Emails in on OU-UT & coordinators
The new emails are in, and lots of talk about Texas and my support of OU’s coordinators.
Marc didn’t like my statement that in 2008, OU lost but won, while Texas won but lost. “No clear winner last year? 45-35 is about as crystal clear as it gets.”
So is 39-38.
Larry, our resident Tech fan, wrote about the OU and Texas sniping: “I wasn’t around back in 1941 when godless, genocidal totalitarians from Germany attacked godless, genocidal totalitarians from the Soviet Union. I suppose there were a lot of conflicted people then too.”
So what does that make Tech? Czechoslovakia?
David: “I was intrigued by your question of whether someone would rather see OU 5-1 with a loss to UT or 4-2 with a win over the Horns. Iwould have gone with the OU going 4-2 option, myself. I thought I’d share a discussion I had here in Austin last week with my best Longhorn friend when I asked him, ‘wouldn’t you rather have been in OU’s shoes at the end of the season, loser of OU-Texas, but conference champ and in the BCS title game?’ This is a rational UT fan, a running partner of mine for several years who takes his football very seriously — even played in the Longhorn band. And he’s smart enough to not be in favor of a college football playoff. He said in complete earnestness that he wouldn’t have traded places with OU. And I know him well enough to believe him. So there is at least one big-time Texas fan out there who’d rather be 12-1 with a win over OU and shut out of the Big 12 title game than be conference champs playing in the Big Bowl with an OU loss. That’s one difference between OU-OSU and OU-Texas: with OU-Texas, the fans of BOTH sides overweigh the importance of the series in relation to everything else.”
I didn’t advocate 4-2 because it included a victory over Texas. I advocated 4-2 because it had OU on track to win the Big 12, while 5-1 (with a loss to Texas) likely would knock OU out of both national and Big 12 consideration.
Brad: “Oct. 17 is the latest the OU TX Game has been played since 1931. Why was the game moved away from the second Saturday of October for the first time in 77 years? I bet some people secured hotel prior to double checking date. By the way, OU ranks 61st in third-down conversions. The reason they are 3-2. Pretty poor stat, regardless of QB.”
OU has to be better at third downs. But here’s what’s funny about the OU-Texas date. It’s not always on the second Saturday. Five times since 1931, they’ve played on the first Saturday: 1978 and four times this decade.
Dave didn’t like my column defending OU’s coordinators: “I am in utter disbelief that you would let the OU coaching staff off the hook so easily. I mean, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the coaching has been weak for years. Please humor me. 1. As I’ve said for the last 5-6 years, Bob Stoops’ strength was in Mike Stoops, Mike Leach and Mark Mangino. If you’ll remember, as soon as Mike Stoops left and turned the defense over to Venables, we got our butts handed to us by K-State, followed by a mediocre performance against LSU. 2. OU gets humiliated by USC. Our defense was completely dominated; continuing the trend of our secondary getting burned by a decent team. Granted, that loss was apparently to a professional team, so we may not want to count this example. 3. Losses to TCU, West Virginia, Boise State, BYU, Miami, UCLA, OT vs. Baylor. Five consecutive bowl losses. All examples of a coaching staff that wasn’t prepared and obviously hadn’t prepared the players. 5. We’ve had more talent SINCE 2000 than we actually had on that team. However, many writers are trying to convince the rest of us that it’s simply a lack of execution and motivation on the part of the players. How is it that players have come and gone, but the coaching methods and philosophies have remained the same? Kevin Wilson is doing the same thing Chuck Long did. Venables, while showing some improvement this year, has provided nothing that stands up to more competitive teams. The Big 12 titles continue to be used as examples of why Stoops should be considered one of the best coaches in college football today. In reality, OU and Texas are the Big 12. Typically, whoever wins between those two will almost always win the conference; due mainly to an extremely weak North Division. Do I expect OU to win a national championship every year? Of course not. But I do expect for one of the highest paid coaches in college football to at least make the team a serious contender every year. I do expect his to recruit and demand excellence from his players and staff. I do expect him to hold his staff and players accountable when they’re not meeting expectations. As I’ve said hundreds of times before, if Stoops isn’t going to hold his coordinators accountable, then Castiglione needs to hold him accountable. The fact is, Stoops continues to ride the coat tails of the 2000 national title. Those coat tails have become tattered and have virtually disappeared. The trend of the last 5-6 years has gotten old.”
OK, I’ll bite. I expected this. 1. Mangino, you’ve got to be kidding. OU fans were trying to run him out of town at the end of 2001. Leach was here one year and went 7-5. Mike Stoops coached the defense vs. Kansas State. And OU gave up 14 offensive points to LSU. 2. OU stunk vs. USC. Agreed. 3. Your point is exactly what? OU doesn’t win every football game? Please give me the list of all the teams that do. Please give me a list of all the teams that win more than do the Sooners. Yes, there’s a bowl slump. I don’t understand it, but it most definitely exists. So you want to fire a bunch of good coaches because of a bowl slump, which no one understands. Not Tom Osborne, not Bear Bryant, not Bo Schembechler, all of whom had worse bowl slumps than Stoops. 4, Kevin Wilson is doing very little like Chuck Long did, other than losing an occasional game, which I guess means his job is in jeopardy. 5. You said you expect Stoops to make OU a serious contender for the national title every year. In that, he has failed. He has done that only four of the previous six years. That’s better than LSU, Florida, Alabama, Ohio State, Virginia Tech and everyone else other than USC. But it does not meet your standard. You said you expect Stoops to hold staff and players accountable, and by your tone you think he does not. Which means you advocate firing assistants. OK. No one else does that. No program, college or pro, fires championship-contending coordinators. But I suppose it could work. Probably wouldn’t, but it would get the fans fired up. And by the way, Stoops’ salary has nothing to do with it. If Stoops made $1 million instead of $2.8 million, there would not be fewer expectations. If Stoops made $2.8 million and Urban Meyer and Les Miles made $750,000 each, then OK, Stoops is overpaid. But he’s getting what the market bears. It’s nuts, but not for what Stoops is getting. For what they’re all getting.
Kenny: “Clearly only sports writers, ESPN commentators and Bob Stoops know enough to comment intelligently about offensive coordinators. Still, I offer the following uneducated, unqualified comments. At least you can tell your boss that someone, though unwashed, does read your propagandist opinion pieces. In your most recent Wilson apologia, you cite example play calling sequences from LSU and Boise State (actually Miami). In these examples you miss the point of all the criticism directed at Wilson. He seems to call every play as if he has consistent ability to beat the other team on the line or in the secondary. Cleary with the talent he has had of late, that is not the case when playing good (LSU) or imaginative teams (Boise State). At some point it seems to me that an offensive coordinator has to adjust his play calling to the talent he has on the team. Wilson seems to be calling plays as if he still has Peterson and last year’s receiving corps. If you can’t beat the other team every play then sometimes you have to fool them. OU can’t fool anyone (other teams) and seems to be fooled by almost any team that tries. Even teams that don’t have a clue in most games have all the clues they need against OU. Do we try to compensate for a weak line, running back, receiver by misdirection, play action, options, etc? Maybe we do and it is just not evident to all us $90 per bleacher seat fans. But if that is the case, then you sports writers owe us a story. Give us the story that explains why each and every offensive call was a good one. Tell us why Boise State beat a better team in 2006. Maybe you could explain why Texas and Florida beat us last year. Why did we lose to BYU and Miami this year? Tell that story.
Did you read this guy? He wants to know why OU doesn’t run play action (it does) or options (he’s got to be kidding). Says Wilson doesn’t try to fool anybody. Who does try to fool people? Does Texas? Does Florida? Does USC? That’s really what this is all about, you know. Some fans believe that football is a game of deception. Out-thinking the other team. And that indeed does happen. About once every 1,000 games. Quality coaching is teaching players what to do and how to do it. It’s not a funky chess move. Why did OU lose to BYU and Miami? Because it played without its quarterback. Why did OU lose to Texas last year? Because Jordan Shipley ran a kickoff back 100 yards, and after Ryan Reynolds went out, OU’s defense couldn’t stop colt McCoy. Sam Bradford threw five touchdown passes against UT. I don’t think that was a bad game by Kevin Wilson.
Greg: “Surprised that you didn’t bring up the playcalling against Florida last year. Shortly before halftime, we had been running the ball down UF’s throats and when we made it down inside the 5-yard line, we ran it four times and were stopped short of the goal line. i remember complaining when we started passing against LSU. I still question whether that was the right thing to do. That was at the end of the game and their D-line was undoubtedly gassed. I don’t fault Kevin Wilson for trying to ram it down UF’s throats last year. With the line we had, they SHOULD have been able to get the job done. Additionally, the fact that Sam threw an interception the very next drive deep inside UF territory, kind of controverts any criticism of playcalling in that instance. I don’t judge Wilson at all for the playcalling against Miami. When you’re playing with a completely rebuilt O-line, new receivers and you are playing without most of your playmakers, on the road against a strong team, it doesn’t matter who is calling the plays. You are going to struggle.”
I know everyone wants to fool everybody, but the truth is, the best teams power the ball into the end zone. If you can’t power the ball in, you’re not a great team to begin with. OU believed (believes?) it is a great team. I don’t blame them.
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