Kevin Sumlin is Overrated as a Top Coaching Candidate

Kevin Sumlin is one of the hottest names when it comes to head coaching vacancies in college football. Between Arizona State, UCLA, and Texas A&M (who just fired Mike Sherman), someone is going to pay him a lot of money to be their coach. He may turn out to be a good head coach if he leaves Houston, but I wouldn’t want to pay him big-time money because I think he’s overrated.

Sumlin has been the coach at Houston the last four years. His teams have gone 35-16. I think quarterback Case Keenum is more responsible for the team’s success than he is.

Keenum has been the team’s quarterback every year Sumlin has been the coach. With Keenum at QB, Sumlin’s Cougars have gone 32-9. When Keenum got hurt in the team’s third game of the season last year, they lost that game and went 3-6 the rest of the way.

Normally I wouldn’t hold it against a coach for doing extremely well thanks to a star player. A big part of coaching is having an eye for talent, recruiting the players, and maximizing their abilities once they’re on the team. But Sumlin didn’t even recruit Keenum, who played for Houston as a freshman in 2007 while Sumlin was still at Oklahoma.

Like I said, I don’t know that Kevin Sumlin will fail if he takes over another program, I just don’t think he’s the big-time coaching wiz people are making him out to be. If he doesn’t have a Heisman-caliber quarterback, and if he’s coaching in a more difficult conference, chances are he’ll only be average. Buyer beware.

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  • Lew Patton

    This is the best post I’ve ever read at LBS, mainly because I completely agree. I said this very same thing today at work to another Aggie fan. Hopefully, Texas A&M will make a coaching decision not because the applicant has been at A&M before. Let’s get some successful coaching at Texas A&M and not worry what his record is/was in the short term.

  • http://larrybrownsports.com Larry Brown

    Thanks Lew

  • Gene

    They looked terrible against UCLA last year when Kennum got injured during the game and they didn’t look great in beating a mediocre Bruin team with Keenum this year.  If you cannot destroy 2011 UCLA, you are not a great team.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MYFMX2IRNJLW7CVUNNAM4ESC6Q Sandra

    I understand there were many closed-door meetings of coaches during the week before last Saturday.  I think the team was emotionally torn.  Sumlin did not put his team before his ambitions and his discussions of which coaches he would take to A&M.  If I were choosing a coach, I would want one who NEVER put himself ahead of his team.