Emptying the Fiesta Bowl mailbag
Today we bring back a popular feature, one I hope will appear weekly. The mail bag. I’ll share some interesting emails I received from readers. Today’s topic: the Fiesta Bowl meltdown by the Sooners.
A fellow named Dave wrote and was not happy with the state of OU football: “I’m beginning to think that Stoops himself may be the problem and it may be time for him to move along. He can talk all he wants about ‘winning championships,’ but no one in this country is really impressed if OU wins the Big 12 championship. What impresses people is winning the national championship or at least soundly winning your bowl game. OU has become the joke of NCAA football because of our 4 BCS ‘choke’ games. Most of those games have been humiliations. Something is wrong with that program and Stoops is either too arrogant or stubborn to fix it. So, it’s time he moves on and let OU bring in somebody who is willing to really turn OU back into the powerhouse they have always been ,.. honestly, I can’t see OU being a legitimate national contender for many, many years to come.”
Here’s where I normally respond with some affirmation or confrontation or something terribly witty. But I didn’t have to. The guy’s brother wrote in. Fellow named Sean.
“I am sorry he has such a negative attitude about OU and the coaching etc…. He is definitely the ‘Glass Half Empty’ brother and I am the ‘Glass Half Full’ brother. HaHa. Sorry for the distraction story, I am elated how Bob Stoops has brought the football program back to its rich tradition of one of the winningest programs in the nation. It is frustrating, like my brother has said, but I look at all of the other institutions that would love to have 10++ winning seasons, year after year after year. And the fact that we are winning enough to make it to the BCS bowls year after year. That says a lot for a program that really IS in the hunt year after year for the national championship. Anyway, all this being said, my brother will never see it as positive unless OU wins everything all the time and it simply can’t happen that way.”
Wow. Now if all my readers would monitor the emails of all my other emails and answer them that soundly, my work load goes way down.
A reader named William said, “Go look at Lloyd Carr’s career at Michigan … I see a lot of parallels to Stoops. Fast start, win national title and then does OK by Michigan and OU standards but not great, with the occasional random mid-season losses thrown in for good measure. The only difference is Stoops has benefited from Mack Brown being at Texas versus (Jim) Tressel at Ohio State. In the venture capital business we have three kinds of deals — ones that become home runs (10x our money), ones that fail miserably (and we get the capital tax loss) and ones that are in the middle called the ‘walking dead.’ Those deals will neither take off nor fail miserably so you can move on. They limp along and do just good enough. OU’s program is the walking dead right now much like Michigan’s program became under Carr. Can’t get to the 10x return or won’t fail so you can move on. Sooner fans better get used to it.”
Wow. And I thought Kelvin Sampson was Dead Man Walking (as John Rohde termed him a couple of days ago). Of course, Stoops is not Dead Man Walking. Five Big 12 titles in eight years is a lot better than what Michigan has done in the last eight years. Stoops has a bowl problem, but he most certainly does not have a regular-season problem. And isn’t that an interesting twist to the OU-Texas series. Stoops thrives Mack Brown is at Texas. I would tend to say it’s the other way around. Mack Brown is kept from greatness because Bob Stoops is at Oklahoma.
Armon wrote, “I have been an OU fan since the beginning of the Great Bud Wilkinson Era. I consider Bud the best coach OU has ever had. I cannot understand why Stoops called for the two-point conversion and the onside kick. This was plain dumb, especially when OU had finally gotten the momentum back and was only down less than a TD. I absolutely could not believe this. Two bonehead plays in a row.”I don’t know if Bud is the greatest OU coach ever, but I can’t disagree on those plays. The two-point conversion and the onside kick. Just plain dumb.
And of course, we haven’t even gotten to the coordinators yet. Al wrote, “You missed the whole problem with the Sooner football team. OU played not to lose and they lost. Every coach knows that OU will run the ball on first down 95 percent of the time, 80 percent of the time on second down and almost always on third and short. The coaches have not shown any innovation or imagination in the game. They are too conservative. As long as their offensive staff remains the same, OU will never ever win another national championship or even come close to winning one. Coach Josh H (I can’t spell his name) would have had a game plan much different than the plan they had at the Fiesta Bown.”
I had a sudden thought. Fans always want the head of the offensive coordinator, and OU fans always say Chuck Long or Kevin Wilson are too predictable, and they all long for the days of Mike Leach. So how do they explain this. Leach has the most predictable offense of all time. He ALWAYS throws and almost always throws short.
Phil wrote and gave us cart blanche to investigate the curious case of the Sooners: “How about a series of articles on what the $3 million man and his pals actually do after the end of the Big 12 and the time to play a bowl game? Did they actually look at WV film or did they just go to the movies? In any event, you and your pals have my permission to fully probe the state of the football Sooners. Perhaps an intervention with each coach might be useful.”
Well, Phil gave me a couple of rich mental images. Bob Stoops at the movies — I don’t see Stoops sitting through “27 Dresses” – and the intervention. Now there’s an idea. How about us media guys, me and Jake Trotter and Scott Wright and Jenni Carlson and John Rohde and Eschbach and Traber and Blevins take about 10 fans each and stage an intervention with each coach. Put them in a room and demand they start winning bowl games. I’ve got dibs on Chris Wilson.
Sixto wrote in and asked, “What the hell is going on? Our multi-million dollar a year coach just got his (butt) handed to him by an interim head coach. This team looked listless, disinterested and completely unprepared. OU showed signs of life at the beginning of the second half, but quickly imploded after that misbegotten onside kick attempt. And why the hell wasn’t Kevin Wilson calling passing plays on every down when the team was down by 20? It looked to me like they just gave up midway through the fourth quarter! And let’s address the off-the-field crap: the fact that Demarcus Granger got pinched shoplifting tells me there is something systemically wrong with the program. Are the coaches simply not reaching these kids? Is the program out of control? Is Bob Stoops turning into Phil Fulmer? Ever since USC destroyed OU in that Orange Bowl debacle, Bob Stoops has not been the same coach in bowl games. This is an embarrassing, shameful loss, and I for one am seriously considering terminating my season tickets commitment.”
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