It's amazing what a win over Nick Saban will do.
For the moment, at least, Oklahoma's Bob Stoops is getting a serious look from the Detroit Lions and Cleveland Browns about their vacant head coaching positions. Stoops has drawn NFL interest before but not with the intensity he is now, several NFL sources told Bleacher Report.
NFL team sources say both franchises have serious interest in Stoops. Those sources also say they are uncertain if the interest is reciprocated.
Now, these coaching stories are always presented with a caveat. It's possible Stoops is serious, or it's possible he's simply allowing his name to circulate in order to get a raise from the Sooners. The latter would be far from unusual.
There is also interest from the teams with remaining vacancies in Vanderbilt's James Franklin.
What I can say for certain is that interest in Stoops—while always there from both the Lions and Browns—increased after Oklahoma's impressive win this week over the third-ranked Crimson Tide. That win made Stoops the only coach to have conquered four BCS bowls.
Stoops is from Youngstown, Ohio, and when asked by reporters if he was interested in the Browns job, Stoops replied, "You never know."
Not exactly shooting things down.
But do not count out the Lions. They are equally interested.
So here we are. Stoops has gone from being considered a coach who can't win the big game to beating Saban, and now he's one of the hotter candidates out there. Funny how that works.
Mike Freeman covers the NFL for Bleacher Report.