Glenn Spencer takes over the hot seat in Stillwater and Mike Stoops stays on the hot seat in Norman. Until further notice, there is nothing easy about coordinating Big 12 defenses.
But come the 2013 football season, OSU and OU will be better on defense. Guaranteed. Maybe much better.
Big 12 defenses in 2013 get some quarterback relief.
Collin Klein, gone. Landry Jones, gone. Nick Florence, gone. Geno Smith, gone. Seth Doege, gone.
Unless TCU's troubled Casey Paschall makes a comeback, the four best returning quarterbacks will be Texas' wildly inconsistent David Ash and OSU's trio of Clint Chelf, J.W. Walsh and Wes Lunt.
Almost every Big 12 squad will replenish with a talented passer or runner or both. But their seasoning won't be the same.
“When you have quarterbacks, a lot of them are playing in the NFL, some of them are going to be playing in the NFL soon, when they're at that level and as spread out as these offenses are, it's definitely going to be tougher to stop,” Bob Stoops said.
”As well as the mobility of some of them. The years when they aren't there, it's definitely easier. I've said that forever. When you're playing teams without a good quarterback, it's a lot easier to stop them.”
Just like in 2009.
In 2008, the Big 12 quarterbacks included Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Chase Daniel, Graham Harrell, Josh Freeman, Zac Robinson, Todd Reesing and a rookie Robert Griffin.
But Harrell, Daniel and Freeman moved on, and Bradford and Griffin were injured most of 2009. And Big 12 defenses pounced.
Some good quarterbacks remained — McCoy, Robinson, Reesing. Some good quarterbacks emerged — Blaine Gabbert, Taylor Potts. Jones and Florence were promising fill-ins. But the QB star power was nothing like the year before. And it showed.
In 2009, 11 of the 12 teams improved in scoring defense for conference games. Most of them by a wide margin.
Nebraska allowed 34.0 points a game in 2008, 13.1 in 2009. OU allowed 30.8 points a game in 2008, 15.9 in 2009. Texas Tech allowed 31.4 points a game in 2008, 22.6 in 2009. A&M allowed 43.9 points in 2008, 36.2 in 2009. Kansas State allowed 42.4 points a game in 2008, 27.0 in 2009.
And OSU, in Bill Young's first season as defensive coordinator, gave up 22.0 points a game in 2009, down from 29.5 in 2008.
The total defense improvement was similar.
Every team improved; 11 of the 12 by at least 40 yards a game. Kansas State improved by 144 yards a game. OU improved by 129 yards a game, from 412.8 yards per game in 2008 to 283.8 in 2009. OSU's improvement was almost as dramatic, from 427.0 to 319.1.
In 2010, the numbers started climbing again, and by 2011, when the QBs included Griffin, Brandon Weeden, Ryan Tannehill, Landry and Klein, it was back to the absurd football of 2008.
Young's 2011 OSU unit led the conference in scoring defense, 25.4. More defenses (three) allowed greater than 500 yards than allowed less than 400 (two).
But Young is unemployed after his 2012 defense allowed 30.0 points a conference game, which still was good for fifth in the Big 12.
OU's 26.7 points allowed in 2012 changed Mike Stoops' status from savior to nepotism hack, yet that ranked second in the league.
Only two Big 12 teams allowed less than 400 total yards per game. Kansas and Baylor allowed more than 500 each. TCU's league-leading 371.2 yards allowed would have ranked just eighth in 2009.
But the great quarterbacking returned. Games lengthened, formations spread and defenses again were endangered.
Now comes 2013 and what appears to be another significant quarterback dip.
Glenn Spencer and Mike Stoops and every other Big 12 d-coordinator are much obliged.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.