Oklahoma Football: Why Bob Stoops Is Underachieving on the 2012 Recruiting Trail

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Oklahoma Football: Why Bob Stoops Is Underachieving on the 2012 Recruiting Trail
Brett Deering/Getty Images

The Oklahoma Sooners and Bob Stoops have had nothing but success over the past 14 years—especially on the recruiting trail. 

However, Stoops' 2013 recruiting class is ranked 20th by ESPN.com's Recruiting Nation and Oklahoma only has 14 commitments going into December. Kansas State is the only Big 12 program with fewer recruits through November with eight. 

In other words, the Sooners aren't where they need to be at this point of the recruiting season. 

Although the current Sooners are 9-2 and staring a BCS bowl bid in the face for the ninth time under Stoops, they still have one glaring problem. 

They can't stop the run.

Oklahoma ranks seventh in the Big 12 in rush defense giving up over 186 yards per game, according to Big12Sports.com. It has given up 22 touchdowns on the ground and opposing running backs are averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

Stopping the run starts up front and Oklahoma doesn't have the talent on the defensive line it has been used to in the past. Jamarkus McFarland and Casey Walker are average at best compared to guys like Tommie Harris and Gerald McCoy  

So if Oklahoma's biggest problem is stopping the run and it just doesn't have the talent to do so, its best bet is recruiting better defensive linemen, correct?

Well, it doesn't look like Stoops is planning on fixing the problem with this year's recruiting class. 

Harry How/Getty Images
Tommie Harris is arguably the greatest defensive tackle in Oklahoma history

Oklahoma has received commitments from seven 4-star recruits, according ESPN.com, but none are interior defensive linemen. It has two 4-star commitments on the defensive line, but each is considered an end-of-the-line player.

In fact, Oklahoma has only brought in three 4-star defensive tackles since 2010 and zero 5-star recruits. 

Stoops was considered to be a great defensive-minded coach when he took the reins at Oklahoma. His brother, Mike, was considered to high on that list as well. However, it's been more of an offensive-minded program over the past five seasons.

Fans around the state of Oklahoma are begging for a better defense. They're getting tired of watching the Sooners winning shootouts rather than dominating teams on the defensive side of the ball.

In 2000, Oklahoma won the National Championship because of one of the best defenses in the Stoops-era. Yes, it had a Heisman Trophy candidate behind center (Josh Heupel), but its defense, led by guys like Torrance Marshall, Rocky Calmus and Derrick Strait, never let teams score 50 points in a contest.

It's obvious that college football championships are produced by defense. Just look at Alabama and Nick Saban. They rely on running the ball and playing smashmouth defense rather than relying on their offense to win shootouts.

If Stoops and the Sooners want to fix the problems on defense, it starts with recruiting. Schemes are one thing, but if you don't have the athletes to execute, you're going to get torched.

Oklahoma fans are tired of being torched. It's time for Stoops to hit the recruiting trail in hopes of building a dominant defensive line. If he doesn't, there won't be any national titles in Oklahoma's future.

And at Oklahoma, if you don't win the National Championship, you're underachieving.   

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