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Stoops, staff hate losses, but they don't stay down for very long

by Berry Tramel Published: August 24, 2008
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.

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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