Texas A&M and coach Kevin Sumlin are entering their third year in the SEC, but that doesn't mean he and his team are a bunch of spring chickens.
Sumlin and the Aggies have played particularly well in the past two seasons when many had written them off entirely.
"But if we had got our brains beat out like everybody thought, I don't think recruiting would be going as well anyway if we're in the SEC," said Sumlin. "You've got to come in this league and compete."
Sumlin's next challenge this season will be taking his Aggies into Williams-Brice Stadium and facing a Gamecocks team that has rattled off 18 straight home wins in the past two seasons.
That kind of challenge is not lost on the coach, who says that coach Steve Spurrier's quiet confidence is a big indicator on just how good the Gamecocks could be this season.
"You know, like I said the other day, he's been awful quiet," said Sumlin. "That means he must think they're pretty good. We're going to have our work cut out for us going there the first game."
Still, Sumlin admires Spurrier's approach to the game, calling him the "standard."
"You look at what he's done at South Carolina, three 11‑win seasons. That's incredible in this league," said Sumlin. "South Carolina, the recruiting that has gone on, playing in a championship game, no matter where you are in the country, what conference you're in, whatever it is, you cannot deny his accomplishments as a head coach."
Sumlin and Spurrier will meet for the first time as rivals in the first SEC Network game on Aug. 28.
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