In the Aggies’ first season in the SEC, the former OU assistant guided the team to an 11-2 season that included a regular-season win over Alabama and a Cotton Bowl win over Oklahoma.
According to TexAgs.com, that led Sumlin to be offered head coaching jobs at Auburn and the Philadelphia Eagles.
Sumlin tole the San Antonio Express-News that other teams were telling recruits that Sumlin wouldn’t be long for Texas A&M.
“I’m amazed in one year how people want to flip the situation we have here,” Sumlin told the paper. “A year ago, we were a team moving into a league (the SEC) we didn’t know anything about — the toughest league in the country. We had a bunch of coaches from smaller schools, and we were going to run a gimmick offense, and they were telling guys that we were going to get killed.
“A year later, the recruiting pitch out there right now against us is, ‘You can’t play there, they’ve got good players. And their coach is going to the NFL.’ I think it’s funny either way.”
Sumlin said he still had plenty of work to do at Texas A&M.
“I don’t have to say anything,” Sumlin told the paper of recruiting amid the talk of a possible move to the NFL. “Everybody knows what I do (now). I’ve never coached in the NFL. I’ve had plenty of opportunities to do that, both as an assistant coach and even as a head coach. But there’s a reason I coach college football, and we’ve got a lot of work to do here. We’re still playing catch-up, and we finished third in the SEC West last year (behind Alabama and LSU).
“By no means have we arrived.”
He also wouldn’t rule out making the jump to the NFL in the future.
“Maybe later — some time later,” Sumlin told the paper. “But it won’t be anytime soon. My family likes living here and I like living here. Heck, we just got here. People ask me to respond to the (NFL talk), and I say, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’ Because I remember what was being said at this time a year ago.”
Sumlin, who spent five seasons as an assistant in Norman under Bob Stoops, helped the Aggies to their first top five finish in 56 years.