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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

But does Bobby Stoops strike you as a man who says, “OK, I give up. I can't do it without you? Please help me.” That's not the Stoops I've seen for 13 years.

It's not like Mike needs a job. He's got a nice parachute payoff from Arizona and plenty of suitors. Old Youngstown pal Bo Pelini needs a coordinator at Nebraska; Urban Meyer already has talked to Mike about Ohio State. Lots of opportunities all over.

That said, maybe the Sooners do miss Mike Stoops' attitude. He was fire and brimstone; the players responded.

But Venables and Bob Stoops aren't exactly monks on the sideline or the practice field. They can ream out with the best of them.

And who knows if that even works anymore? It worked 10 years ago. Ten years is a long time, as the development of offensive alignment attests.

Catching a few Arizona games a year, Mike Stoops seemed ready to combust at most any time. It took awhile for the ‘Zonas to get going under Brother Mike, then they did, then fell off. And even accounting for the difference in talent, Arizona never remotely approached the defense that OU played before or after Stoops' departure.

Mike Stoops has a solid place in OU history. A national champion defensive coordinator, along with Larry Lacewell and Gary Gibbs. Stoops was a heck of a coach and probably still is.

That doesn't mean he's the messiah.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at

by Berry Tramel
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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