Kevin Sumlin deserves an apology.
Tony Buzbee deserves to be censured.
Neither, of course, will happen.
It's not so much a season now for Texas A&M's coach, it's a forced march. It's clear that his existence as the Aggies' sixth-year coach is a week-to-week proposition.
Blow a game like Sunday's at UCLA and every bit of criticism is deserved. But aside from slowing down to see an actual wreck on the highway, there is nothing blood-thirsty college football voyeurs enjoy more than watching a coach's career bleed out.
That doesn't mean it's right. A certain amount of professionalism -- even decency -- has been lost.
You know by now that Sumlin was called out by his athletic director in May.that, after three consecutive 8-5 seasons, Sumlin would have to win 10 this season to save his job.
Buzbee -- an A&M regent -- lashed out on Facebook late Sunday after the Aggies allowed the second-biggest comeback in FBS history.
Impulse won out over introspection.
Sumlin's future has become very cloudy and very public. A&M wouldn't be the first school to damage its brand while firing its coach. That sort of nonsense may have run off Nick Saban when his reported interest in Texas became public a few years ago.
What sort of message does that send to any coach worth his whistle who is interested in the Aggies' job? At any point, trial by social media may await you.
Sumlin also wouldn't be the first coach to be fired in September. Since 2013 alone, Lane Kiffin and Les Miles were fired early in the season. Each situation was handled awkwardly by their superiors.
It has become tiresome how easily these superiors are so easily cowed depending on which way the wind blows. Woodward didn't have to light a fire under his coach on national television.
Buzbee's criticism is almost comical. The Houston attorney's only qualification to lob such critiques is his political appointment from former Texas governor Rick Perry. That and being a fan boy.
In 2015, Buzbee ran his mouth saying the Aggies needed to schedule Texas because A&M needed some "cupcake games."
Click on The Buzbee Law Firm's website and some of the first words that pop up are "Winning is the only option."
You can't make this stuff up.
These coaches are big boys. In exchange for those multi-million contracts, they're expected to withstand a lot. Not surprisingly, coaches long ago began protecting their own interests by negotiating buyouts.
In this case, if Sumlin is fired, he gets every dime owed him -- 100 percent.
But there are ways to go about this without looking like an ass and embarrassing a university's most visible employee.
"How does the coaching staff even function? Everybody's got to be looking for jobs," said
Rick Bay of the Texas A&M situation.
Bay was an influential athletic director for 20 years at Oregon, Ohio State, Minnesota and San Diego State. He wasn't the only one to question A&M's approach.
Dangling Sumlin's job security in front of the masses doesn't get A&M "ahead" in seeking the next coach. Any AD worth his cell plan can make contact with any agent he wants at any time behind the scenes.
Recruiting? The early -- and first -- signing period is more than three months away.
"At the very least, you've got to say the coach's fate will be decided at the end of the year," Bay said.
That's the way it's customarily handled. But a level of professionalism has been lost. While the walls were closing in on him Tuesday, Sumlin took the high road saying, "I'm not really in the business of paying attention to anything outside this program. I really don't have time to get involved about things said about me or the program."
His peers were watching Sunday, wincing as A&M blew a 34-point third-quarter lead. They felt for Sumlin knowing at any random moment that could be them.
"Of course that's how I always think about that," Urban Meyer said this week. "Kevin Sumlin is not a good guy, he's a great guy."
More and more, the unsavory details in these situations have been played out in public. I'll always admire how Miles stayed above the crap storm when, for parts of two seasons, AD Joe Alleva clumsily took two swings at Jimbo Fisher -- and missed.
Sports is a series of expectations. Fans, ADs, regents -- everyone has them. In the state of Texas alone, if you wrote down the absolute worse-case scenario for coaches in their openers at Baylor, Texas and Texas A&M, they all came true.
Matt Ruhle and Tom Herman were coaching in their first games at their new schools. Sumlin just completed his 66th game in College Station.
He hasn't measured up to his first season in 2012 when Johnny Football stole our hearts and won the Heisman. That year, A&M beat Alabama, finished second in the SEC West and destroyed Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
The Aggies haven't been horrible, but they haven't been as good as that magical season five years ago. The SEC West is a meat grinder. If Alabama beats Texas A&M for a fifth consecutive season, it wouldn't be the first time Nick Saban got an SEC rival coach "fired."
Those expectations drive coaches crazy. It's not just recruiting, coaching and cloying boosters. Sometimes, in desperate times like these, those coaches have to hit a number. Sumlin's this year apparently is 10.
The view from Week 2 is Sumlin won't come close.
"We can do better," Buzbee wrote.
Really? A&M essentially hasn't done better most of the time since winning the Big 12 in 1998. So this is far from just a Sumlin problem.
I don't know what Woodward was thinking. He is a sharp, accomplished administrator. It's obvious he wouldn't be speaking out unless there were a whole bunch of folks in Aggieland who felt the same way.
But that's not really the point. A guy like Buzbee deserves to be censured -- told to shut up and sit down. Yeah, it doesn't look like Sumlin is going to make it. We know that without Buzbee's two cents, but his comments shouldn't be the public image Texas A&M wants to project. Or allows.
Texas A&M can do better. Who there has the will or power to tell a political appointee to take a seat? Sadly, the man himself summed it up on his website:
Winning is the only option.