In a recommended tidy little book called Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander , a Catholic monk, Thomas Merton, reflects on a topic that would probably infuriate much of Sooner Nation these days.
"I am not so sure of myself and do not claim to have all the answers. In fact, I often wonder quite openly about these 'answers,' and about the habit of always having them ready. The best I can do is to look for some of the questions." - Thomas Merton.
No answers? Just questions? A Sooner fan these days is left with a lot of the latter and not much of the former.
I don't claim to be a fan. More of a guilty bystander. Here are some questions that keep popping, in no particular order, into my stream of consciousness. After some of the questions, I'll add some conjectures in italics. Just to add to the swirl.
Has Head Coach Bob Stoops' time run out at Oklahoma? I can't get the image of Stoops looking depressed and despondent when he was interviewed on the sideline at the end of the first half of the BYU game. Sam Bradford had just gone down. Stoops looked, and sounded like, he was down for the count, too.
How, in the world of football gods, can Oklahoma put 62 on Nebraska last year and 3 this year?
Is the offense's problem the style of play or the play itself?
What will happen next year, when the offense will be more experienced but the defense will lose the type of talent the offense lost this year? Will the Sooners have to score 38 points each game to win?
Do the Sooners have enough qualified recruiters who can spot offensive linemen? It seems crazy to ask that of a powerhouse like Oklahoma. But maybe the Sooners are resting on the laurels of a high-scoring offense that naturally attracts QBs and WRs .
Did Stoops throw his offensive coordinator, Kevin Wilson, under the bus last week as a scapegoat? First came Stoops' comment on Tuesday at his press luncheon. Then came his answer to a fan's question published in Wednesday's edition of The Oklahoman. And both came before Saturday's game against Nebraska, when even an average follower knew Oklahoma's inexperienced offensive line could get manhandled by Nebraska, which it did each time a play was really needed. Was the timing of all three events just a coincidence?
Can the offensive line be any more reliably unreliable?
"Every day I’m older I’m sure about a little bit less...”
Those lyrics are from a song written by Steve Earle and performed by Joan Baez on her latest album. Somehow that Merton quote, and the Sooner's current state, made me think of them.
For more information:
Nebraska 10, Oklahoma 3 slideshow
All is not well that doesn't end well—Sooners lose another tight one
Can Oklahoma's inexperienced OL handle Nebraska's potent front four?