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The Hot Seat is Warming up for Kevin Sumlin

By Jim Johnson
SouthernPigskin.com
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Kevin Sumlin’s back may be against the wall, but that might be when he’s most comfortable.

College football can be a fickle game. It wasn’t even two years ago that Kevin Sumlin’s name was being thrown out there for NFL jobs.

Now, he might be a few bad months from unemployment.

There’s been speculation about his job security since Texas A&M athletic director Scott Woodward told Paul Finebaum, on air, that Sumlin "knows he has to win. He has to win this year. He has to do better than he has done in the past."

Even in spite of his players’ support, the on-field product will always be the ultimate deciding factor.

“I love Coach Sumlin,” offensive tackle Koda Martin stated. “I love the program he has put together, and I love the staff that he has put together. I believe that he is doing everything he can to make sure we are going to win.”

The Aggies’ coach knows the stakes, and knows them well, however, and he’s felt similar pressure in the past.

In regards to Woodward’s comments, Sumlin said, “Nobody puts more pressure on me than I put on myself and nobody wants to win more than I want to… it's not going to affect how I do my
job and it's not going to affect my day-to-day operation.”

Sumlin went on to recount a story from back when he was the receivers coach at Wyoming, under Joe Tiller.

“Tiller said, ‘If they don't catch the ball, you're going to get fired’,” Sumlin reminisced, “and I was making $19,000, and I had a red little Fiero. Remember those things? You don't remember them. Where they caught fire in the back and all that other stuff. There was just as much pressure then as there is now. I'm being honest with you. So like I told them, ‘You better start catching the damn ball.’”

He expanded on his time with Tiller, as well as Mike Price and Mike Zimmer, at Washington State, and, in his words, “not the nice Mike Zimmer now, the mean Mike Zimmer back in the day.”

He described that group as a “rough room.”

But it’s in those rough rooms that he came to know the harsh realities of college football, as a business.

Sure, Kevin Sumlin’s back may be against the wall, but that might be when he’s most comfortable.

Jim Johnson - Editor of Southern Pigskin, Producer of "Three & Out", and host of "Explosive Recruiting" on the Southern Pigskin Radio Network. E-mail: jim@espncoastal.com Twitter: @JimJohnsonSP