Thursday, July 22, 2010

Big Game Bob?

Program Savior

No one can disrespect what Bob Stoops has done for the Sooner program. He has an outstanding win-loss percentage, a multitude of Big 12 Titles, and a phenomenal number of appearances in BCS bowls. In 11 years, Oklahoma has only lost two games at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium by a combined 6 points (to TCU and Oklahoma State, respectively). Bob Stoops will likely go down as one of the greatest coaches in college football history. I don't know how many coaches have had as much success in their entire life as Bob did from 2000-2010, but I'm guessing probably only a select few. He has restored greatness to a proud program that has again become a breeding ground for NFL talent.

Boomer Sooners Already Peaked? (downside of the pinnacle, summit, apex, golden climax)

The question I bring up today is, have we seen the best already? For a coach who has already been to the top, is there any way to go up? Or is it all down hill from here?

As much as OU has dominated the Big 12 since Coach Stoops' arrival, their record when matching up with other conferences in bowl games over the last 7 years has been . . . well, dismal. Yes they've been playing in big games against high ranked opponents and it is an accomplishment just getting that far, but has anyone else fared as poorly in big games recently? I don't know if I've ever heard as much hate for a conference as the Big 10 or as much disdain for a team as I did for Ohio State for their miserable performances in consecutive national championship games, but have they been any worse than the Big 12 champs?

The Mike Stoops Factor

Late in 2003, Bob's brother and defensive coordinator Mike left Oklahoma to become the head man for the University of Arizona Wildcats. Following the younger Stoops' departure, the Sooners were utterly dominated in the Big 12 Championship by Kansas State. Despite the pounding they took in the conference championship, OU was still selected over USC to play in the B(C)S Championship, and then lost to LSU.

Over the next 6 years Oklahoma won 2 bowl games. Two.

Yes, two.

The first win was a 3 point victory gained over the Oregon Ducks off a Brady Leaf interception. The other was a come-from-behind 4 point win over Stanford in the Holiday Bowl. Yes that is the same Stanford that hadn't been to a bowl game since 2001. Sure the Cardinal had a nice season going 6-3 in conference play in a down year for the PAC-10, but this was hardly a program defining victory for Oklahoma. Ok, I get that Sam Bradford and Jermaine Gresham were out for that game and were replaced by their 5 star recruit backups who had played the whole season in their places, but why couldn't a team that had 2 of the top 4 picks of the NFL Draft playing in their last college game display a little more dominance?

I digress, a win is a win and I won't scrutinize the Sooners any more for the times they took care of business. But let's talk a little about the losses. Three and a half years later, OU apologists are still throwing out excuses for the loss to Boise State, but never mention the performance in the BCS bowls the year before or the year after. Out of all the BCS bowls, most experts expected the biggest blowout in January 2008 to be Oklahoma over West Virginia. The Sooners were one of the most sure fire bets for college pick 'em that year. The result? West Virginia 48, Oklahoma 28, a 20-point loss.

It's not only the performance in bowl games that has taken a dive in since Mike Stoops left town. OU owned Texas in the Red River Shootout from 2000-2004, but has only beat the Longhorns once since then. I'm not going to definitely say that Mike is the reason, but if Arizona is able to win a couple of PAC-10 titles in the next few years, that may become the universally accepted theory.

So . . .

What's going on? Has Oklahoma become the San Diego Chargers of college football? Great regular seasons, but not able to get it done when it counts? Is Bob going to gain back the "Big Game" title? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.


  1. Why does Bob Stoops eat cereal from a plate?

    If it was in a bowl he would lose it.

    Whats the difference between Bob Stoops and Cocopuffs?

    Cocopuffs know what to do in a bowl.

  2. Ok, you got me and Tyler back for some things we said about your team... I guess we had an article like this coming :) But hey you have to place yourselves in our shoes. Quinn Imagine you live in Minnesota and everytime someone sees you wearing a Greenbay hat the smirk as they cockily say "hey remember how we beat you guys one time a few years back" It really gets old, especially when you can tell that the person who is making the arrogant comment isn't even a real football fan. It's funny when someone who really understands football does it, it doesn't bother me as much. But, I will say this that you wrote a well written article. You really have a talent for sports writing.

    Now about my boy Bob. Homeboy has only been coaching eleven years...Another Oklahoma great former Head Coach Berry Switzer went 10 years between his second and third National Title...Bobby Bowden went like 7 years between winning his first and second. Ummm let me think who else is a legendary coach oh yeah Joe Pa has only won two National Titles as well. In 1982 and 1986 and he's been coaching forever. Woody Hayes out of Ohio State went 9 years until he won his third and final National Championship.

    The point that I'm making is that you can't win every year, even if your Joe Paterno.

    You gave a lot of credit to Mike Stoops who was Big Brother Bob's Defense Coordinator. It's true he was awesome at Oklahoma and we hated to see him leave. We also hated to see Mark Mangino, Mike Leach, Bo Pelini and current head coach out of Houston Kevin Sumlin leave as well.

    You talked about Stoops Bowl record he's currently 5 and 6...I just want to talk real quick about a couple of those loses. 1st one I want to talk about is the National Championship where OU lost to LSU by a touchdown. (The game could have gone either way) The other is the West Virginia loss. Hey WV had a great team that year and if they hadn't of had that fluke loss to Pitt they would have gone to the National Title game...And, if Denis Dixon hadn't of hurt his knee WV would have played against Oregon and that would have been a phenomenal game. Honestly those two really were the two best teams in the NCAA that year not Florida and Ohio State.

    The recent loss in the National Championship to Florida was tough just one touchdown and a field goal, but hey I think the Sooners did a good job seeing how they were starting their third string Middle Linebacker who was starting his first NCAA game at that neutral site down in Florida. The Sooners were also missing their 1,000 yard rusher Demarcos Murray, and a starting Defensive Tackle.

    I don't want to come across as an "OU Apologist" I'm just trying to point out that there are more then a couple games that could have gone either way if Lady Luck would have smiled down upon the Sooner Nation, but a W's a W.

    And, by the way I love it when people refer to those who want to clear some of the comments made as being "Apologist" because then it makes it look like who ever disagrees with you is just making excuses. People who write Anti-Mormon literature use that technic all the time...It's very affective.

    Like I said I knew after a couple post and comments that something like this would happen, but I really thought that it would have been defensive and not offensive. My hat goes off to you sir.

  3. EFJ (Especially For Joe)

    Q: What did Shaq say when he heard of Kobe's marital infidelity?
    A: Kobe making a pass? She must be lying.

    Q: What's the next event Kobe Bryant will be attending?
    A: The Teen not by Choice Awards.

    Q: Why does Kobe wear goggles during sex?
    A: To keep the mace out of his eyes.

    Q: Why did Kobe Bryant buy a dictionary?
    A: To figure out what part of "no" he doesn't understand.

  4. 1. I didn't know Boise State was Quinn's team, as you suggested there Lil Wayne.

    2. A "W" is a "W" like you said. And an "L" is an "L." And your boy Bob has more "L's" than "W's" in Bowl games. Stop making excuses.

    3. Nice Kobe jokes. Not at all relevant to this post, but since when does Wayne Bass worry about making relevant comments?

  5. Ha ha...Ok Joe :)

    1. You really didn't know that Quinn's a BSU Fan?

    2. I don't think that pointing out how some of those losses could have gone either way is making excuses.

    3. Thanks, I thought the Kobe were nice too, and I thought that they were relevant in the fact that you shared some jokes about a sports figure who I like so I retaliated in telling some jokes about a sports figure that you like. It's like Tyler and I talking about Boise State and Quinn talking about Oklahoma...It's an offensive move instead of playing defense

  6. Haha yeah I don't think I can really claim Boise State as "my team." I am from Idaho and my dad's brother did play football there about 35 years ago, so I do consider them one of my teams, but I don't really have any other close friends or relatives that attended school there.
    There are also three Division I (I know that's not really what you call it any more but whatevs) schools that I grew up closer to geographically (Utah State, Utah and BYU). My family has all graduated from BYU, all the college football games I've attended for free growing up have been in Provo, I'm a Cougar fan through and through, for better or for worse.
    I would say Boise State to me is more like the Oklahoma State Cowboys to you. I don't think Boise State is really Joe's team either, in fact I remember him being pretty upset when they beat TCU last year. We just really don't want to have part in the blog if every other post is nothing but a biased, one-sided, Boise St. hate fest. I know you and Tyler are better writers than that because I've been reading your stuff for a while.
    Let's recognize the Broncos for what they are: the most successful mid-major football program of the last decade, who has proven capable of hanging with the big boys once or twice per year. Would they survive in the Pac-10 or Big 12? Of course the Goliath fans will always say no and the David fans will always say yes, but it's all just speculation and we'll never REALLY know. Because college football is all about $money$ and not about winning. The big money conferences have no interest in the Boise TV market right now, so even if they could schedule and beat Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio State, and USC in the same season, they wouldn't get bumped up to a more competitive conference. In the immortal words of 2pac Shakur "that's just the way it is."
    I do sympathize with having to hear about that one game every time you display your Sooner pride in your apparel, but I don't think the Green Bay/Minnesota example really applies because Boise State is not Oklahoma's rival.
    Wearing a Packer hat in Minnesota would be more like wearing a Sooners hat in Austin, Texas.
    You guys hating Boise State would be more like me hating the New York Giants for beating the Packers in the NFC Championship Game in Green Bay a few years back. The Packers were 13-3 that year and the Giants were some wildcard scrubs who barely made the playoffs and were lead by a quarterback who so far was living in his brother's shadow and handn't played up to his lofty draft position. We were heavily favored and lost that game by 3 points in overtime. It hurt, bad. It was also a few years ago and I really don't hate New York or care about them at all because one game does not make them our rivals.
    I guess it just really confuses me that you and Tyler waste so much energy hating Boise State. You're probably the only Sooner fans I've met who express more hate for Broncos than for Longhorns.
    Anyway thanks for keeping things civil. (haha with me anyway, what goes down betwen you and Joe is your business ;) I actually have a lot of respect for OU and will usually cheer for them over most other Big 12 teams and I'll almost always cheer for the Big 12 over the SEC, ACC, Big East and Big 10.
    Sam Bradford is one of my favorite quarterbacks to come out of college in a long time and I think he has the smarts, dedication, and athletic capability to be a solid pro as long as the Rams don't let him get sacked so much as a rookie that it destroys his confidence.
    Bob Stoops is a superb coach and I would say the only guys in his league right now are Nick Saban, Jim Tressel, Mack Brown, Urban Meyer, and well, Pete Carrol pretty much withdrew himself from consideration. There are some others who are close, but not there quite yet. Paterno and Spurrier are obviously all-time greats but at different points in their careers.

  7. Yeah, I guarantee that if Tyler and I didn't live in Idaho we wouldn't talk about it. A couple of years ago when TCU beat OU I was bummed but I haven't worked out an attack plan on the Horned Frogs, last year BYU beat OU, Reggie Bush and the USC Trojans annihilated The Sooners in 2004, and I just got done posting a blog backing Reggie. The difference is that I don't live in those areas, and I'm not reminded of it all the time. (Your example of the Packers and Giants was dead on...) Honestly, I don't really feel that it's me vs. Boise State but my rival has become arrogant pretend fan who is still waving that number one foam finger in my face. And before I forget, most of the times I'm not sporting Sooner Pride when it happens...It usually happens when people find out that I come from Oklahoma.

    I understand what a Monumental Moment that was for not just BSU but for the state of Idaho. It was the game that put them on the map.

    I also understand it getting annoying reading about our annoyances, and it probably wouldn't even make it's way out to the blog if some force outside of our blog circle had sparked it...And, lets be honest 1.5 blogs about "down with Boise" isn't really every other one.

    I'm really excited about this blog and I'm glad your on board, you make great comments and post. I feel strongly that once football season gets here everyones going to get way more involved. Plus, we won't be stretching for stuff to write about like...Why I hate soccer, 10 coolest sport names, fantasy football pointers, and Machiavellian concepts applied to the sports arena. (I ENJOYED READING ALL OF THOSE, BUT HONESTLY WE'RE STRETCHING FOR STUFF TO WRITE ABOUT HERE IN THE OFF SEASON)

    Anyways, peace to all my I Phelta Thi Sports Blog Brothers, and congrats to Quinn for posting a blog that has not only received the most comments, but has accumulated an insane amount of space in the comment section.

  8. Good enough. Case closed. Resolution established. Haha I don't really have anything worthwhile to add to the conversation, I just wanted to increase the record number of comments. Seriously, will football season just start already?