Sooners' Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson: Love Him, Hate Him, or Like Him?

Sooners ExaminerContributor IOctober 8, 2009


Kevin Wilson is hearing it from both sides.

The outside and the inside.

From the outside, about half of Sooner Nation wants a burnt offering of Wilson's flesh.  Better it come, they figure, before the game in two Saturdays against the Burnt Orange.  

From the inside, Wilson hears it from himself.

"Trust me, the most critical guy of me is me," Wilson said this week.

I believe him.  He comes across as being an authentic guy.

We all have those conversations inside ourselves that nobody hears but us.  A conversation inside Wilson might be going something like this:

"Do you mind if I give you a little destructive criticism?," Kevin Wilson says to Kevin Wilson.

"Not at all.  But first you have to stand behind the bloggers, the radio show call-ins, and the several folks who want to get me fired," Kevin Wilson says to Kevin Wilson.

"I'm just glad my boss isn't one of them," Kevin Wilson says to Kevin Wilson.

Head Coach Bob Stoops defended his offensive coordinator this week after Oklahoma's agonizing 21-20 loss last Saturday to Miami.

"(The criticism) is ridiculous," Stoops said.  "I can't believe that.  (Wilson) has obviously been dealt a difficult hand to play, with all that has happened.  In the end, he's the same guy he was a year ago."

(For Stoops, his common phrase, "in the end," can be interpreted, "In my final analysis, this is how I see it, and the buck stops with me.")

A year ago, Wilson took to his house the 2008 Frank Broyles Award as the top assistant coach in the FBS.  His offense set two FBS records: It scored 716 points (most in one season) and 60 or more points in five consecutive games.

What happened a year ago might be the rub.  

Did a tedium of blowouts set in?  Is Wilson still trying to escape the monotony of easy wins the Sooners piled up last year?  Although doubtful, it could happen.  Life gets easy.  Play calling gets boring.  Score after score after score.  Where's the challenge? Scooping himself out of his lethargy and finding a renewed sense of purpose?

What has happened since the "60 points in five games streak" might also be the rub.  

Three losses in five tight games, each loss coming down to the final minutes, each labeled by Sunday morning quarterbacks as being caused by ultra conservative play calling. 

It's obvious this Sooner team isn't the one Wilson expected.  After all, the Sooners' offense, with all its injuries and losses to graduation or the NFL, is the textbook definition of a work in progress. 

So, also, is the role of being an offensive coordinator.  By nature, an offensive coordinator is tentative, provisional, and calculating.  He must outsmart and outmaneuver.  In a profound sense, he makes it up as he goes along.  And not only in a fast-paced game, but also in the short weeks that come between contests. How much shorter the weeks must feel to Wilson because of the changing cards he's been dealt.

Wilson comes across as someone with an ego who doesn't seem egotistical.  He pokes fun at his own self-regard.  He's like an oddball university professor with a rich inner life.  Moreover, he doesn't look like a typical football coach.  He's short in stature and plump, like the Pillsbury Doughboy.  He's smart and full of desire. And right now, he just can't get it all together.

That makes some Sooner fans hate him.  Others love him because they love all things Sooners.

Is there a middle ground?

Right now, he's having a hard time getting it all together.

He's like me.  He's like you.

What's not to like?