Texas A&M fired Kevin Sumlin, the first black head coach in program history, after six winning seasons on Sunday.
Sumlin, 53, never had a losing season in College Station (51-26 overall and 25-23 in the Southeastern Conference), but his first year at A&M in 2012 — which coincided with the program’s move from the Big 12 to the SEC — was his best. He never came close to matching it after going 11-2 with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, earning Sumlin a new contract and a $5 million annual salary.
Sumlin was dismissed with two years remaining on his contract, which calls for a $10 million buyout, after the Aggies ended their regular season with a 7-5 record (4-4 SEC) following a 45-21 loss at LSU on Saturday night.
‘‘Our expectations at A&M are very high,’’ said athletic director Scott Woodward. ‘‘We believe that we should compete for SEC championships on an annual basis and, at times, national championships. I believe that we need a new coach to take us there.’’
Florida hires Mullen
Florida hired Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen as its next coach, bringing back the guy who helped turned Tim Tebow into a star.
Spurned by Chip Kelly, who took the UCLA job on Saturday, and seemingly unwilling to risk waiting for Central Florida coach Scott Frost, who has been widely rumored to be Mike Riley’s successor at Nebraska, Florida athletic director Scott Stricklin turned to Mullen, with whom he worked in Starkville, Miss., from 2009-16 when Stricklin was Mississippi State’s AD.
Mullen, 45, previously spent four years (2005-08) as Florida’s offensive coordinator and won two national championships while guiding Tebow to the top of the school record books.
Mullen spent nine years in Starkville, posting a 69-46 record that included a 33-39 mark in SEC play.
Graham let go by ASU
Arizona State fired coach Todd Graham after six seasons. Graham’s dismissal came a day after the Sun Devils rallied to beat rival Arizona, 42-30, to become bowl eligible.
However, the program was not on the trajectory Arizona State AD Ray Anderson wanted.
Graham, 52, who is owed $12 million on the three years remaining on his contract, and his staff will remain with the team for ASU’s bowl game.
Protest hurts Schiano
Tennessee backed out of a memorandum of understanding it had reached Sunday with Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano after a public outcry erupted over the news of Schiano’s imminent hiring.
School officials balked when Volunteer fans launched a protest, citing Schiano’s alleged connection to the Jerry Sandusky era at Penn State, where the former Rutgers (2001-11) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2012-13) head coach served as an assistant on Joe Paterno’s staff during Sandusky’s tenure.
Clemson tops AP poll
Clemson is the new No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, taking a close vote with Oklahoma after the top two teams in the previous rankings — No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Miami — lost in the same weekend for the first time since 2012.
The Tigers jumped from fourth to No. 1 after blowing out South Carolina on Saturday night. Clemson received 27 first-place votes and No. 2 Oklahoma had 24. No. 3 Wisconsin received 10 first-place votes. Auburn rose to No. 4 after beating Alabama, which had been No. 1 since the preseason.
The Crimson Tide slipped to fifth. Georgia moved up a spot to No. 6, and Miami fell to No. 7.
Dillon earns Agganis
Boston College freshman tailback A.J. Dillon was named the Harry Agganis/Harold Zimman Award winner as the outstanding player in New England for the 2017 season, as voted on by the New England Football Writers Association. The Lawrence Academy grad fueled BC’s run to a 7-5 record and bowl berth, rushing for 1,432 yards and 13 TDs. New Hampshire junior QB Trevor Knight was the Division 1 Gold Helmet winner. Husson senior John Smith, who paced Division 3 with 2,081 rushing yards, was the Division 2-3 Gold Helmet winner. The other honorees — Jack Grinold Division 1 Coach of the Year: Tony Reno, Yale; College Division Coach of the Year: Gabby Price, Husson; Jerry Nason Award (presented to a graduating senior who has succeeded against all odds): Noah Lamothe, Bentley; George C. Carens Award (for longtime contributions to football): Bob DeFelice, Bentley.