 2011 06:54
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
When the 2011 college football season started the Texas A&M Aggies were looking to generate some serious buzz as they said their goodbyes to the Big 12 and set sail for the SEC. With the team they had there was no reason to believe they wouldn’t do it either.
Instead the team faltered and ended the season with a 6-6 record; the picture of mediocrity. The university had claimed that head coach Mike Sherman had no reason to fear for his job, but it turns out the vote of confidence was just a smoke screen as the university let him go on Thursday.
"Decisions of this nature are never easy, and I appreciate the patience of Aggies everywhere as we carefully evaluated the current state of our football program and the prospects for the future," Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin said.
Entering the season, the Aggies were ranked No 8 in the nation by the Associated Press and No 9 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. With 18 returning starters a push for the national title was not completely out of the picture.
After a look at the offensive statistics this season you would think that they were at least in the top 25. Their passing game is the 18th best in the nation; quarterback Ryan Tannehill ranks 12th in total offense. The running game has averaged 209 yards a game (21st) giving the Aggies one of the most balanced offenses in the game (and the 7th best offense in the country).
They had one of the worst pass defenses in the nation (112th), but since the team scored close to 40 points a game matching last season’s 9-4 finish should have been within reach. With a ranked SEC team on the schedule and five other ranked teams, the stage was set for the Aggies to soar into the SEC after a strong season.
Thanks to five second half melt downs that included a pair of overtime losses the team finished 6-6 instead. However, the team could still make their entrance into the toughest college football conference in the nation surrounded by buzz if they pick the right coach.
Although no known conversations have occurred, the popular frontrunner for the position is only a few hours away and busy preparing for his conference championship and a potential BCS bowl berth—the University of Houston’s Kevin Sumlin.
Sumlin has done a good job of building off of the success that Art Briles had in Houston before he left for Baylor. In three of the last four years he has had the No 1 or 2 offenses in the nation. While he did have the benefit of Case Keenum at quarterback, when Keenum got injured in 2009 Houston still had the No 11 offense in the nation.
Going with Sumlin would certainly appease local fans that will enjoy seeing someone from in-state get what would be looked upon as a promotion. Having someone with his offensive pedigree will have college football fans around the nation eager to see if Sumlin can generate the same kind of success he had in Houston (in a mid-level conference) with the Aggies against the big boys of the SEC.
What is that sound? It sounds like buzzing…