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.