Realistically, the answer is yes. Since before the season began, I’ve felt that if Kevin Sumlin were to win 3 of the final 4 games on the schedule, and then deliver a win in a bowl game, it would be extremely difficult to fire Sumlin at the end of the season. Winning 3 of his last 4 games would demonstrate progress and growth in November to close out the year. It would mean he will have beaten both New Mexico and downtrodden Ole Miss, two teams that should be beaten anyway. So that’s merely taking care of business. But one of the other three final wins would come against either Auburn or LSU. Beating Auburn at home would be a feat Sumlin has yet to accomplish in his tenure at A&M, and it would be the signature victory of the season over a ranked opponent that is seen as one of the top 3 or 4 teams in the conference. A win over LSU would end Sumlin’s winless streak to the Aggies’ (supposed) rivals to the east. So, beating either Auburn or LSU will go a long ways towards saving Sumlin’s job. Perhaps this is what Texas A&M Athletic Director Scott Woodward has been waiting all season to use as his measuring stick.
However, any scenario where Sumlin’s squad finishes out the season going 2-4 (or worse), and I think the Kevin Sumlin era is finished at A&M. That’s unfortunate. I genuinely like Kevin Sumlin and want him to be successful at Texas A&M because he has been great for this program and university as a whole. Sumlin has gone toe-to-toe in recruiting battles and won. He has demonstrated that A&M no longer has to fight for leftover scraps like the Big 12 days. Instead, he’s the first coach in A&M’s history to make it cool for recruits to come to A&M. He’s also been able to raise expectations to the point that Aggies believe they should be contending for conference and national championships. That’s something no other coach at A&M has been able to do since the early 90’s.
Maybe Sumlin has become a victim of his own success. Had he not won 11 games his first year in the SEC, he might not be so highly scrutinized for only winning 8 games every year.
I think Aggies are simply tired of being embarrassed on the national stage. In the SEC every week and every game is on the national stage. Aggies (and Texans in general) are a proud people. They’re eager to show that they’re just as good, if not better than everybody else in the country. They’re eager to prove that they have deep pockets, fat wallets, and the best facilities that money can buy. So why shouldn’t they have the best coach that money can buy? Unfortunately for Kevin Sumlin, his shine has worn off with the Aggie’s “Big Cigars”. They’re ready to buy their next fancy chrome-plated coach. I just hope there’s a few people still involved in the program that remember these names: Franchione and Sherman. Like philosopher George Santayana once said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”.