Bob Stoops and the Benefit of Losing

Ron StilesCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2009

No victory comes without a price. No defeat comes without a debt. No matter how you say it. You have to pay your dues.

Sam Bradford won the Heisman after a stellar sophomore season at Oklahoma.

Bob Stoops lost his fifth BCS bowl game in as many tries.

I know in my heart after watching Stoops turn to the ones he holds dear, after the game, he believed he had his team ready to play for the National Championship.

What I also did witness was Bradford take the blame, on his shoulders, for the loss when he said he would be back for his junior year.

This says more about Sooner football than anything I could ever hope to put in words. The determination to be better, the bedrock of family and friends when you are down. These are the traits Bob Stoops had looked for and expected from his players from the first day at Oklahoma.

Bob did something I had never seen him do before the game. He chose an out. He said before the game that it all hinged on the players and how they performed on the field as a team. With those few words Stoops transferred any debt acquired by a loss onto the backs of the players and not upon his own.

The men who play for Oklahoma have shouldered that loss in a way that one can only admire. Whether it be by guilt of losing, or the pride of knowing they can and should win, they have postponed greater aspirations in order to finish the one dream left for them at Oklahoma.

Coach Stoops, on the other hand, has now had three commitments leave Oklahoma for another team, which has to have an impact not only on this year but more to follow.

The latest recruit to show interest is Cameron Kenney, who after turning down Auburn is debating between Georgia and Oklahoma. Kenney is a player who can truly do it all—punt, return, tackle, and catch—along with the natural ability as an athlete that is surpassed by only one or two if any in the country.

He is good enough he could start for ether the Sooners or the Bulldogs in his freshman year. While the chance to possibly play for the big one this year is better at Oklahoma, Georgia offers a home field advantage.

The Sooners recruiting class is currently No. 5 by We all know who stayed at Oklahoma. It's not until we find out who came will we really know the measure of debt Bob Stoops will pay for losing.