On Sunday night, September 3, 2017, UCLA made history, mounting the second largest comeback in NCAA Division I-A football history. The largest comeback in NCAA Division I-A football history occurred in 2006 when the Michigan State University Spartans overcame a 35-point deficit to defeat the Northwestern Wildcats 41-38. After trailing 44-10 in the 3rd quarter to the Texas A&M Aggies, the UCLA Bruins ended the game in dramatic fashion—Josh Rosen, UCLA quarterback, faking a spike and throwing the game-tying touchdown, followed by the go-ahead extra point conversion. From now on, Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M’s head coach, will vividly understand the meaning of playing a full 60-minute game. This loss is unacceptable, putting Sumlin at an even greater risk of being terminated.
Kevin Sumlin Shouldn’t Be Fired
Although Sumlin does not deserve to be fired, considering he’s one of the top coaches in the nation, having a victory over Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide on his resume during Johnny Manziel’s time at A&M, surrendering a 34-point lead in the 3rd quarter warrants frank and robust criticism. Texas A&M Athletic Director Scott Woodward would make an unwise decision to fire Sumlin. Yes, this loss is embarrassing and disappointing, and expectations are high in College Station for the football team, but Sumlin deserves a little more time to meet those expectations.
Should John Chavis Be Fired?
In his long tenure at LSU, John Chavis, former LSU defensive coordinator and current Aggies defensive coordinator, demonstrated that he was a great defensive coordinator. Keyword, though, was. Before leaving LSU, Chavis seemed to be decline—evidenced by his defenses not performing as they should against several teams. Sumlin, therefore, might want to consider replacing Chavis in an effort to ameliorate his defense, a defense that yielded 35 unanswered points in the second half to the Bruins. Yes, the offense could’ve done more in the second half. The offense was responsible for 44 points on the board, which should’ve been enough points to win this game, however. Simply put, A&M’s defense was pitiful in the second half. While it’s not time to panic in College Station, it’s time to make the right changes. The right changes may include finding a new defensive coordinator.
Don’t Count Out Texas A&M
Again, Texas A&M does not need to panic. Make the proper adjustments before entering into SEC play, and the team has enough talent to have a successful season. It would be a grave mistake to think the Aggies are finished. This team will still contend passionately for the SEC West title.
Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels
University of Wisconsin-Madison