A year is a long time in college football and Texas A&M is the proof. This time last year, Kevin Sumlin was not exactly a household name and almost nobody outside the state of Texas knew who Johnny Manziel was. Moreover, most people believed the only thing the Aggies could add to the SEC was a large TV Market.
Fast forward one year, the Aggies are considered a legit threat to be the next SEC team to win the BCS National Championship. Johnny Football is known by both college football fans and non-sports fans.
However, still flying under the radar is one of the nation's top coaches in Sumlin.
As you are well aware of, Manziel is the hot topic of the 2013 offseason. Just like the situations that Trent Richardson and Cam Newton were in, Manziel will continue to play football at Texas A&M.
With that said, there will be a time in the near future, possibly after the 2013 season, that Manziel will no longer be with the Aggies. Many critics expect the Aggies to fall back to a mid-level SEC team.
This is not going to be the case. The Aggies are here to stay and will remain competitive for many years to come in the SEC. Yes, the Texas recruiting base will play a part in that. However, it is more than that. It is because they have one of the top young coaches in all of football.
In fact, I am convinced that Sumlin and James Franklin from Vanderbilt are the top two coaches under 50 years of age in of all of college football.
Sumlin, in his first season at Texas A&M, led the Aggies to an 11-2 record and a No. 5 national ranking. Their most notable win last season was against Alabama, the eventual BCS National Champions, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
While the emergence of the Aggies last season surprised many, it didn't surprise Sumlin at all. He was used to beating the odds.
Sumlin has a track record of success everywhere he has ever landed. He has managed to transform from a four-year starting linebacker at Purdue to one of the top offensive minds in all of college football.
He managed to be an assistant coach at six different schools before finally getting a shot as a head coach at the University of Houston in 2008.
Sumlin started his career with a bang, beating two teams ranked in the Top 25 and a bowl game. His second year at Houston was even better as they won 10 games, including a win over the No. 5-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Sumlin's top season in Houston was his final season in 2011. The Cougars were on the verge of a BCS bid and finished the season with a 12-1 record.
Coach Kevin Sumlin and his prolific offense made Houston a power in Conference USA, but a bigger challenge still ahead: trying to replicate that success in the SEC, the country's toughest football conference.
One of his first moves was naming a third-string quarterback by the name of Manziel his starter. He would go on to win the Heisman trophy.
While Manziel is an elite player, the success of the Aggies is bigger than him. When he leaves to try his hand at the NFL, the Aggies will still win ball games and Sumlin is the reason.
More impressive than his 46-19 career record is that he has been named the conference coach of the year during three of his five seasons—including last season, his first in the SEC.