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Oklahoma football: Josh Heupel has gone from quarterback hero to a man in the hot seat

Heupel traded the made-man status that comes with winning a national title for the most criticized job in Soonerland.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: October 24, 2013 at 12:00 pm •  Published: October 23, 2013

/articleid/3896804/1/pictures/2234401">Photo - Josh Heupel OU co-offensive  coordinator
Josh Heupel OU co-offensive coordinator

Of course, we know that is true, but it's so darn easy to watch a play go splat or a series go kaput and think, “What are they doing throwing it?” or “Why didn't Heupel run the Belldozer?”

This isn't to say that Heupel is faultless in the Sooners' offensive inconsistencies this season. The problems have been a team effort, and he has definitely contributed.

But to say he should be fired — and plenty of Sooner fans have said that — is crazy.

It might be darn near impossible, too. Heupel's sister, Andrea, is married to Dan Boren, son of OU president David Boren.

Good luck firing Josh Heupel.

Truth is, he's more likely to get a promotion than a pink slip. Heupel as successor to Stoops, whenever that might be, doesn't seem too far fetched.

“I fully expect him to get a head coaching job soon,” Ikard said. “He's one of those guys that is just a great football mind, really dedicated, works extremely hard.”

Not that anyone outside the Sooner locker room or the Heupel family gives him any credit for it.

Not that Heupel is clamoring for it.

“Ultimately, we've got to score enough points to win every game,” he said. “That's what it comes down to.

“Whether you're being praised or you're being burned at the stake, it really doesn't matter. You're only as good as your next performance. That's the great thing about being an athlete, a coach in the competitive ring; you get to go out and make it happen rather than responding to it.”

Heupel made it happen as a player. He was the face of that championship season, a Sooner savior. He could've settled in Oklahoma, opened a chain of barbecue restaurants or done heat and air commercials and been loved forevermore.

Instead, he pulled on a visor, hit the elevator button for the sixth floor of the press box and sat down on the hot seat.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at, follow her at or view her personality page at

by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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