When Bob Stoops was hired as the Oklahoma Sooners head coach in 1999, the program was a mess. Since then, he’s won a national title and built the Sooners back into a perennial Top 10 team. But, in recent years, it seems like the Sooners are always knocking on the door, but just can’t break through.
Stoops appears to have lost some of the edge he had during his early years in Norman, and has transitioned into the less enjoyable task of maintaining a self-perpetuating college football heavyweight. The recent Sooners teams have more memorable losses than big wins, and the nickname “Big Game” Bob has become more of a ready Twitter punchline after disappointing losses than a genuine term of endearment.
Today in The Herd, Colin shared Pat Riley’s philosophy that after 10 years in the same professional environment, even coaching, people should change jobs. Riley theorizes that over time, voices go stale, complacency sets in, and the best thing for both sides to get out of the rut is to part ways. Right now, even though Stoops and the Sooners are a perennial top 10 team, they’re stuck in neutral.
“Bob Stoops is a great coach. 18 years at Oklahoma. 9 Big-12 titles. But, he’s lost some energy. He’s lost a little focus. He’s gotten very comfortable. Same athletic director. Same President. His job’s never in doubt. And, he’s a human being.”
When Les Miles gets the axe at LSU at the end of the year, or sooner, he’ll vacate the best job in the nation in terms of built in geographic recruiting advantages. It’s not even close. Why not step in if you’re Stoops?
“He should take that LSU job. Nick Saban has told allies that the school that can get the most pure talent in America is LSU. Not Alabama, not Ohio State, not USC. Because Louisiana itself has 30 division one players. but unlike most of the SEC, you can also get Texas. You can go into Texas, and Louisiana and Alabama , and Mississippi, and Georgia and Florida.”
Bob Stoops is still a great coach, he just needs a change of scenery. He could be beloved by an LSU fan base that has been craving a high scoring offense after years of Les Miles’ “3-yards and a cloud of dust 2.0.” Or, he can stay at Oklahoma and be maligned by a fanbase that isn’t happy with the recent status quo.
If Oklahoma loses to Ohio State at home on Saturday, they’ll have dropped their second big game in three weeks. Fans and media will be calling for his head.
Head down to the blue bayou, Bob, and get your swagger back. An endless cycle of NFL talent will usually do that.