The 2013 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic is set to kickoff on January 4th featuring the Texas A&M Aggies and Oklahoma Sooners in a battle that promises to be one of the more entertaining of the non-BCS slate. There is plenty of intrigue in this matchup as-is, given the exploits of Aggies true freshman Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, but his story isn’t the only one of interest.
It turns out that the two coaches featured in the Classic– Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin— have a long history with their two careers running parallel to one another. Starting in the early 1990s both Sumlin and Stoops were assistant coaches recruiting in the same areas of Florida. Sumlin worked for Minnesota and Purdue as a wide receivers and quarterbacks coach from 1993-2000, while Stoops was a defensive backs coach and eventually the co-Defensive Coordinator at Kansas State during the stretch of 1989-1995.
After his first short-stint at Texas A&M in 2001 as the Aggies’ offensive coordinator in 2001, Sumlin made the move to Norman, serving as the Sooners’ special teams and tight ends coach and then eventually as the team’s co-offensive coordinator during the stretch of 2003-2007.
Could the knowledge that both of these men have about the other’s tendencies after working directly together and indirectly around one another affect the outcome of the game?
Making these types of assumptions in terms of black-and-white is never that easy. There are so many factors involved we can’t assume too much.
Some tendencies die hard, however, and you can rest assured this mutual knowledge will be a part of the chess match between two first-class coaches looking to take home a Cotton Bowl Classic victory this season and maintain some positive momentum moving into the 2013 off-season and in preparation for next season.