Cotton Bowl 2013: 'Big Game' Bob Stoops Can't Seem to Win the Big One Anymore
The 2013 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic had Fox Sports' Gus Johnson calling the game and Charles Davis doing color. Obviously, the "Gus Factor" meant it would be an exciting contest.
And it was, until the first quarter concluded. At that point, it became apparent that the Oklahoma Sooners hadn't made any adjustments for Texas A&M's Heisman-winning quarterback, Johnny Manziel.
The final score of the "Friday Night Lights Out" debacle was 41-13, but it felt like Texas A&M scored 100 points on the Sooners. Manziel set a Cotton Bowl record with 516 total yards, rushing for two touchdowns and passing for another two scores.
The Aggies only held the ball for 23:11, but they were much more efficient with it in their time of possession. More than 30 minutes of ball control and 13 points were all the Sooners could muster up. No amount of Boomer Sooner could wash away the total destruction Texas A&M unleashed on Oklahoma.
Oklahoma, despite its No. 11 BCS ranking, looked like that same team that lost to USC in the 2004 BCS Championship (though the Trojans were later forced to vacate the title). At some point, though, asterisks are ignored—USC beat Oklahoma 55-19 despite what the revised media guides say.
An anomaly? Perhaps, but consider what Oklahoma has done after it laid that egg against USC: The Sooners have gone 1-3 in BCS bowls. The Sooners' lone BCS bowl win since losing to USC was a 48-20 shellacking of UConn in the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, but nobody was impressed, as the Sooners were favored by at least two touchdowns.
Can Bob Stoops turn the Sooners' program around in big games?
We've seen this show before, and despite our undying respect for Bob Stoops, at some point, the question needs to be asked: How many more embarrassing losses in big bowls can Sooner fans take?
The Cotton Bowl isn't a BCS bowl, but it is a big bowl. And once again, Oklahoma fell short of expectations. Scratch that—Oklahoma looked out-coached, out-prepared and out-played.
Yes, Johnny Manziel is a great quarterback, but his Aggies did lose to Florida, who got hammered by Louisville in the Sugar Bowl, and LSU, who got beat by Clemson in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
In the past five years, Stoops' Sooners have won two bowls: the 2009 Sun Bowl and the 2011 Insight Bowl. His BCS bowl record is 3-5, but it's 3-4 if you throw out that vacated game.
Oklahoma is a big-boy college football program, but when the stage is set, the lights are on and the sound is turned up, all we see and hear are crickets chirping. I can't even imagine what Sooner fans are feeling after this loss.
Maybe next year will be different. But at this point in Bob Stoops' career, should we even be inserting a "maybe"?
It's difficult to call out a coach who has done so much for the Norman community, but this is a business, and even Stoops will acknowledge the cutthroat world he lives and works in.
The big bowl invites are great, but for now, the "Big Game Bob" moniker needs to be shelved.
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