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Texas A&M is in the market for a new head football coach once again.
Fourth-year head coach Mike Sherman was fired Thursday night after a subpar 6-6 season in which his team surrender big leads in the second half throughout the season in a year in which many thought the Aggies would challenge for the Big 12 title. The final straw was likely last Thursday night when the Aggies were true to form in jumping out to lead over Texas only to see it slip away along with the victory in what is likely to be the last meeting of the two in-state rivals for a while.
Sherman, 57, was 25-25 in four seasons in Aggieland.
“Mike Sherman has operated our football program with the highest levels of character and integrity over the past four seasons and has served as a great ambassador for Texas A&M University,” A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said in a released statement. “Mike has always put the welfare of the student-athlete and Texas A&M first.
“I appreciate Coach Sherman’s selfless service to Texas A&M as our head football coach and his tireless efforts in building leaders of character. He is truly one of the great offensive minds in football, both collegiate and professional, and I know that he has much to offer the game of football in the future.”
But the Aggies obviously didn’t see a future with Sherman as they leave the Big 12 to head into the SEC next season. They will begin their existence in the toughest conference in the nation with a clean slate.
The question now is who will the Aggies land?
According to sources, the Aggies are moving fast to try to secure a commitment from Houston Cougars coach Kevin Sumlin, who has become a hot commodity this last week with several jobs opening up as he prepares his 12-0 and sixth-ranked team for the Conference USA championship. And as long as all goes as expected against Southern Miss on Saturday, Sumlin will have led the Cougars to their first BCS bowl berth.
But if the Aggies want Sumlin, they will have to move fast. Arizona State is already in hot pursuit and there were unsubstantiated rumors all day Thursday that the Sun Devils had indeed made an offer.
On the surface, it appears that ASU could be a much better job than Texas A&M. The Pac-12 presents a much less daunting lineup than the SEC where the Aggies are almost certain to start near the bottom of the West Division.
Sherman, the former Green Bay Packers’ Super Bowl head coach, was never quite able to figure it out. Sherman made sense to the decision-makers five years ago because of his connection to the past glory years as an assistant coach on R.C. Slocum’s staff.
But the connection to the past didn’t help Sherman much.