Is Mark Stoops' Arizona Exit a Bad Thing?

Tom PhillipsCorrespondent IDecember 2, 2009

As rumors fly about Arizona defensive coordinator Mark Stoops being the top candidate for the Youngstown State head coaching job, it makes one wonder if that is a bad thing for the Wildcats.

He has been one of the members of the staff that has been there from the beginning of the turnaround. In fact, most of the defensive staff has been unchanged in six years.

Arizona has gone from being cellar-dwellers to playing in a game that could put them in a tie for second place in the conference.

The defense has always been the constant for Arizona. They were the ones that kept the Cats in games and won them multiple games.

In recent years, he has produced All-Pac 10 performers and even a Thorpe award winner.

This might be the reason why it's time for the other Stoops to go.

In recent years (and recent weeks) as the team has improved, they have had trouble stopping teams when the game matters. The end.

The Cats have had trouble stopping teams from making the game-winning drive when the game is on the line in the final minutes.

Oregon and Cal this year, Stanford and ASU last year, the list goes on. They have upset ranked teams but cant seem to put away teams that are supposed not be as good.

That has to be the biggest knock on Stoops, the defensive play-calling leaves something to be desired at the end of games.

The players have also looked tired when the game comes to the closing minutes. This would come down to preparation and not having enough faith in backups or not having players properly conditioned.

Older brother Mike would go one of two ways with the hire, bring in a new defensive coordinator or promote someone on the staff.

I think Mike would promote someone from the staff for continuity and so there is no power struggle between a new DC and the established head coach. A new coordinator would likely clear house and bring in his guys, not unlike what happened when Sonny Dykes was brought in.

The counterpoint is be careful what you wish for. Cats fans know this all to well with Dick Tomey and his successor John Mackovic.

If it comes down to money though, Mark Stoops will stay. Youngstown State's coach made $125,000 last year, Mark made double that as Arizona's defensive coordinator.

The Cats are about to find out if Mike Stoops spawns his first coach from his staff this offseason. Whether or not that turns out to be a positive for the Cats is remained to be seen.