College Football Week 12: 29 losses each for Wilkinson, Switzer & Stoops
29, 29 & 29
As January 2005 arrived, Bob Stoops’ record at Oklahoma was 67-11. That’s a winning percentage of .859. That’s beyond ridiculous.
Barry Switzer’s winning percentage at OU was .837. Bud Wilkinson’s was .826. The idea that another coach could approach the Sooners’ Rushmore duo was laughable. The idea that another could surpass the two iconic coaches was unbelievable.
Yet Stoops was doing exactly that.
You know how the story has turned. Since then, Stoops is 48-22, a winning percentage of .686, which is not bad but not likely to call for a mountain sculptor.
And we have arrived at a most peculiar point in time.
Switzer coached 29 losses at Oklahoma. Wilkinson coached 29 losses at Oklahoma. Now, thanks to the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Stoops has coached 29 losses at Oklahoma.
Stoops’ record is 115-29, which remains a sizzling (.799) winning percentage.
But the days when he was threatening to supersede even the phenomenal winning ways of Switzer and Wilkinson are over.
Look at it this way. For Stoops now to catch Switzer in winning percentage, all that’s needed is a 34-game winning streak.
Win the next two games, go unbeaten, 14-0, in 2010-11, then open the 2012 season with a four-game winning streak.
Then Stoops will again have passed Switzer on the Sooner winning percentage list.
Most people know how much I love Lubbock, Texas. Love its wide streets. Love its open spaces. Love its Old West feel.
But I have declared a freeze on Lubbock. I’m tired of the hotel gouging that goes on during football weekends. A $99 room suddenly shoots to $150, usually with a two-night stay required. Good for them if they can get it. They’re just not getting it from me, even if The Oklahoman is paying my way.
The big casualty of such a boycott is my annual trip to Cagle’s, the great steakhouse outside town. Love going to Cagle’s.
But we stayed in Plainview, 45 miles north of Lubbock, so I saw no reason to drive through Plainview, down to Lubbock for dinner, then back to Plainview.
For years, videographer Tim Money has been touting Kabuki, a Japanese steakhouse in Amarillo, so we stopped off on our way to Plainview.
It was sensational, with a cool décor that included periodic falling rain. That allowed us to have a conversation about Casa Bonita, the old Mexican restaurant. The Casa Bonita in Oklahoma City had a great décor, but the Casa Bonita in Tulsa had a waterfall, and we always heard stories about the Casa Bonita in Denver having cliff-divers.
Well, some of the younger crowd with us was amazed, because apparently on The Family Guy or one of those silly adult cartoon shows, there was a reference or a scene with Casa Bonita cliff-divers. My pals, who sometimes I think were born during the Clinton Administration, thought it was a fictitious place. No, it was real.
And so was Kabuki. I had shrimp and some kind of steak, but here’s the deal. I’ve never been to a bad Japanese steakhouse.
I’ve been to Japanese steakhouses in Norman, Oklahoma City, Seattle, the Dallas suburb of Carrollton and now Amarillo. They all seem the same to me. Which is a good thing.
Maybe it’s time to admit that these teppanyaki-style restaurants hit on a great idea. Excellent food cooked right in front of you, with an entertaining chef. Dinner with a floor show is hard to beat.
The bowl lineup is becoming more clear, and a few bowls are going to struggle to find quality replacements for conferences that failed to fill out their assignments. The GMAC, Humanitarian and Little Caesars Pizza bowls primarily are in danger.
But one of them could get a golden goose. One of them could get Notre Dame. If the Fighting Irish fall to 6-6, they will have to wait for table scraps on the bowl assignments.
New Mexico Bowl, Dec. 19, Albuquerque, N.M.
Air Force vs. Nevada
St. Pete Bowl, Dec. 19, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Connecticut vs. Central Florida
New Orleans Bowl, Dec. 20, New Orleans
East Carolina vs. Troy
Las Vegas Bowl, Dec. 22, Las Vegas
Utah vs. Oregon State
Poinsettia Bowl, Dec. 23, San Diego
BYU vs. Stanford
Hawaii Bowl, Dec. 24, Honolulu
SMU vs. Fresno State
Emerald Bowl, Dec. 26, San Francisco
Florida State vs. California
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Dec. 26, Detroit
Middle Tennessee vs. Ohio
Meineke Bowl, Dec. 26, Charlotte, N.C.
Boston College vs. Rutgers
Music City Bowl, Dec. 27, Nashville, Tenn.
North Carolina vs. Tennessee
Independence Bowl, Dec. 28, Shreveport, La.
Iowa State vs. Georgia
Champs Sports Bowl, Dec. 29, Orlando, Fla.
Clemson vs. Minnesota
EagleBank Bowl, Dec. 30, Washington, D.C.
Duke vs. Marshall
Holiday Bowl, Dec. 30, San Diego
Nebraska vs. Southern Cal
Humanitarian Bowl, Dec. 30, Boise, Idaho
Louisiana-Monroe vs. Idaho
Texas Bowl, Dec. 30, Houston
Texas A&M vs. Navy
Armed Forces Bowl, Dec. 30, Fort Worth, Texas
Wyoming vs. Southern Miss
Sun Bowl, Dec. 31, El Paso, Texas
Oklahoma vs. Arizona
Insight Bowl, Dec. 31, Tempe, Ariz.
Northwestern vs. Missouri
Chick-fil-A Bowl, Dec. 31, Atlanta
Virginia Tech vs. Auburn
Outback Bowl, Jan. 1, Tampa, Fla.
Wisconsin vs. Kentucky
Capital One Bowl, Jan. 1, Orlando, Fla.
Penn State vs. Ole Miss
Gator Bowl, Jan. 1, Jacksonville, Fla.
Miami vs. Pittsburgh
Rose Bowl, Jan. 1, Pasadena, Calif.
Ohio State vs. Oregon
Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1, New Orleans
Florida vs. TCU
Cotton Bowl, Jan. 2, Arlington, Texas
LSU vs. Oklahoma State
Liberty Bowl, Jan. 2, Memphis, Tenn.
Houston vs. Arkansas
International Bowl, Jan. 2, Toronto
West Virginia vs. Temple
PapaJohns.com Bowl, Jan. 2, Birmingham, Ala.
South Florida vs. South Carolina
Alamo Bowl, Jan. 2, San Antonio
Michigan State vs. Texas Tech
Fiesta Bowl, Jan. 4, Glendale, Ariz.
Iowa vs. Boise State
Orange Bowl, Jan. 5, Miami Gardens, Fla.
Georgia Tech vs. Cincinnati
GMAC Bowl, Jan. 6, Mobile, Ala.
Notre Dame vs. Central Michigan
Big Bowl, Jan. 7, Pasadena, Calif.
Texas vs. Alabama
TEXAS STOP SIGN
One of the great mysteries of life is how all the Dairy Queens in Oklahoma died off and all the Dairy Queens in Texas still thrive.
Has to be a management issue.
I actually stopped at a Dairy Queen north of Dallas earlier this year on the way home, about 10 a.m., and we wanted some ice cream. The guy said the ice cream machine wouldn’t fire up for about 10 more minutes. Be careful, Texans. With that kind of service, your DQs could be DQ’d, too.
Anyway, we decided to go on a Dairy Queen hunt to top off our Japanese steakhouse adventure. We all voted to stop there in Amarillo, but the lone dissenter was driving, so he carried the electoral vote.
We drove all the way to Plainview, checked into the Holiday Inn Express (at $92 a night) and then headed out.
First off, Plainview seems like a cool town. About 20,000. Home of former OU basketball player Chelsi Welch. Good, solid, West Texas place. I’m told Plainview even has a Japanese steakhouse; some of the Tulsa World guys ate there.
We found the Dairy Queen and indulged in our treats. Some went for the exotic sundaes. Microwave Ubben, our rookie OU writer, got a Peanut Buster Parfait, which is a good call, if for no other reason than you get to say Peanut Buster Parfait, one of the great lyrical terms in the English language.
I went for the straight ice cream cone. Soft-serve ice cream seems mostly relegated these days to Chinese buffets, since we’ve lost our Dairy Queens.
The ice cream is hard at Braum’s, which I guess is what people like. I’d eat that, too, if I went to Braum’s, but I don’t, because I think they’re more mis-managed than Oklahoma Dairy Queens. You always know what you’re going to get at Braum’s. That’s supposed to be a good thing, but what I know I’m getting is a cruddy store and poor service, and it doesn’t matter which of 100 Braum’s you go to.
Give me a Texas Dairy Queen anytime.
TEN BIGGEST LOSERS OF THE WEEK
10. Rutgers: The Scarlet Knights quietly were putting together another great year, with a 7-2 record, albeit against a weak schedule. Rutgers had just won at UConn and routed South Florida in Piscataway. But with Syracuse and Louisville left before a season-ending home game against West Virginia, the Knights stumbled, falling at Syracuse 31-13.
9. Andrew Luck: At a school, Stanford, known for quarterbacks, Luck failed to produce in the Big Game. The freshman from Houston completed just 10 of 30 passes and the game-deciding interception, at the California 3-yard line with less than two minutes left in the game. Cal won 34-28. Stanford is 0-4 when Luck throws at least 30 passes; 7-0 when he doesn’t.
8. Bill Snyder: The euphoria of October is gone over the return of Kansas State’s iconic coach. The Wildcats, 5-3 on Halloween day, went 1-3 down the stretch to fall out of the Big 12 North lead and, even worse, drop to 6-6. Since two of their victories were over I-AA opponents, and only one can count toward bowl eligibility, the Wildcats are staying home for the holidays.
7. Tate Forcier: The Michigan freshman quarterback committed five turnovers - four interceptions and a lost fumble in the end zone - as the Wolverines were eliminated from bowl contention with a 21-10 loss to Ohio State. Michigan fans won’t soon forget five turnovers against their bitter rival.
6. Dan Hawkins: The beleaguered Colorado coach needed a marquee victory to restore confidence in his administration. The Buffaloes were in position, leading Oklahoma State 21-10 in Stillwater. But the Cowboys rallied behind third-team quarterback Brandon Weeden for a 31-28 victory, and Hawkins seems to have little shelf life left in Boulder.
5. SMU: The Mustangs, bowl-less since the 1984 Aloha, was in position to win Conference USA’s Western Division. But Marshall pinned a 34-31 loss on SMU, returning Houston to first place in the division.
4. Oklahoma defense: Through all the frustration and disappointment of an injury-marred season, the Sooner defense had stood strong. Not in Lubbock. Texas Tech rang up 32 first downs, tied for the second-most ever by an OU foe, and 549 total yards, the fourth-most gained in the 11-year Stoops era.
3. Notre Dame bowl hopes: Charlie Weis’ fate already seemed sealed, even before a 33-30 overtime loss to Connecticut. So Weis’ status was not the big factor in UConn’s victory. Notre Dame’s bowl status was. If the Irish lose at Stanford on Saturday, they fall to 6-6 and at the mercy of bowls seeking to fill out their slots. Best bet: GMAC Bowl in Mobile, Ala., or the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit. Both would be against Mid-American Conference teams. Can anyone say Field Goal Jesus?
2. Mark Mangino: Rough week. How rough? Kansas’ 51-20 loss at Texas was the highlight. The verbal-abuse allegations against Mangino multiplied and seem certain to cost Mangino his job.
1. Les Miles: Superman had his Kryptonite, the LSU coach has his time management. Miles flirted with disaster two years ago against Auburn, throwing a pass on the final play of the game, when LSU only needed a field goal to win. That pass went for a touchdown, so Miles was spared the venom of LSU fans. Not so Saturday. Miles’ failure to call timeout in a timely fashion late against Ole Miss caused the fiasco with one second left, when the Tigers didn’t know what to do after completing a Hail Mary pass deep in Rebel territory. LSU lost 25-23.
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