Sumlin talks change as A&M moves to SEC

With a new school and a new conference, "change" is the word of the year for Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M.

The topic of discussion for Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin at media days Tuesday was change.

"Everything's new," Sumlin said with a smile.

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Well, maybe not everything. But the conference is new, the athletic director (Eric Hyman) is new, and even the uniforms are new.

Sumlin himself is new, too, having come over from Houston after a 12-1 season with the Cougars.

Many eyes will be on the Aggies this year as they make the jump from the Big 12 to the SEC, and Sumlin expressed optimism about his team's chances in the new environs.

What does he see to be the biggest challenge?

"Winning games," Sumlin said.

Even if they can't do that right away, the move to the SEC will expand the Aggies' recruiting footprint to the Southeast, something Sumlin sees as a huge benefit.

In a conference full of fierce rivalries, who will Texas A&M claim as its biggest foe? One member of the media suggested South Carolina, which shared the Tuesday morning media day spotlight and whom Hyman left to take the Texas A&M job.

"Well, I just saw (South Carolina) coach (Steve) Spurrier upstairs and he didn't punch me," Sumlin said.

The rivalry likely won't be settled on the field this season. South Carolina is not on Texas A&M's regular-season slate.

Texas A&M opens its SEC slate at home against Florida on Sept. 8.

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