HOOVER, Ala. — Kevin Sumlin’s bus ride to SEC Media Days was cool and pleasant, and it came at the expense of Tennessee’s Butch Jones enjoying the same luxury.
During one of Sumlin’s Tuesday interview sessions, Jones interjected to tell reporters that the Texas A&M coach’s contingent took the lone air-conditioned bus from the airport to The Wynfrey hotel. That left Jones and his players to sweat it out in a bus that was not air-conditioned.
Temperatures will reach a high of 93 degrees in Hoover on Tuesday, according to weather.com, with nearly 50 percent humidity.
“There was two buses. He took the bus with air conditioning and left us in the no air-conditioning (bus),” Jones said while smiling next to Sumlin. “So thanks. We sweated the whole way, 100 degrees.”
“Trying to set the tone,” Sumlin responded.
The exchange, while clearly in jest, comes ahead of the Oct. 8 cross-divisional game between Texas A&M and Tennessee. Coincidentally, the matchup will mark the first time that longtime colleagues Jones and Sumlin have ever coached against each other.
“This is crazy,” Sumlin said. “We’ve known each other for years. As assistant coaches at West Virginia (Jones) and I was at Oklahoma, as head coaches, and we’ve never ever played against each other until this year.
“And, as luck would have it, it’s his best team he’s ever had. That’s kind of the way my life’s going right now. So that’s why he’s all comfortable, I get it.”
Before Jones jumped into the interview, Sumlin had been asked whether there was anything he had learned as Texas A&M coach that, knowing now, he might have applied earlier in his career.
“Sure, there’s things like that,” Sumlin started.
If Tuesday’s episode gives the Vols extra motivation for their contest with the Aggies, perhaps Sumlin might add “taking Tennessee’s comfy bus” to that list.
Butch Jones having fun with Kevin Sumlin for taking the car from air port with air conditioning. pic.twitter.com/kuL17KEqLV
— TexAgs (@TexAgs) July 12, 2016