NORMAN — Losing is the worst part of Jackie Shipp's job. He hasn't lost much. Shipp is a charter member of Bob Stoops' staff; in nine years at OU, they've lost 22 times, in 119 games. But in recent years, the Sooners are becoming known as much for defeat as for victory. Four straight BCS bowl defeats, including two in national championship games. You know how losing eats at Sooner fans? How a loss to Texas is the end of the world or a BCS bowl defeat means the wheels have come off? Losing affects the coaches far more. Living with a loss gnaws at Stoops and his staff. "For the hours we put in ... all that effort, and you don't get the victory, that's the worst part,” Shipp said. It's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it, every Saturday, every game. Says so in the NCAA rules, which eliminated ties in 1996. And bowl defeats are worst of all, since last-game losses mean eight months until the next game. Eight months of living with disappointment. "It's hard,” OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables said of losing. "To me, when you do it at a place like Oklahoma, it's somewhat fatalistic. You feel like you let a lot of people down.” Stoops handles defeat well. At least outwardly. Not all coaches do. OU assistant Cale Gundy melted down at the Fiesta Bowl last January, lashing out at a couple of writers who weren't even talking to him. Stoops might feel like kicking a dog or dressing down a writer, but he refrains. Venables said Stoops displays great leadership in defeat. "He doesn't allow you to be down long,” Venables said. "We've ridden his coattails in that regard.” After OU's 48-28 loss to West Virginia in January, Stoops was more introspective than in past bowl defeats, saying he would have to examine all aspects of his program's preparation. Stoops doesn't have a lot of experience losing. He was a big winner as a player at Cardinal Mooney in Youngstown, Ohio, and as a player and coach at Iowa. But Stoops also suffered through a 1-10 record in the first of his seven years as a Kansas State assistant. K-State was expected to lose, but "it still stunk,” Stoops said. Those losses — to the likes of Northern Iowa and North Texas — hurt as much as the losses to LSU and Southern Cal more than a decade later. When the Sooners fall, Stoops said, "you're angry, but we are very analytical and realize what are the reasons, what are some of the things we could have done to prevent it, or was there much that we could have prevented? "There is always a certain amount of it that is in the players' hands. So you assess all of that and what is realistic to expect from your players, what they expect of you and what your opportunities are. You work to fix those areas that you are able to.” That's what Bill Snyder and Co. did almost 20 years ago at K-State. That's what Stoops and Co. do now at OU. Defeat means roll up your sleeves and go to work. Shipp has experienced disappointment in football. As a Sooner linebacker, he started on Barry Switzer's three worst teams, the four-loss squads of 1981 through 1983. But he also made a Super Bowl with the Miami Dolphins, for whom he played five NFL seasons. Shipp has spent most of his football life with organizations — Sooners, Dolphins — that expect to win. But he's been enough places where winning isn't automatic — Langston, Central Missouri State, Tennessee-Martin, Southern Illinois, Louisiana-Monroe — to appreciate the frequency of victory now, even when punctuated with a bowl slump. Consistent losing? "That would be tough,” Shipp said. All losses are.