In a vacuum, a disappointing one-point loss to the defending Sugar Bowl champions wouldn’t be a cause for alarm in College Station. But for Texas A&M and Kevin Sumlin, it’s just the latest in a disturbing trend of losses in the post-Johnny Manziel era.
And some fans simply have had enough.
Sure, the standout performance from Ole Miss true freshman Shea Patterson was enough to hand the Aggies a 29-28 loss. And yes, it was the team’s third consecutive conference loss after starting the season 6-0 and earning a No. 4 spot in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. But pointing out the recent failures is only part of the issue.
As TexAgs radio host Gabe Bock pointed out on Sunday, Sumlin is now 6-11 against the SEC West in 17 post-Manziel contests. That includes a combined 0-8 record against Alabama, Ole Miss and LSU, which have been the three strongest SEC West teams during that period. The Aggies still have a game against LSU remaining on the 2016 schedule.
Also consider that three of the six wins have come against Arkansas, two of which had to be settled in overtime.
A&M vs. SEC West in Post-Manziel era (2014-16)… pic.twitter.com/IPnXIWeJRB
— Gabe Bock (@GabeBock) November 13, 2016
When you combine the disappointing performance within the division over the last three seasons with an alarming trend of trailing off in November (4-6 record during the post-Manziel era), it’s the recipe for displeasure from a fan base that likes to consider its program among the nation’s elite.
The Aggies have dropped all the way to No. 23 in the latest AP Top 25.
Here’s a look at some of the reaction to Sumlin’s latest loss, which saw the Aggies blow a 15-point fourth-quarter lead at Kyle Field against a 4-5 team playing a freshman QB:
So Aggies now ranked two spots ahead of Troy in AP football poll. Great job Sumlin. Aggies on par with Troy.
— Anthony Andro (@aandro) November 13, 2016
A&M is 7-10 in SEC games at home in Sumlin's tenure. Includes wins over Vandy, Missouri, Arkansas, Tennessee, Miss State and South Carolina
— Chase Johnson (@Chase_128) November 13, 2016
Calling it now — Sumlin is in trouble at A&M after Mississippi debacles. Team doesn't look ready for LSU. Facing 3rd 8-win regular season.
— Todd Stone (@_ToddStone) November 13, 2016
I formally withdraw my support of Kevin Sumlin as our football coach effectively immediately.
— Kristian Wade (@K_wade23) November 13, 2016
Sumlin is a good coach. He can win 8 in the SEC and occasionally hit 9-10 with elite players. But that's not good enough.
— Whiskey Feasts ? (@LawAndWhiskey) November 13, 2016