If Saturday night’s game with LSU was his last as Texas A&M’s head football coach, Kevin Sumlin certainly didn't act like it.
After the Houston Chronicle reported Wednesday that Sumlin would be fired following Texas A&M’s regular-season finale against LSU, regardless of the game’s outcome, the sixth-year coach watched his team get off to a sluggish start Saturday night.
Even though it tried to claw its way back into the game, the slow start cost Texas A&M a chance at giving Sumlin a victory in what could have been his final game as 19th-ranked LSU rolled to a 45-21 win in Tiger Stadium.
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"I don't know anything yet," Sumlin said when asked about his future after the game. "It's business as usual for me.
"There's no scheduled meeting, but that could change in the next few minutes," he said, "As of now, the (recruiting) contact period begins (Sunday)."
LSU jumped out to a 20-0 lead midway through the second quarter, in part because of two Texas A&M turnovers on its first two possessions, before the Aggies rallied late in the first half and early in the second half.
A&M made it a game and trimmed the deficit to 20-14 with back-to-back touchdown drives before being outscored 25-7 by LSU in the final 28-plus minutes.
When asked if his players may have been distracted by the news that came out Wednesday, Sumlin flashed a nervous smile.
There were times Saturday night when you had to wonder whether the LSU Tigers learned anything about the fragility of a 20-0 lead.
"Somebody asked me that before the game," he said. "They asked if it had been a distraction this week. I said, 'This week? This has been going on since spring ball, and they handled that all along.' "
"Obviously, it was in the back of our heads," wide receiver Christian Kirk said. "Regardless of what's going in, we always try to win the game."
Texas A&M fell to 7-5 overall and 4-4 in Southeastern Conference play, numbers that have fueled speculation Sumlin would be dismissed.
Sumlin hasn’t produced a winning mark in the league since his first season in College Station in 2012, when quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy and led the Aggies to an 11-2 mark and 6-2 record in the SEC.
Saturday's loss also dropped Sumlin’s record in SEC games played in November since that season to 4-10.
Another thing that isn’t on his side: The loss to LSU (9-3, 6-2 SEC) was the sixth consecutive setback for Sumlin against the Tigers and seventh in a row overall for the program.
"You work really, really hard, and it's a results-oriented profession," he said when asked about his emotions, "It pays off on results, and we didn't get it done tonight."
Texas A&M finished with four turnovers, which LSU turned into 13 points, and his defense was pounded for 601 total yards by the Tigers offense.
Danny Etling’s trip down the Tiger Walk on Saturday evening was not normal.
If Sumlin is fired after compiling a 51-26 overall mark and 25-23 league mark at the school, it wasn’t a pretty ending.
Cornerback Derrick Tucker was ejected for targeting on a hard hit to LSU running back Derrius Guice in the fourth quarter, which caused a mild skirmish on the next play.
Then, with 1:07 to play in the game, A&M wide receiver Clyde Chriss was ejected after Nick Starkel threw his third interception of the night to LSU linebacker Devin White.
After White was driven out of bounds, a bigger scuffle broke out on the LSU sideline before order was restored.
Before leaving, Sumlin, who has two years remaining on his contract, was asked if he thinks he should be allowed to continue in his post.
"I always think I should be retained," he said. "I know what goes into this job. And I know things don't always go the way you plan."