Will Oklahoma's Bob Stoops Become the Denver Broncos Next Head Coach?

Ron KnabenbauerCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2009

The Denver Post has reported that the Denver Broncos have attempted to contact University of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops in an attempt to fill their head coaching vacancy after the firing of Mike Shanahan earlier in the week.

Though it’s unknown at this time if the Broncos have actually talked to the 48-year-old Stoops directly, it does provide for interesting discussion if Stoops could ever coach in the NFL.

He did resurrect a Sooner team that had dropped off the map in the 1990’s, and has been to the national championship game four times in the last 10 years.

However, the one knock on the Sooners coach in the last few years is that he hasn’t been able to win in BCS games, going 0-4 in his last four attempts.

With that said, every year his team is a front-runner for the Big 12 and national championships.

Since joining the Sooners, Stoops has won one national championship and six Big 12 Championships in his 10 years as head coach.

Maybe it is time for a change for Stoops. He just received a $3 million bonus this week after staying in Norman for 10 years, and if he does beat Florida in a week for the BCS Championship, you could make a case that he has reached the pinnacle of college football and might try his luck in the NFL.

However, Stoops has no coaching experience or ties in the NFL, which hasn’t boded well with other college coaches who have attempted to try their luck in the pros with similar non-experience.

Take for instance Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban, who left great college teams for the NFL, only to be back on college campuses a few years later.

Though the NFL and the college game may not seem that different to coach in, there does seem to be a difference with all the bad luck college coaches have had in the pros. It seems like a no-win situation for Stoops if he does decide to make the jump.

Now Stoops isn’t the only candidate for the Broncos, but he is the only major college coach, as the team has been looking mostly at current NFL assistants.

Bringing in Stoops would be huge for the Broncos organization, but the risks of having a college coach with no NFL experience outweighs the benefits in this situation (look at the previous examples of Saban and Spurrier).

For Stoops, going to the NFL would be a new challenge, and if he does beat the Gators, there isn’t much more he could prove at the college level.

However, Stoops loves Oklahoma and the school loves him, and at this point there is no reason to expect him to leave the dynasty he’s building in the Big 12.

When Spurrier left the Gators, Stoops’ name was thrown in the mix as a candidate for that head coaching vacancy as he was the defensive coordinator in Gainesville from 1996-98, but he knew he had a good thing in Norman and decided not to leave.

If Florida couldn’t get him, what makes the Broncos think that they would?

The answer is the challenge. This would be Stoops chance to show that a college coach can be successful in the NFL and if he does fail, he would still have plenty of job offers at the collegiate level.

So what should Stoops do?

He probably won’t make a decision until after the Florida game, and that may be too long for the Broncos to wait as the NFL is a 365-day business.

Stoops should stay at Oklahoma, he has a good thing going, and the chances for success in the NFL are very small.

Though he probably will stay in Norman, the possibilities of a jump in the NFL will be a lot closer if he does win the national title game.


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