Sumlin said the distraction, especially on the eve of the game, affected the team.
“There were things said that were not true that people in retrospect now know were not true,” he said. Asked what specifically was untrue, Sumlin said: “Things that were reported and things I was doing. That was not true. Our whole deal was we wanted to win the conference championship, and we didn’t. That was extremely disappointing for me and our team.”
Sumlin takes umbrage with those who suggest he was willing to sacrifice a perfect season and conference title.
“The notion we weren’t focused is simply untrue,” said Sumlin, who was fired last November after six seasons and a 51-26 record at A&M. “It had nothing to do with Texas A&M. It’s hard for me to believe that people would say you are going to work all this time, all these years, and win 12 games and not care about winning a championship. That’s absolutely false.”