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Oklahoma football: Why Mike Stoops isn't the answer

COMMENTARY — Think Mike Stoops would fix all that ails the Oklahoma Sooners? Perhaps you've forgotten his Sooner record, and his brother's.
by Berry Tramel Published: December 6, 2011

Oklahoma football is staggered. Banished to the Insight Bowl, the Sooners cry out for direction and toughness and a touch of magic that seems to have vanished.

A messiah has been identified. Paging Mike Stoops. Paging Mike Stoops. Please report to the Switzer Center.

Unencumbered by employment, Brother Mike's resume' drifts through a variety of college football capitals. Columbus, Lincoln, Norman. On Tuesday, Arkansas joined the crowd looking for a defensive coordinator.

OU is not on that list, though the masses wish it was. Brent Venables' head would soothe many a savage Sooner breast.

Soonerville looks back longingly on the 13-2 Orange Bowl and the 10-3 Cotton Bowl, wondering why OU can't play defense like that. They tend to forget the 38-28 Bedlam and 35-7 Big 12 title game.

Don't get the wrong idea. Mike Stoops was a whale of a defensive coordinator. But he was not a wizard. He was not untouchable.

Besides, we're playing a different game in 2011 than we played in 2001. The numbers are bigger — for everybody. But the rankings? About the same.

OU's average Big 12 finish in scoring defense under Mike Stoops: 2.0. Second. OU's average Big 12 finish in scoring under Venables: 2.25. OU's average Big 12 finish in total defense under Brother Mike: 3.2. OU's average Big 12 finish in total defense under Venables: 2.5.

Even taking out 1999, when the initial Stoops staff was whipping the lads into shape, the numbers don't change much, and Mike Stoops never coordinated a defense whose offense was playing no-huddle and inviting opponents to run 90-100 plays a game.

So don't ask me to light a torch and demand Venables' ouster. Sacrificial lambs don't do much for me.

Besides, bringing back Mike Stoops doesn't seem like big brother's style, even though upon questioning a few weeks back, Bob Stoops said he would welcome Mike back, should there be an opening.

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by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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