Exclusive: Kevin Sumlin lobbied hard for USC job

December 1, 2013 – 4:14 pm by Ryan Phillips

Kevin Sumlin

On Saturday it was announced that Kevin Sumlin had signed a six-year extension to remain the head football coach at Texas A&M for the foreseeable future, sending a clear signal that he wanted to stay in College Station for the long haul. But Rumors and Rants has learned exclusively from sources at USC that Sumlin had been lobbying hard for the vacant head coaching position at the school for the better part of two months.

As soon as Lane Kiffin was fired in late September, Sumlin’s representatives were contacted and told their client was on a list of potential candidates to be his replacement. Sumlin then sent word through back-channels that he wanted the job and his wife in particular was excited about the prospect of moving to Los Angeles.

Originally Sumlin’s representatives sent the message to USC athletic director Pat Haden (again, through back-channels, which is how this stuff happens) that their client would only take the job if he was the only target. He did not want to risk looking like he was aiming for the job, then lose out to someone else. That would have made for an awkward situation at Texas A&M and would have made recruiting far more difficult.

USC made it clear to Sumlin and his people that he was on a list of about five candidates (the targets shifted over time based on how this season has played out and interviews conducted) and that he would not have the chance to separate himself until he interviewed for the position. Sumlin was hesitant to interview during the season because he was worried someone might find out or it might leak to the press. So the two sides agreed to meet in a neutral location (not College Station or Los Angeles) the Sunday after the regular season was over.

The USC delegation was scheduled to fly to a pre-determined neutral location to interview Sumlin on December 1 (today), but would also be meeting with two other candidates on the same day. We have been told repeatedly by USC sources and have had it confirmed over and over again throughout the coaching search Sumlin was not the favorite for the job because no favorite has emerged. Haden has insisted on interviewing all the candidates before deciding on a leader or a top target. Any reports to the contrary are completely false.

For the two months leading up to this past week, Sumlin’s representatives were in near constant contact with USC, continually letting Haden’s people know that he wanted the job. He felt quarterback Johnny Manziel was set to jump to the NFL and he was not looking forward to a rebuild next season. He wanted a new challenge and thought the path to a national championship would be easier at USC.

As the season progressed and the people at USC started digging into Sumlin’s background, his coaching philosophy, etc., some began to sour on him as a top option. That’s not to say he wasn’t still a target, but he had fallen down a few notches in some eyes. His team’s 8-4 record and scoring defense (84th in the nation at 30.9 points per game) also worked against him. Still, they were intrigued because he was pushing so hard for the job.

Then in the middle of last week Sumlin’s representatives contacted USC, canceled their December 1 meeting and asked that his name be taken off the list of candidates. He had decided to remain at Texas A&M and was set to sign an extension. Most people at USC expected that would be the eventual outcome all along, especially as the season went on and some of the higher-ups began to sour on him.

USC currently has a list of about four candidates (we promised our sources we wouldn’t divulge names), though it’s not hard to figure out who they are if you have been following the school’s coaching search.

Any reports that Sumlin turned down an offer from USC are completely false. The school never offered anything and never had him as the “favorite” as some have reported. As stated before, Haden has insisted on interviewing all candidates before offering anything to anyone. Sumlin never interviewed and was never offered the job, either through back-channels or outright.

As with all of USC’s potential candidates, parameters of what the school would be offering its head coach were discussed, but that’s normal in any coaching search and there was nothing different about how things were discussed with Sumlin.

The fact is that until last week, Sumlin was pushing incredibly hard to get the job, then had a change of heart and decided to stay at Texas A&M. Those in Aggieland will tell you he simply loves it there, while those at USC will tell you he didn’t want to chance losing out in the race to become the coach of the Trojans. The real truth likely lies in the middle.

From our perspective he decided to stay where he’s comfortable and take the bird in the hand, rather than risk going out on a limb and not getting the USC job.

UPDATE: Sources close to the Texas A&M football program have confirmed for us that Sumlin was considering leaving as recently as a few weeks ago. They also said his ultimate goal is an NFL head coaching gig.

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  1. 87 Responses to “Exclusive: Kevin Sumlin lobbied hard for USC job”


    USC sources? How about USC Spin. Sumlin was offered the day after Kiffen was fired. He promptly turned it down. The offer:

    4.75 base
    1.25 incentives
    Zero interest mortgage loan and down payment incentive
    Free tuition for his four kids

    A&M deal has been in the works since he turned them down. Who in his right mind wants to raise kids in LA when they can raise them in a safe college town?

    You’ve been had blogger. USC is saving face by giving you those lies.


    By Btt_stv on Dec 1, 2013

  3. Completely false. Sumlin was never offered the job, and no school would offer someone the job without an interview.

    Also you’re way off on the package being offered. I’ve had these sources on the USC search since late September and have been hearing the same narrative since then. Sumlin was a candidate but was never the leader. Was in a group of main guys being considered.

    Also, Texas A&M sources have since confirmed that Sumlin was considering leaving for a while.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 1, 2013

  4. We don’t want Kevin Sumlin anyway. Orgeron is CEO!!! Rebuilding year in 2014, conference champs in 2015, and national champs in 2016!!!

    By miller58 on Dec 1, 2013

  5. Ryan, I do not know you, but I read elsewhere on the internet that you may suffer from a small penis. Given this blog title, I’m inclined to believe that source is as reliable as your USC and Texas A&M sources.

    Actually, I’m inclined to believe my source more because they actually exist and I can carry on dialogue with them rather than go L Ron Hubbard on a blog repeating Thanksgiving table conversation and internet chatter.

    But I digress.

    I loved you in “Cruel Intentions” and “I know What You Did Last Summer,”

    Thanks for the exclusive breaks!

    By Fitch on Dec 1, 2013

  6. How does a no one from Indiana have sources at places like the Manning camp, in the USC admin, and at A&M?

    My guess is that you don’t, and you’ve either got a bad source, or you’re making crap up to fit your story.

    By MR on Dec 1, 2013

  7. MR,
    Well I grew up in San Diego, went to USC for a year out of high school and still have connections there and one of our writers works in Louisiana (near where the Manning Camp is). As for Texas A&M, I’ve detailed how I have connections there in the past, not going to do it again here.

    And how do I have sources? I’ve been a sports writer/reporter, columnist and blogger for seven-plus years for various national and local outlets.

    Also, just to clarify, I don’t live in Indiana, I used to, live in Milwaukee now.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 1, 2013

  8. Flitch,
    That’s fine, you’re welcome to believe what you want. We’ve been right before and would never report something that wasn’t double and triple-checked.

    Our track record speaks for itself.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 1, 2013

  9. The “his wife was excited about moving to LA” is completely false and makes the rest of your story highly suspect. Charlene was NOT AT ALL excited about potentially moving to LA and did NOT want to uproot her family again. She loves College Station and had no desire to move to LA. This is from a source who is actually good friends with the Sumlins and who speaks to Charlene on a weekly basis.

    By Stemp on Dec 1, 2013

  10. I have no doubt that Sumlin’s agent fed USC all that info, but the fact is Sumlin WANTED to stay at A&M as did his family. His agent did his job to play USC and A&M for a big raise and extension, but the picture you painted that Sumlin wanted to go to USC more than he wanted to stay is just wrong. “Considering leaving” is just considering the preliminary offer/numbers USC threw to the agent to get A&M to increase their offer. Any A&M source who said Sumlin was seriously considering leaving is just trolling.

    The NFL is a serious risk, especially with Sumlin likely getting many interviews with the Rooney Rule. However, the only job that he would seriously consider this year is Houston. But in 2 or 3 years all bets are off.

    By Stemp on Dec 1, 2013

  11. So your USC “source” comes to you with the information that Sumlin really wanted the job hours *after* Sumlin signs an extension with Texas A&M?

    This “back channel” talk has supposedly been going on for months, but only gets leaked hours after Sumlin signs an extension with A&M.

    And at no time did this seem like a program (and whatever mis-informed booster) trying to save face?

    By Hahhahaha on Dec 1, 2013

  12. Aggies desperately want to believe that Sumlin wouldn’t leave for a bigger program. He played UH like this (AZ State and others) and seemed to threaten to leave every year. Now, the Aggies will only have to sweat if he’ll go back to Houston for the Texans job or Dallas, etc. if he actually proves to be better than a 8-4, Top 25 coach without Johnny Manziel.

    By Steve on Dec 1, 2013

  13. So when the people at USC were “digging into USC’s background”, at what point did his 8-4 record start worrying them?

    Keep in mind 9 days ago the Aggies were 8-2.

    Do you bother to even read over this crap before clicking POST?

    By Bill in Texas on Dec 1, 2013

  14. Look, USC will get a decent coach but to print this drivel is embarrassing for you and your alma mater. Have some pride and move on. Sumlin was never leaving a Texas A&M for USC.

    You swung, you missed. It will work out anyway even without your unfounded little cry piece.

    By Frank on Dec 1, 2013

  15. OK as to his wife, in the beginning she was intrigued by living in LA on the beach (specifically the Manhattan Beach area). They started looking at places that were available and she was intrigued. Never said she still felt that way now. Frankly, I don’t know how she feels now.

    Also, this was more than agents feeding crap to USC. Sumlin legitimately wanted the job, then changed his mind. Don’t know why that would offend Texas A&M folks so much, he decided to stay.

    The point of this report is that he DID pursue the job, but wasn’t ever OFFERED the job because he didn’t interview. Reports to the contrary are 100 percent false.

    I have known the score with Sumlin since right after Kiffin got fired. I also know what’s going on with the rest of the coaching search and who USC has targeted and already interviewed (there have been three interviews). I was asked not to write about it and I obliged because I didn’t want to ruin relationships with my sources. Yesterday, since Sumlin is out, I asked if I could write about this and started contacting all of my other sources to confirm everything.

    When Sumlin was 8-3 with a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback people at USC had already begun souring on him. He’s 8-4 now and A&M’s defense is horrific. A lot of people at USC feel they dodged a bullet because he took his name off the list.

    Let me just clarify this: virtually everyone at USC LIKED Sumlin and think he’s a solid to good coach. They just didn’t LOVE him or think he would be a Godsend.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 2, 2013

  16. Frank,
    USC is not my alma mater, Indiana is.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 2, 2013

  17. Thanks for the comic relief! I know for a FACT that the information you wrote about Sumlin, his family and being interested in anything more than playing USC and A&M for more money from A&M is COMPLETE fiction. You got played and your USC sources are saving face. You’re A&M sources–if they exist–are not in the know in any way.

    Completely humorous though…thanks for the laugh!

    By Marc on Dec 2, 2013

  18. Marc,
    It’s not just USC sources, no fewer than five Texas A&M sources have now confirmed everything I wrote.

    They felt they were going to lose Sumlin until the last two weeks or so and had even gone so far as to target Fresno State’s Tim DeRuyter as a possible replacement.

    But believe what you want. You’re certainly entitled to that.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 2, 2013

  19. “OK as to his wife, in the beginning she was intrigued by living in LA on the beach (specifically the Manhattan Beach area). They started looking at places that were available and she was intrigued. Never said she still felt that way now. Frankly, I don’t know how she feels now.”

    USC alum here. I think Sumlin had moderate interest, as did USC. But both sides preferred to go in a different direction as the season progressed. I’d rather keep Orgeron anyway, but if we go a different direction, I still dont think Sumlin would have been a great fit.

    The fact that you actually write stuff like this (quoted material specifically), absolutely destroys your credibility. Basically anyone can do what you’re doing here: make claims that will/can never be definitively disproved and attribute your claims to “sources.”

    Sorry, but this blog posting, and your entire site in general, appears to be a joke.

    By Bob on Dec 2, 2013

  20. Lane Kiffin was, what, USC’s fourth, fifth, sixth choice? They (and you) are in full blown image manipulation mode right now. OF COURSE Sumlin’s agent expressed his interest in the job. He might have even seriously entertained the possibility. But do you really think a program after one of the hottest names on the coaching market is going to approach the hire by saying, “We can’t promise you anything. Throw your hat in the ring and we’ll see what happens.” That’s just completely laughable. No one with any value would put their neck out there like that. You think Chris Petersen and James Franklin are playing that silly little game? LOL.

    The truth is Sumlin was more than likely playing for a raise and, if he didn’t get what he wanted, he’d leave for the NFL. As for USC “cooling” on Sumlin because of team performance, I don’t know what to say to that. Is that still going to be the line when USC hires 8-4 James Franklin who got walloped by Sumlin this year and hasn’t proven to be as good of a recruiter? Or Chris Peterson who went 8-4 in the freaking Mountain West and has NEVER had to recruit on a big stage?

    This just reads like complete spin.

    By The Truth on Dec 2, 2013

  21. Lol

    So this guy claims he has inside sources at universities all over the US, and apparently ESPN, Fox, Yahoo Sports, TMZ Sports, CBS Sports, etc… Can’t dream of getting that kind of access?

    Looks like he even has a source close to the Sumlin family peeping in on Sumlin’s wife to see what she’s looking at on the internet. With sources like that, this guy is going to make bank working for a real publication some day.

    By Not buying it on Dec 2, 2013

  22. Gentlemen, at this point none of it matters. Coach Sumlin will coach us into the future and should he leave in two or three years he will have resurrected the program for his successor. I am a life long Aggie and former student, and am inclined to believe this report. Coach Sumlin has a responsibility to provide as best he can for his family and I find it likely that he was interested in the USC job. After all, that program has a much more storied history than ours.

    One more reason I am inclined to believe this is based on his story about Manziel. A classmate of mine has an offspring working on the A & M training staff. By all accounts Johnny is just this side if a turd with a below average popularity rating in the locker room.

    So now good Ags, blast me. But don’t delude yourselves and think for one moment that Kevin Sumlin will be here of the long term. He will be coaching in the NFL in three to five years. Bank on it….I know he will.

    By Ritchey on Dec 2, 2013

  23. You’re full of crap buddy.

    By dale on Dec 2, 2013

  24. Bob,
    It’s what I was told. She was intrigued by living at the beach. They never visited and looked at places but they were sort of excited by the prospect early on. Not sure what’s so strange about that or reporting it.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 2, 2013

  25. I have no doubt you have “sources” at A&M. What you don’t have is quality or connected sources at A&M. The Aggie boards had plenty of scared Aggies that would tell anyone that would listen that we were going to lose Sumlin to USC. None of them had a clue as to what they were talking about. The fact that you come one trying to explain your fiction over and over is further proof that if you tell a lie enough times, you might even start to believe it yourself.

    You did not have connected sources on this and like I said in my last comment, I know for a FACT this is a work of fiction and I guarantee my source on that is connected closer to Sumlin and his wife then you or any of your “sources”.

    You may believe every word you wrote today, but the FACT is, you were played on this one.

    By Marc on Dec 2, 2013

  26. Marc,
    Believe what you want my friend. Our sources have been spot on about A&M and USC repeatedly. Track record speaks for itself. Have had everything in this report confirmed from everyone we have talked to. Would never have run it if we didn’t have rock-solid confirmation.

    And no, our sources did not come from message boards.

    Also, I’m responding to comments because I enjoy engaging with people who respond, not because I feel I have to explain myself. Again, our site’s track record speaks for itself, I don’t need to defend it.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 2, 2013

  27. If you have sources of 5 coaches who are being discussed, why is Sumlin the only coach outted in this article? Why not discuss all information instead of hanging one coach out to try? What is your motivation to target this coach?

    By Steph on Dec 2, 2013

  28. I’m surprised so many doubt this article. Well, not the A&M people. They don’t want to believe their coach would want to leave their school for another school, because they don’t want to believe it’s a more prestigious football tradition powerhouse school. But it is. Despite their foolishness in hiring Lane Kiffin. This story is perfectly believable, and these hate comments smack of denial. USC can recruit nationally and quickly get to the NC while A&M must fight through the SEC and SEC Championship Game to get there.

    By Greg-R on Dec 2, 2013

  29. Whoever wrote that article is a football virgin. What do you think agents do? They build up every offer as much as they can and then their client choses. USC lost and now tries to save face. LOL

    By Leage City Ag on Dec 2, 2013

  30. This story sounds like pure fiction. I’m sure an agent lobbied for the job for his client, but I doubt Sumlin lobbied for the job. He has been given all the resources he has asked for at Texas A&M and they are a much wealthier and influential school than USC.

    The rebuilding comment sounds like either conjecture or pure ignorance. Sumlin signed the two best QBs in the state of Texas last year (Kenny Hill and Kohl Stewart). Kenny Hill was the National Parade All American QB and TX Gatorade POY. Hill led Southlake Caroll to 3 straight Texas 5A Championship games and won it twice: utilizing the offense that A&M now runs. Coach Sumlin has also signed two of the best recruiting classes in A&M history and the current class is better than both of those classes. The current class is ranked #2 nationals and the headliner of the class is the #1 QB in the nation. A&M is in the best conference in the nation and in probably the second one of the best recruiting territory in the nation (TX and LA). CA is probably a distant fifth when you consider all the territorial mixes of the states bordering FL, AL, LA, MS, and SC.

    By Chris on Dec 2, 2013

  31. Chris go back and read the story. Everything that was said was by Sumlin’s representatives. …Then the headline is Sumlin lobbied for the job or pushed hard to get the job.

    The person who wrote the article is just some USC hack trying to save face.

    If USC was they job they think it is they would not have had to settle like they did last time.

    By todd liveringhouse on Dec 2, 2013

  32. Just spent 2 hours talking with my multiple sources at USC and A&M athletics and booster alumni. Interesting. They confirmed USC initiated contact with Sumlin’s agent but were virtually unanimous that Sumlin did not “lobby” for the USC job. My USC sources said Sumlin’s agent indicated Sumlin was happy at A&M but would consider all his options after the regular season ended.

    My USC sources also said USC representatives contacted agents of 15 NFL and college coaches to gauge initial interest. They said Sumlin’s agent was one of the 15. Other names mentioned: Peterson (Boise), Sarkisian, Briles, Bob Stoops, Franklin, Strong, Del Rio, Andersen, Malzahn, and Gruden.

    By Mike Richards on Dec 2, 2013

  33. I guess any blogger can say they’ve got “sources,” and try to act like they’re actually reporting something that’s true. When you write a story where you actually confirm at least one source, it becomes a little more believable. If you thought it was true you wouldn’t have to get on here and defend it like any other internet blogger or ESPN.com message board junkie. You can defend your “rumor” all you want, but the only fact that can be taken away from this article was what everyone already knows: Sumlin was an early candidate for the USC job.

    Honestly, how can someone “sour” on a coach’s 8-4 record when the coach wasn’t even 8-4 before he supposedly cancelled the December 1 meeting. It really just seems like you glean off of legitimate sports writers, say you’ve got sources and then throw in some fiction to stir peoples attention. You say you’ve got a “proven track record.” Well, that track record just means you mostly submit articles after ESPN has already reported on the issues. Congratulations.

    You might consider changing your Twitter handle to something that doesn’t say “Rumors” either so that people will at least think you’re a legitimate writer. You’re a gossip columnist and nothing more.

    By Marl on Dec 2, 2013

  34. Just so you know, I’m a Longhorn fan, so it takes a lot of me to rise up and defend anything Texas A&M. I just hate that the media is watered down by writers like this.

    By Marl on Dec 2, 2013

  35. Just had another call from a USC source I’d talked to earlier this morning. He said Sumlin’s agent never indicated Sumlin wanted the USC job. Sumlin’s agent told USC that Sumlin was willing to listen after A&M’s regular season ended, which is what all agents say (including Nick Saban’s agent) when potential job offers are discussed. My source said USC felt early on that Sumlin was committed to Texas A&M and not interested in moving his family and children to Los Angeles.

    Same source said USC wants to get its hire done before Texas starts interviewing candidates.

    By Mike Richards on Dec 2, 2013

  36. Ryan,

    If you honestly believed any of what you wrote was true you would not be defending yourself so adamantly. You wrote complete BS buddy and everyone is calling you out on it. Take your lumps and move on.

    By James on Dec 2, 2013

  37. Let’s face it, A&M is on the rise. It is our program that needs rebuilding. Just look at the Rivals recruiting rankings. But we can do as good as Sumlin elsewhere.

    By Trojan79 on Dec 2, 2013

  38. Looks like USC must have “soured” on Peterson too…

    You would think after the Kiffin hire that some of these USC writers/bloggers would finally realize that USC isn’t the top destination that it once was.

    A coach has said no to stay at Texas A&M.
    A coach has said no to stay at Bosie State.


    By Matt on Dec 2, 2013

  39. Matt, I disagree. USC certainly IS a top coaching destination. But we need to be realistic…there are other good coaching jobs out there, too…and we can’t expect to just snap our fingers and have them come running to us. From what I can gather, this article is probably false. Sumlin simply chose to stay at one of the other good coaching jobs out there.

    By Trojan79 on Dec 2, 2013

  40. You are correct — USC certainly is still one of the Top 20 or so coaching destinations. I meant to imply that they don’t have the sway they once had that they can just “snap their fingers” and get the head coach at any decent school.

    Is there prestige? Sure… But with Oregon, Stanford and UCLA all on the rise it is no longer a destination where talent is going to put you in the national title picture every year.

    By Matt on Dec 2, 2013

  41. Not sure what to believe. If Sumlin wants to leave TAMU, he sure has fooled us. I can’t believe that Manziel going pro has anything to do with looking for another job. In college, you’re breaking in a new QB every other year.

    His defense should be much better next year. Last year’s team had upperclassmen that made plays but A&M wasn’t great last year. This year’s youth and lack of depth was evident. Defense will be much improved.

    By Enrique on Dec 2, 2013

  42. It looks like Sumlin used USC to get a raise. That has to be the reason they soured on him, but are still considering coaches with more questionable resumes.

    By Joe on Dec 2, 2013

  43. UPDATE: Source who is a Sumlin family friend was visiting with Charlene (Kevin’s wife) who said, and I Quote, “there is no way we are moving to that LA hell hole and raising my family.”

    But spin on and make yourselves feel relevant! Too cute.

    By Aggie4Life on Dec 2, 2013

  44. Sure Manziel is leaving. But Sumlin also has commit from Kyle Allen, an Arizona kid rated among the top prospects in the nation. Sumlin can flat out recruit. That’s why he probably never intended to leave TAMU, but likely used all the publicity about the USC job to score a big raise there. Good luck to him, let’s move on…

    By Trojan79 on Dec 2, 2013

  45. What a joke, I wish the people would read what they are posting before they say it. “They don’t want Kevin Sumlin because he went 8-4 (with three losses to top 5 teams).” Then they go and hire Steve Starkasian with another 8-4 record, who went 7-6 the previous year while Sumlin went 11-2. The logic doesn’t make sense, and this just goes to prove the flawed reporting in this article. I expected more from the internet.

    By Reed on Dec 2, 2013

  46. So Sumlin’s 8-4 record worked against him, but Sarksian’s 8-4 record was perfectly fine for USC? That doesn’t make much sense Ryan.

    By MR on Dec 2, 2013

  47. “but he had fallen down a few notches in some eyes. His team’s 8-4 record and scoring defense (84th in the nation at 30.9 points per game)”

    So USC is fine with hiring sarkisian who’s team is:

    89th in scoring defense, giving up 31.3 pts per game.

    But they aren’t cool with 84th/30.9…

    Yea, makes complete sense. You are a terrible “reporter” and your sources really, really let you down. You might want to get some better ones!

    By AggieinMD on Dec 2, 2013

  48. You reached so hard it’s not even funny. Sumlin is from a small town so he has no problem being in a small town. College Station is the perfect place to raise a family if you have a good paying job which he obviously does. USC would have had to pay him almost 7 million a year to match his take home he gets in TX because we don’t have a state income tax plus the cost of living is so much cheaper. Of course his agents would want him to listen to offers from USC, it would only guarantee a bigger payday for everyone. Sumlin has been recruiting Texas since at least the early 90’s and got his first OC chance at A&M under R.C. Slocum plus he’s beating Texas and OU head to head for top recruits now. USC is a great historic program but it would have made zero sense for him to leave the only area he’s known for a short leash at USC.

    By brian on Dec 2, 2013

  49. you have to be kidding me…Kevin Sumlin?

    Have you looked at Sumlin’s coaching record this year? terrible…who would even want him coaching their team?

    By dave hardy on Dec 2, 2013

  50. USC would love to have Sumlin. But Sumlin turned us down, pure and simple, despite what Ryan Phillips writes. He used the USC rumor to get a big new contract at A&M…nothing more, nothing less.

    By Trojan79 on Dec 2, 2013

  51. So Sarkisian 8-4 record and scoring defense (89th in the nation at 31.3 pts per game) worked in his favor, but…

    Sumlin’s 8-4 record and scoring defense (84th in the nation at 30.9 points per game)worked against him?

    Makes sense.

    By MD on Dec 2, 2013

  52. lol.

    so sumlin’s 8-4 record worked against him…and usc ends up hiring a guy who’s currently 8-4.

    you really intend for us to believe that usc was given a choice, and they chose sarkisian over sumlin?

    that’s just precious.

    By woo on Dec 2, 2013

  53. Agreed. No way in H*LL we would hire Steve Sarkisian over Kevin Sumlin if Sumlin was really interested. It’s all about recruiting! Holy crap, Rivals has A&M at #3, Washington at #72. Good lord I hope this is just a rumor.

    By Trojan79 on Dec 2, 2013

  54. No one ever said they chose Sarkisian over Sumlin. Sumlin took himself out of consideration last week before even interviewing.

    As I’ve said several times, USC WANTED to interview Sumlin, but didn’t get the chance. That said, they never made him an offer and never had him as the top choice because they never had ANYONE as the top choice. Had a top group of guys and they wanted to separate them out after interviews.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 2, 2013

  55. Ryan,

    The problem is, you said this about Sumlin:

    “As the season progressed and the people at USC started digging into Sumlin’s background, his coaching philosophy, etc., some began to sour on him as a top option. That’s not to say he wasn’t still a target, but he had fallen down a few notches in some eyes. His team’s 8-4 record and scoring defense (84th in the nation at 30.9 points per game) also worked against him”

    Yet, your “sources” at USC are just fine with a coach that has a worse Scoring Defense, a worse record over the past 2 years and who has ties to Pete Carroll (ties into background and coaching philosophy).

    Do you not see why people are questioning your…”reporting…?

    By AggieinMD on Dec 2, 2013

  56. His record wasn’t the only issue, and we never said it was. You have to actually read the entire report not just take small quotes out.

    Sumlin had a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback and national championship-type projections and he went 8-4. His philosophy for how he uses assistants, defensive philosophy, etc. were what began to sour people on him. Record contributed but wasn’t the ENTIRE issue.

    Again, I don’t understand why A&M people are upset about this. He thought he was going to leave and wanted to. Then, when push came to shove, he changed his mind. Happens all the time. Coaches think the grass is greener a lot and are always looking for the next step.

    USC didn’t think Sumlin sucked (which is what some of you are assuming I meant), he just wasn’t the outright front-runner for the job. They had a group of five candidates, which I can reveal now that Sarkisian has been hired. The group was Sumlin, Petersen, Sarkisian, Del Rio and James Franklin, plus Ed Orgeron. Pat Fitzgerald was originally on the list as well.

    Sumlin backed out of his interview last week after pushing for the job for a while. Clearly he changed his mind.

    They met with Petersen twice and initially he also was pushing very hard for the job. After the second meeting both sides agreed he wasn’t a fit in Los Angeles (he’s a horrible interviewer apparently).

    Sarkisian blew them away with his interview but they had reservations about his record at UW.

    James Franklin was not contacted seriously because of the ongoing off-the-field issues at Vanderbilt. As they dug into those they became a big hurdle for USC folks to get over.

    Del Rio was always considered a deep backup but he really wanted the job.

    If Sumlin hadn’t taken himself out, USC may have offered him after an interview, but they never got the chance to do so. So I never said they hired anyone OVER Sumlin. Just that he was never the favorite because there was no favorite.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 2, 2013

  57. FULL OF IT! Exactly why your Twitter is “RumorsandRants”. Horrible reporting, same s#it you media hype do to Johnny…get a life!

    By Ross on Dec 2, 2013

  58. OK, Ryan…NOW you are saying you agree with me? YES…Sumlin took himself out of consideration! Exactly my point. If, as you say, he “lobbied hard for the better part of two months” then it was just to play us…and A&M…to get a new contract. But, that’s not the angle of your report here. Just sayin…

    By Trojan79 on Dec 2, 2013

  59. How about a direct quote from Sumlin himself? Or even a direct quote from the university. This whole article is all hearsay with “Sources” who shall not be named.

    By Bryan R on Dec 2, 2013

  60. Nobody is upset about it. I imagine I speak for quite a few Aggies when I say that we are more amused at how USC (and you) are backtracking so fast, its a shock you guys haven’t ran all the way back to the reggie bush years!

    In fact, nobody has claimed that Sarkisian was hired “over” Sumlin.

    The reasons you mentioned that USC “cooled” on sumlin all apply to Sarkisian. That is where you seem to be confused. How did USC “cool” on one coach, yet warm up to another coach when their results were almost identical?

    Those are your words so you can’t go back and change what you said. You didn’t say “it was just his philosophy”, you specifically brought up scoring defense.

    Also, this was an interesting analysis:

    “He felt quarterback Johnny Manziel was set to jump to the NFL and he was not looking forward to a rebuild next season.”

    You really think next year is a rebuilding year for A&M? Do you follow college football at all? The Aggies are losing 2 major contributors and will have a Defense filled with Sophmores/Juniors…Yet that is re-building?

    So you have to admit, it seems strange that USC “cooled” on Sumlin as the season progressed but apparently became enamored with sarkisian for producing almost identical results.

    USC got used by Sumlin and Peterson and had to go with their 4th or 5th choice. It really isn’t that hard to admit. What is humorous is that you won’t admit it.

    By AggieinMD on Dec 2, 2013

  61. Got to love it. The Aggies jump from being a middle tier team in the B12 to a middle tier team in the SEC, while having one of their greatest players ever, and as always they think they are the top program in the country. USC is a much more storied program than Texas A&M and always have been. I mean seriously what have the aggies done in, well ever? Hell even the 12th man story can’t be verified and was used by other teams before 1922. Most of your traditions are just stupid an silly and lame. No wonder why you are always playing second fiddle to Texas. I see why they laugh at you guys. They are playing their worst football on a long time and still holding their own against you while you have a “legend” at QB. Get over yourselves.

    Come back when you and Sumlin have actually accomplished something, because so far you have not done jack.

    By poor aggies on Dec 2, 2013

  62. This report is all about USC saving face because Sumlin signed with A&M, and I can prove it.
    Why would a coach so eager to go to the NFL, as you suggested, agree to a deal that prohibits him even interviewing with NFL teams? And why would A&M give a guy a raise and long term deal if he was looking for an exit?
    I have sources too. (I knew about Johnny’s punishment 4 hours before it hit the tape and emailed it to friends) and your report is way off.

    By Sam on Dec 2, 2013

  63. Gotta love whorn fans that are so obsessed over Daddy that they come to a third tier website to comment on a 4th tier article.

    Good luck with the mack brown replacement search. I heard Case McCoy can’t wait to watch…how that plays out.

    By AggieinMD on Dec 2, 2013

  64. Actually read the report, I’ve said all along that Sumlin took himself off the list of candidates. And I haven’t backtracked on anything.

    It’s not an argument that A&M has been disappointing this year, everyone agrees with that. They came into the season ranked No. 7 and No. 6 with national championship buzz and the Heisman Trophy winner back at quarterback. They are now No. 24 and No. 22. That’s a terribly disappointing season.

    The Aggies will almost certainly lose Manziel, Evans, Matthews, Ogbuehi and Malena. That’s a lot to replace.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 2, 2013

  65. My sources (see how that works) say you are completely wrong. I cannot see a guy from SoCal who went to Indiana then Wisconsin that as multiple sources in A&M. I do have them and everything they have said is complete opposite of this blog. I mean 100%. Again you got used to spin for USC and took the bait. Hiring Sark 2 days after Sumlin accepted his new offer proves it.

    this is Sarks 5 year record 5-7, 7-6, 7-6, 7-6, 8-4

    Throw out the first year since UW so bad but you still have a .550 or so record.

    By btt_stv on Dec 2, 2013

  66. “The Aggies will almost certainly lose Manziel, Evans, Matthews, Ogbuehi and Malena. That’s a lot to replace.”

    This is how I know you literally know nothing about A&M football.

    The Aggies have tons of offensive talent, including 4 returning O-Line starters, 3 returning Running backs and a plethora of WR’s. Yep, it sucks losing Manziel, Evans and Mathews but that is nowhere near close to a “rebuilding effort”.

    But hey! If you can’t defend what you reported, just change the topic! Notice how you had to change the topic to how dissapointing A&M’s season has been? So dissapointing that USC wanted Sumlin as their HC until he said no thanks.

    Care to retort on btt_stv facts on sarkisians record?

    By AggieinMD on Dec 2, 2013

  67. How is anyone supposed to take anything seriously that is posted on a site named Rumors and Rants? Rumors are just that. They are wrong at least as often as they are right.

    By Rex on Dec 2, 2013

  68. I saw this on Team Stream (BR) earlier. I wonder why they took it off? Sad u have to make up things like this just to try and make ure self known.

    By Deanna Middleton Robinson on Dec 2, 2013

  69. Didn’t change the topic, there was someone suggesting Washington’s season was just as disappointing as A&M’s. I pointed out the difference.

    Nowhere did I defend the hiring of Sarkisian, I’m telling you the thinking behind what USC was doing. A&M was loaded with talent and was a disappointment, Washington didn’t have much to work with and posted the same record. Does that mean Sarkisian is a better coach than Sumlin? Absolutely not and I didn’t say that anywhere.

    Facts are this: Sumlin wanted the job for a while, then changed his mind. People saying “well USC hired someone two days after Sumlin got his extension so it proves they wanted him badly” make me laugh. USC was always going to make a hire right after the regular season ended. Hires never happen in-season.

    I have said this several times now: Sumlin was supposed to interview on Dec. 1 (Sunday), then USC was going to interview Petersen and Sarkisian again for the second time each, then make a decision. The Sumlin interview was planned for a month. In the middle of last week he asked to be taken off the list.

    Sumlin, Petersen, Del Rio and Sarkisian actively lobbied for the job from the time Kiffin was fired. Haden told all of them he needed to interview them. The first three interviewed in early November and Sumlin said he wanted to wait until the season was over.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 2, 2013

  70. A comment section would not be complete without an obsessive troll randolph rant from shaggy. I love it.

    By Poor shaggy on Dec 2, 2013

  71. From reading this, it’s obvious that Ryan Phillips does not have connected sources at A&M.

    By Kevin Sumlin on Dec 2, 2013

  72. did br actually pay this guy for this bs…..hard to believe……

    By jay jay on Dec 2, 2013

  73. BTHO Ryan Phillips! Whoop!

    Stuffed by Kevin Sumlin

    By Steph on Dec 2, 2013

  74. No need to explain anything to all of these Aggies, Ryan. Their raging originates from the same angry little brother complex they’ve had for years towards Texas.

    By benefactor on Dec 2, 2013

  75. Hey look…I’m Kevin Sumlin too. See how easy that was?

    By Kevin Sumlin on Dec 2, 2013

  76. Ryan – You continually say “fact is”…..like “fact is he initially wanted the job but then backtracked and said he didn’t”. That is NOT factual based on direct statements from Sumlin’s wife. Your whole story is innuendo without a shred of actual facts about anything.

    And we are used to this by the tu (that’s longhorns) spin machine who never loses a recruit or coach that they want – so we tend to confirm things directly with the source. In this case the source happens to be Coach Sumlins wife who completely contradicts your claim that she was excited about moving to LA.

    Save some credibility and admit you screwed the pooch on this one. It’s all good.

    By Aggie4Life on Dec 2, 2013

  77. Listen to me people, I’d have been an idiot to take the USC gig, when I’m the self anointed King of the Brazos Valley. I’d have also been foolish to not use USC to get a better deal out of A&M.

    It’s a very simple formula. Either get a better deal out of A&M each year, or set myself up for a new gig that’s a real step up.

    I may be #BlackJesus, but there’s no way I wanted to go to USC for a job that’s as complicated as trying to cure cancer.

    Follow me on twitter and I’ll keep you informed and entertained.


    By Jive Kevin Sumlin on Dec 2, 2013

  78. And now ur story really stinks of innuendo when USC takes Sarkesian that was 34-29 in five yrs @ Washington. Kinda makes 19-5 n two yrs look pretty good. That’s n the SEC not the PAC 12

    By D on Dec 2, 2013

  79. USC and Haden doing a lot to pump the “interest” in SC job. Remember the time when SC would not have had to do this. Many of us do. Be careful of your “sources”. They have motives, and not all of them are pure.

    By Spike on Dec 3, 2013

  80. Um,I will believe what I want because I KNOW the truth. I KNOW exactly how Charlene felt about the idea of going to LA all along. You’re sources were wrong on this one. That’s just a FACT. I know straight from Charlene’s mouth…which I think is a much better source than you have. You got had on this one. Its hysterical how aggressively you are defending this. Sorry dude.

    By Marc on Dec 3, 2013

  81. Marc,
    Honestly, not defending it, just enjoy the back and forth with readers, always have. People are entitled to believe what they want.

    We have a long track record, this site has been up since 2006, if you guys don’t know about us that doesn’t mean we haven’t existed. We’ve never had to post a retraction, backtrack or take anything back in seven years. There’s a reason: we don’t report stuff that isn’t checked out, vetted through multiple sources and 100 percent true.

    The main writers on this site have journalism degrees and have worked for major publications (both on the national and local level), our careers would be at stake if we just randomly reported something that wasn’t true. Why would we risk that over a story about Kevin Sumlin? It’s not like he is a HUGE household name like Nick Saban, Urban Meyer or Bill Belichick.

    Sumlin and his wife were intrigued by LA, even if it was briefly, it is true.

    By Ryan Phillips on Dec 3, 2013

  82. I am a professor at a university. Successful faculty sometimes change jobs for more money, prestige or resources, or to live somewhere they like better. Sometimes they threaten to do so to extract more money from their home university. It is just like coaches in principle (only a lot less money). I have twice gone out of my way to extract job offers from universities that I had no intention of taking in order to get my own university to pay me more. Both times it worked. I feel a bit guilty about it, I was clearly playing the other university by pretending to be interested. I did it well, they had no idea that they were being played. Even after I turned them down, I think they believed I was truly interested. (By the way, you can only do this a couple of times in your career before people start to figure you are flaky, so you have to make it count each time). I think there is no way to know one way or the other if Sumlin was feigning interest in USC or if he really wanted the USC job. My guess is that he used the threat of moving to panic the Aggies into making him one of the highest paid coaches anywhere. I don’t know this for a fact. But there is no way some blogger knows it either. I don’t care who his sources are.

    By Baal on Dec 3, 2013

  83. So they “soured” on Sumlin because of his 8-4 record before he actually had an 8-4 record…then they ultimately hired a coach with an 8-4 record?

    Come on, now…

    By Keith on Dec 3, 2013

  84. Sumlin is a fraud and quite lazy – he cant focus more than 2 years – when the honey moons over and he ahs to wrok at it he wants to run – he will get fired from AM before the extension is completed or quit

    By Sanfran on Dec 3, 2013

  85. There really are only two possibilities regarding this article, and, really, Ryan Phillips:

    (1) Either he is completely making this stuff up, that he doesn’t even have sources, and just fabricated something he thought would make a good story; or

    (2) He has some very low-level, undiscerning “sources” that repeat the latest internet gossip, which a legitimate journalist wouldn’t ascribe any credibility to at all.

    Either one could be possible based on the responses from the author. The defenses get less and less believable. Now Ryan has “no less than five” A&M sources who confirm his story? Does anyone believe a random internet pseudo-journalist has cultivated five legit A&M sources? Does that strike anyone as remotely possible?

    The story itself is rife with critical inaccuracies. The idea that the Sumlin family was not only intrigued with the idea of living in LA, but even looked into places to live, is just a complete falsehood. It’s embarrassing, really, to read.

    There isn’t even any logical consistency in the story or the follow-up posts. The USC folks were turned off by a record he didn’t even have when they got turned off?

    Ryan, integrity matters. Either quit lying in your stories or try to exercise a modicum of discernment in who you are willing to consider a legit source. Don’t debase yourself by trying to pass this stuff on to the public.

    By Dave on Dec 3, 2013

  86. The real problem with this story is all the quotes and what was said were by Sumlin’s agents and representatives. Then Ryan comes to the conclusion Sumlin wanted the job, lobbied for the job, his family wanted to move to LA all based upon quotes from the agent…..See a problem here? That is not factual at all. What is factual is Sumlin’s agent did this and that.

    What do agents do? His agent drove the price up for Sumlin at USC, did the same to A&M…Then Sumlin gets to pick which deal. That’s what good agents do.

    By Jack Ag on Dec 4, 2013

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  2. Dec 2, 2013: Chris Petersen Rejects USC Again, is Steve Sarkisian the Front-Runner? | The Big Lead
  3. Dec 2, 2013: The Future of A&M Football « CBS Houston

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