Texas A&M finished its regular season slate with a 23-17 loss to LSU, and one day after the finale, coach Kevin Sumlin announced defensive coordinator Mark Snyder won’t return in 2015.
Snyder’s firing was no surprise, as Texas A&M’s defense has lagged behind its offense since this program joined the SEC prior to the start of the 2012 season.
The Aggies allowed 5.2 yards per play in Snyder’s debut (2012), and the numbers only got worse from there. In 2013, Texas A&M gave up 6.4 yards per play and then 5.9 in 2014.
The points allowed totals weren’t much better for Snyder. Texas A&M gave up 21.8 points per game in 2012, 32.2 in 2013 and 27.3 in 2014.
Additionally, the Aggies ranked near the bottom of the SEC in third down and red zone defense over the last two seasons.
In a brutal SEC West, Texas A&M simply can’t fall far behind its opponents, and the timing was right for Sumlin after a 7-5 record.
Former Florida coach Will Muschamp has been mentioned as a possible candidate in College Station and several other big names are expected to be in the mix to replace Snyder.
Texas A&M has plenty of talent on the roster, but it has to fix its defense in order to move up the pecking order in the SEC West.
The next defensive coordinator won’t be short on talent, as defensive end Myles Garrett is one of the nation’s rising stars, and there’s a good chunk of talent on the roster in the underclassmen ranks.
The SEC West isn’t getting any easier. Sumlin isn’t facing a make-or-break year in 2015, but progress is certainly needed in College Station. Hiring a new defensive coordinator is a chance to hit the reset button on defense and find the right solution before it’s too late for Sumlin and this coaching staff.