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Kevin Sumlin tired of Johnny Manziel questions at SEC Media Day

Kevin Sumlin SECTexas A&M is going to miss Johnny Manziel now that the former Heisman Trophy winner has left school for the NFL. But one thing they won’t miss is all the attention he attracted.

Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin was asked a few questions about Manziel during his press conference at SEC Media Day Tuesday and quickly got sick of hearing about his former player.

“Obviously there was a lot of attention on Johnny Manziel. How are things different with him gone on the field and off the field?” Sumlin was asked.

As you can see around the 4:45 mark in the video, Sumlin didn’t give much of an answer.

“How much will the offense miss Johnny Manziel this year? Do you expect the offense to roll on as it’s done without him?” he was asked (7:25 mark in the video).

“Why would I expect it not to? Our expectations are to move the football, score and win.”

Sumlin was also asked, “What is it like not coaching Johnny Manziel?”

His response was funny.

“Let me get this straight: your question is what’s it like not coaching Johnny Manziel?”

He laughed at that question and gave the differences between the NFL and college ball. But after another about Johnny Football — this one about the alleged cocaine pictures — Sumlin decided he’d had enough.

“Ever since the party photos of Johnny emerged, have you had a chance to visit him and, if so, what have you shared with him? What advice have you given him?” Sumlin was asked.

“Is this the SEC Media Days? No, that’s a great question about the Cleveland Browns. Anybody else got something?”

Can you really blame Sumlin for getting frustrated with the questions? Texas A&M was practically encouraging Manziel to leave for the NFL because they felt like they could no longer handle him. He had outgrown college football. And you can tell Sumlin will be relieved when he doesn’t have to answer those questions anymore. But if his team struggles, you can bet he’ll wish he still had Manziel at quarterback.

Kevin Sumlin’s new contract has $5 million buyout for only first three years

Kevin SumlinKevin Sumlin and Texas A&M agreed to a new contract recently, and the terms of the deal will make it extremely expensive for another program to poach him.

The Texas A&M Board of Regents on Thursday unanimously approved the extension for Sumlin. The contract calls for him to be paid $5 million annually through 2019. The interesting part about the contract — aside from the pay that will put him in the realm of Nick Saban and Mack Brown in terms of average annual value — is the buyout clause.

If Sumlin wants to leave in the next three years, his buyout will be $5 million. However, there is no buyout after 2016.

The huge buyout doesn’t preclude Sumlin from leaving A&M in the next few years, but it would make such a move very costly and therefore unlikely. At a time when he is one of the hottest coaching names in the business — he was believed to be at the top of USC’s wishlist and even a potential candidate for the Houston Texans — the Aggies made a huge move to ensure he stays with the program.

They may be losing Johnny Manziel, but at least they should be keeping their coach, which will be key as Kyle Field undergoes renovations and the program raises expectations.

Kevin Sumlin reportedly USC’s top choice as head coach

Kevin SumlinKevin Sumlin is at the top of USC’s list when it comes to their search for a new head coach, according to a report.

The Los Angeles Daily News’ Scott Wolf says the Trojans are looking to make the hire next month and that the current Texas A&M coach is their top target. Sumlin went 35-17 as head coach of Houston from 2008-2011, including a 12-1 season in his final year. He then went to Texas A&M and went 11-2 last season and is 7-2 this season.

Sumlin has made the most of his quarterbacks at both stops; he had Case Keenum at Houston (the team went 5-7 the season Keenum got hurt), and he’s had Johnny Manziel at A&M.

Wolf says Vanderbilt’s James Franklin, Boise State’s Chris Petersen, former Raiders and Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, and Jack Del Rio have been mentioned the most as candidates.

Franklin went an impressive 9-4 last season with Vanderbilt, which is generally considered a lower-tier program in the SEC. Petersen has long been considered one of the top coaches in the country and has gone 90-11 at Boise State since 2006, but he has been reluctant to leave his current position. Del Rio used to coach the Jacksonville Jaguars and is currently the defensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. He’s a former USC player and reportedly would not leave his current position until after the season. Gruden hasn’t coached since being fired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after the 2008 season. He seems happy in his current role as an ESPN NFL analyst, though he recently said he would like to get back into coaching.

Former Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith has also been mentioned in association with the job.

Would Sumlin leave A&M for USC? He has a lot of momentum going with the Aggies. Their donations are up, their new facilities are coming, and they have been rolling. But he’s also likely to lose Manziel after the season, so it wouldn’t be a bad time to bolt. Would Sumlin want to leave the SEC — the top conference in the country — for the Pac-12? Maybe considering USC is historically a better program than A&M and would likely to pay Sumlin accordingly.

Kevin Sumlin: Johnny Manziel was not ignoring me

Johnny Manziel OVO DrakeTexas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel gave the media plenty to talk about when he returned to the field after serving his one-half suspension on Saturday. For starters, he played well and provided a major spark for the Aggies. And of course, there were plenty of extracurriculars.

After one of his touchdown passes, Manziel got into it with a Rice defensive player and was given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after he pointed to the scoreboard. When he returned to the sideline, it looked like Manziel was ignoring a lecture from Kevin Sumlin. The head coach says that was not the case at all.

“When he came off the field, basically I made two statements to him, neither one of which should he have responded to,” Sumlin said, via ESPN.com. “They weren’t questions. They were direct statements that I can’t repeat right now. So what’s amazing to me is the perception that he ignored me. The worst thing that could have happened was for him to reply, based on what I told him.”

The penalty was not the only time Manziel exchanged smack talk with a Rice player. There was also the autograph gesture he made after a play earlier in the game. Sumlin downplayed that as well.

“A lot of things are being made out of some things that went on last year,” Sumlin said. “I had someone come to me and ask me about the money signal. It’s the same thing he did all of last year and a couple other players in the country doing that. But when he does it, there’s an issue. ‘Let’s tie it to something else.’

“Has he kind of painted himself in a box with that, with some other issues? Probably. But at a certain point, his actions on the field are going to have to show where he is.”

The problem with Manziel is he won’t simply let his play do the talking. He chooses to do stuff like flash his cash at the casino for pictures that wind up on social media sites, so the spotlight remains bright both on and off the field. As a result, Sumlin will probably be facing these same questions all season long.

Kevin Sumlin explains how he helped Johnny Manziel avoid suspension

Johnny ManzielLast week, it was revealed that Johnny Manziel came close to transferring from Texas A&M following an incident last summer that resulted in him being arrested at a College Station bar. Manziel was initially suspended by the university for the entire 2012 season, but he appealed the suspension and won. Without the support of head coach Kevin Sumlin, it probably wouldn’t have gone down so smoothly.

On Monday, the Aggies coach told NewsOK.com about how he wrote a letter backing Manziel during his appeal process. Sumlin said the reason he wrote the letter was because he felt he had disciplined Manziel enough.

“A lot has been said about discipline, but he went through all that, which is a little bit more than people think,” he explained. “That’s not a public deal, it’s just what I ask him to do. He did all those things and his parents were involved in all of that. So for him to go through that, then go through camp and those types of things and earn the job, that’s what’s brought him to where he is now.”

As you know, Manziel went on to morph into a star after he was reinstated and became the first ever freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. In retrospect, Sumlin probably could not be happier that he went to bat for the freshman. He did not say anything specific about Manziel’s punishment, but Texas A&M obviously thought it was sufficient.

Now if Sumlin could just keep Manziel from drawing unnecessary attention to himself, the sky could be the limit for the Aggies in 2013.

H/T Eye on College Football

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.