Texas A&M Hires Kevin Sumlin

Having moved on from the more absurd candidates for its vacant head coach position, Texas A&M settled on a pretty good choice: Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin. Sumlin -- probably the most sought-after and reportedly available mid-major coaches this year -- was 35-17 in four seasons with the Cougars.

Now he takes over a Texas A&M program about to enter the toughest division in college football, the SEC West, and tries to rebuild the program after the -- let's go with uneven progress -- of the Mike Sherman Era. Best of luck with that.

Not only will Sumlin make A&M history, he'll be part of SEC history as well: Sumlin becomes the third current black head coach in the SEC, along with Kentucky's Joker Phillips and Vanderbilt's James Franklin, a high-water mark for African-American coaches in the league. That's better than a fifth of the head-coaching positions in the SEC, and while that's not anywhere close to the proportion of black players in the conference, it's much better than the NCAA as a whole.

If there is a question about Sumlin as a head coach, it's whether he can win without Case Keenum. The coach has a 3-6 record without his perennial Heisman candidate, though he didn't manage to win Conference USA even with Keenum under center.

But Sumlin will be able to recruit a better grade of talent to College Station than to Houston, something that A&M will need to compete in the SEC West. At least it was able, when it comes to the most important talent on any team, to draw as good a recruit as it reasonably could expect.

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