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The Long Slow Unraveling

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What is next is as uncertain as anything else.

Mississippi State v Texas A&M Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Following the Mississippi State loss, we wrote what we called a pre-mortem:

This game was not the end of the Kevin Sumlin era, in the same sense that the day you contract a terminal disease is not the day you die. Not today, but soon and inevitably. And this article is not a post-mortem on the Sumlin era, because he is not technically gone yet.

Now, after Auburn, that seems cemented with nothing but the details remaining. The mathematical odds of Sumlin overcoming the discontent sown over the last two games seem virtually insurmountable.

Kevin Sumlin never took us the places we all wanted to go. He took us to some pretty good places, but not the ones you dream of in your most wishful moments. The heights everyone imagined following the 2012 season, and even after the chaos of the 2013 season when we steamrolled through the first month and a half of 2014 are all a distant memory now. This football program over the last four seasons has a history of tantalizingly building up hope among us and then crushing that hope in the most cruel and cartoonish fashion. We’ve all been the coyote, and Aggie Football the anvil. The roadrunner is still at large.

Sumlin is a good coach. How this entire situation is handled, all the way up to the administration and regents, over the next couple of months will say a lot about our program and could very well affect who does and does not show interest in replacing him. You may remember this piece, and you may look back at it now and gloat and scoff. That is fine. But its basic premise was always twofold: a) barring a monumental disaster such as losing to New Mexico, let him finish out the season, and b) don’t focus your energy on wanting him to fail. A was probably never in danger of happening. B was probably never a realistic thing to expect.

He has failed now, at least according to most expectations. The inevitable has finally ben put into motion. Helplessness and futility are the most exasperating feelings; especially surrounding something we want so dearly to be able to control, something as trivial as a sport. Now that the elephant in the room has grabbed a beer and plopped down on the couch, there’s not much left to do but turn on the game and try to enjoy some football.

Tyrel Dodson and Armani Watts are having all-SEC caliber seasons. Landis Durham is near the top of the conference in sacks. Christian Kirk will likely only play a few more games as an Aggie. The quarterback of the future is being forged rather unceremoniously in this hellfire before us.

Root for these guys, and nothing else. There’s only one game left at Kyle Field until next September, when we begin this entire charade all over again.