Oklahoma football: The Decline of Big Game Bob

While Stoops has continued to win and win big — and win some big games — he's slowed down on the biggest stage, including two losses to SEC squads in subsequent national title showdowns, falling to LSU and Florida, along with another championship setback against USC.
by John Helsley Modified: August 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm •  Published: August 25, 2013
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Big Game Bob.

That was the tag applied to Bob Stoops almost immediately, after he led the Sooners to a national championship in his second season in Norman.

It was 2000 and the Sooners were soaring, romping to a 13-0 record that featured a Rocktober run of wins against No. 11 Texas, No. 2 Kansas State and No. 1 Nebraska and culminated in an Orange Bowl shutdown of then-No. 3 Florida State in the title game.

So the tag was fitting, with Stoops winning his first eight — and 11 of his first 12 — games against top-10 teams.

And it stuck … for a while.

And while Stoops has continued to win and win big — and win some big games — he's slowed down on the biggest stage, including two losses to SEC squads in subsequent national title showdowns, falling to LSU and Florida, along with another championship setback against USC.

Over the past 10 years, Stoops stands 4-6 in bowl games. And he's 0-3 in national championship games, 1-5 in BCS bowls.

LSU first dented Stoops' image with a 21-14 win over the Sooners to win the 2003 national championship and strike a blow for the SEC. Florida scored another one for the SEC with the 2008 national title at stake, winning 24-14. The A&M rout in January was the latest head-to-head loss to the SEC.

“It's difficult to call out a coach who has done so much for the Norman community, but this is a business, and even Stoops will acknowledge the cutthroat world he lives and works in,” Lisa Horne of Bleacher Report wrote after last January's 41-13 loss to Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl.

“The big bowl invites are great, but for now, the ‘Big Game Bob' moniker needs to be shelved.”


by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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