The feeling is all too familiar with the Oklahoma Sooners’ faithful.
What was a promising season, backboned by an entire offseason of hope and optimism, took an unfortunate turn following a stunning early season loss.
This time, it was a 24-19 loss to Kansas State in Norman.
Another conference game dropped. Another home loss. Another season where “next year is the year” starts becoming a coined phrase among the bars in Norman.
At least the Sooners from the mid 2000’s gave their fans a full season of excitement before throwing it all away in a BCS bowl game. Now, they can’t even make it to the annual midseason showdown with Texas unscathed.
Needless to say, fingers started pointing.
Unfortunately for Sooners head coach Bob Stoops, the majority of them were in his direction.
And although it kills me, I can’t help but agree. Bob Stoops is single-handedly destroying one of college’s most storied programs.
Sure, Stoops holds one of the best win-loss records among active FBS Division I coaches (141-35; .801)—only trailing Boise State’s Chris Petersen (75-7; .915).
But don’t let the record fool you.
Stoops’ Sooners play in the Big 12. You know, that conference that plays host to Oklahoma, Texas, and eight other high school powder-puff teams.
Do you believe in the product Stoops throws out on the field every season?
Conference? More like cakewalk.
You want tough? Just take a look at the road Petersen and his Broncos have to go through every year: Hawaii, Nevada, Wyoming, and New Mexico, just to name a few. To top it off, they don’t even have to play a conference championship game.
Wow. I wouldn’t wish that sort of gauntlet onto my worst enemy.
Then there’s Stoops’ minor feat of winning seven of the 10 Big 12 Conference title games during the 2000’s. Forget that only USC has had as much conference success in the past decade. The Sooners still play in the Big 12, remember?
Last but not least, who could forget Stoops' 1-3 record in BCS title games? Not to mention his 1-5 record in his last six BCS bowl games.
Big Game Bob? More like Big Game Dud.
It all reminds me of a former Nebraska head coach named Tom Osborne.
In a stretch from 1983-1993, Osborne saw his Huskers go 2-9 in bowl games—including 4-0 in games with national title implications. Let’s ignore the fact he went 49-2 the next four years on his way to bringing home three national titles to Lincoln. That guy was definitely a loser.
Give me a break.
The guy runs into a rough patch and all of a sudden his catalog of accomplishments is thrown out the window?
You know how many programs dream of winning a conference title? Stoops gave us seven.
Of receiving a BCS bowl bid? Stoops gave us eight.
Of getting a shot at winning a national title? Stoops gave us four.
I could go on for days.
The point is, we as fans need to stop acting so spoiled from success and look at the bigger picture. The Sooners can’t win a National Championship every year. It just doesn’t work like that.
So instead of looking at the glass half-empty, how about you consider the fact that Stoops has his team in contention for the title year-in and year-out?
Besides his inaugural season in Norman in 1999, Stoops has never finished with fewer than eight wins in a season. More impressively, in 13 seasons as a coach, he’s finished with 10 or more wins 10 times.
No other active head coach can say that they’ve accomplished the same feat.
So before you decide to register the “Fire Bob Stoops” Facebook page, take a step back and take a good look at what you have.
Every great coach has gone through a similar stretch. It’s not the wins and losses that define their legacy, it’s how they respond to the obstacles thrown in their way.
In Stoops’ case, it just so happens to be a 10-win season.
You can follow Sebastian on Twitter at @SP7988