Arizona's hire of Kevin Sumlin was widely applauded across college football. He was supposed to be the perfect fit for Heisman candidate Khalil Tate and push the Wildcats into Pac-12 South contention. Instead, after two weeks, he's already the subject of hot seat discussion.
Texas A&M fired Sumlin on Nov. 26, one day after Texas A&M finished the 2017 regular season with a 7-5 record, which ensured a fourth straight season with eight or fewer wins for the sixth-year head coach. And in doing so, Texas A&M was required to pay Sumlin a buyout of $10.4 million within 60 days of dismissal.
Seven weeks later, Arizona hired Sumlin as the replacement for Rich Rodriguez and gave him a five-year, $14.5-million contract that includes $2-million base salaries in 2018 and 2019, and $3.5-million base salaries in 2020, 2021 and 2022. It also has an enormous buyout. If fired without cause in the first two years of the deal, Sumlin is owed $10 million. He's owed $5 million if fired in year three, $3 million in year four and $1 million in year five.
So while the Kevin Sumlin era at Arizona is off to a vomit-inducing start, given his eight-figure buyout through the 2019 season — and it's absurdly early to talk job security– it's highly unlikely he's anywhere near the hot seat.