Aggies Steal The Moment from UH

Robertson Stadium, UH Campus: Scene of tomorrow's C-USA Championship Game between Southern Miss and the University of Houston.

On the eve of their great closure for a C-USA conference championship, an undefeated 13-0 season record, and a BCS bid that will probably land them in the Sugar Bowl, if they are successful in Saturday’s game against Southern Miss, the # 7 ranked UH Cougars have had their big moment stolen away from them by Texas A&M.

The Friday, Dec. 2nd sports page headlines of the Houston Chronicle totally derailed the UH meditation on what the history about to happen on the field in a little more than 24 hours. These headlines screamed, “Uh Oh, Cougars! You better start sweating out the loss of your coach!”

They screamed it this way at the top of the page: “A&M fires Sherman, sets sights on Sumlin”

That’s right. The Texas A&M firing Thursday of their head football coach, Mike Sherman, has set in motion the swirl over UH Coach Kevin Sumlin that we knew was coming anyway. In fact, A&M didn’t really start it. Earlier word yesterday came out that Arizona State wanted Sumlin for their coach at a salary of $4 million per year. Sumlin makes $1.2 million at UH. The math is easy to do. If immediate money, or money itself, is the only consideration here, “have not” UH has lost again to one of the many “have” schools out there.

If UH cannot come up with the bucks to match these other offers, than the university will have to stay good at the art of finding and hiring their next winning coach and keeping them until they can no longer afford them. Just as UH found with Art Briles before him, UH may soon need to ferret out the next Kevin Sumlin on the staff of some other successful program and keep on moving from there. Until UH can afford it, success cannot hinge on having the bucks for hiring the obviously most successful candidate out there. Until the day comes around that UH trades in its “stepping stone” status for recognition as a “destiny” school, UH will just have to keep finding those diamonds-in-the-rough that only need the opportunity to show what they can do.

With all the clamor on campus these days about the drive for UH elevation to “Tier One” status academically, it’s important to keep in mind how that notion translates to collegiate athletics. “Tier One” in college athletics is becoming a “destiny school” along the lines of Notre Dame, Ohio State, Alabama, Oklahoma, LSU, and Texas.

With any luck, maybe Kevin Sumlin will turn out to be like Bill Yeoman and be one of those rare individuals whose loyalty to the cause will keep him in Houston for the full ride back to national greatness in football and basketball. Those are the money sports that pay for everything else. They just don’t produce the uber-dollars that some universities have for coaching salaries. That kind of support has to come from well-heeled alumni donors.

That’s it for now. The next few days should tell us much about how the Sumlin Story will play out from here in the near term. In the meanwhile, those of us who care only hope that the coach-swirl will not detract from the Cougars’ performance on the field tomorrow or in the bowl game to come.

 

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3 Responses to “Aggies Steal The Moment from UH”

  1. Wayne Roberts Says:

    I was hoping you’d see this. UCLA is out there, too. He’d be better off with the A&M position since the Aggies have great facilities. I understand UCLA is run down and the cost-of-living is an issue out there which makes recruiting assistants very hard. I hope Sumlin stays but he won’t, nor can he be faulted. Frankly, Sumlin would probably do much better recruiting for A&M in the SEC than Sherman. I bet the kids love playing for him.

    Hopefully this won’t be too much of a distraction tomorrow and the bowl game, but it could be, especially if Sumlin has to jump before the bowl game.

    Go Coogs…..

  2. Bob Hulsey Says:

    As I understand it, the UH athletic program is growing and rebuilding. Each successful season brings them closer to being desireable by a major conference. But whether they ever become a “legacy” school is all about dollars and the dollars come more from tv contracts and sponsorship deals as it does deep-pocket donors who used to be the lifeblood of athletic programs.

    UH is moving in the right direction but it will take years of sustained growth and success to reach their goal. TCU made a smart move tying up Gary Patterson to a long-term deal. I think Boise Sr. is doing the same with Chris Peterson. Perhaps when they find the next Briles or Sumlin, the Cougars should consider a long-term contract with a penalty clause for leaving before the contract expires. That’s how you can go about having the stability that builds foundations for championships.

    Good luck to the Cougars and good luck to Coach Sumlin whether he stays or goes. I imagine he’ll look back fondly at his days ar UH while he goes through losing years in Tempe or College Station.

  3. Randy Says:

    I went to Kyle Field once to watch my Cougars play the Aggies. The main thing that I noticed was that the whole scene seemed to me as if it were a social engineering project………………………gone wrong. Why anyone who doen’t fit the criterion for being a part of that would ever want to go there is beyond me. They do and have always ostracized what doesn’t fit into the machine. Ah yes, da College Station mein Vaterland.

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