“What’s my assessment? It’s a pretty damn hard league.”
Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin fielded question after question about the SEC West division in his first SEC Media days appearance, and, for the most part, he took them in stride. This type of drilling was to be expected for the conference newcomers, which carry a load of doubters into their first season in the SEC.
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Sumlin, to his credit, was honest.
The Aggies’ schedule features teams that boast the past six national championship in college football. The program underwent an offseason coaching change. The offense lost a quarterback that became a top-10 NFL Draft pick. There’s a lot of work to be done still, and that is a concept that Sumlin has been more than ready to embrace.
The main question facing the Aggies this season, at least from the media’s perspective, will be the breaking in of a new starting quarterback. Jameil Showers is expected to be the name to fill the role of the departed Ryan Tannehll.
Whlle short on experience, Sumlin referenced that young quarterbacks are often times easier to break into a new system than an upperclassman — less information to un-learn, an open book of information.
“A lot of times, with young quarterbacks, it’s a little bit easier [to learn a new system], particularly when you’re a new coach bringing in a new system with a fourth- or fifth-year guy. It can be a little bit difficult,” Sumlin said. “In this situation with a younger quarterback, fortunately for us when we walked into this situation, we knew all these guys. We recruited them at Houston.”
There will not be too much time to adjust. Texas A&M opens its SEC schedule against Florida, Arkansas, Ole Miss and LSU, respectively.
In the words of the latter’s head coach, Les Miles, the Aggies better strap it up.
“Well, based on the video that I watched, he wasn’t too far from being right.”