In just his second year as the head football coach at Oklahoma, Bob Stoops turned the program around and won a national championship.
Many Sooner fans either forget or were not old enough to remember just how bad the program had gotten post-Barry Switzer.
In the five seasons preceding Stoops, the program did not record a single winning season. Since his arrival, not only has he built a winning team every year, he has ten 10-win seasons. Six of his 13 years as head coach, he has 12+ wins.
Think about that stat line for a moment. Nearly half of the 13 seasons Bob Stoops has coached at Oklahoma have produced at least 12 wins.
You have to go all the way back to the 1987 season to find the last time the Sooners had at least 10 wins. Stoops has had 10 wins in all but three years.
Stoops also has seven Big 12 titles and four national championship game appearances to his name.
So I ask, has Bob Stoops spoiled Sooner nation?
To fully explore this, I feel there needs to be a bit of comparison to other top football programs in the land to see how they stack up.
During Stoops' 13 years at Oklahoma, only three programs have won more national championships—Alabama, LSU, and Florida with two apiece.
Now let's compare these schools with Oklahoma over the past 13 years and see how they stack up statistically.
- Florida: Eight 10-win seasons and three 12+ win seasons.
- LSU: Seven 10-win seasons and three 12+ win seasons.
- Alabama: Seven 10-win seasons and three 12+ win seasons (with three losing seasons sprinkled in).
With those stats in mind, lets take a look at total wins over the past 13 years.
Looking at these stats alone would have any other fanbase dying to be in the Sooners' place since the turn of the century. Yet, for some reason, Sooner fans always want and expect more.
I must admit, these stats blew me away. I have been as hard on Bob Stoops and the program as a whole as anyone, but even I can't ignore how impressive Stoops has been.
Stacked up against three of the top powerhouse programs from the past decade, Stoops takes the cake in every area outside national championships.
Now, granted, I realize that the other three schools mentioned are all part of the SEC and most would agree the best conference in college football. Being all part of the same conference has them beating up on each other over the past 13 years and thus lowering their potential win totals.
That may be true, but the numbers Stoops has put up are still quite impressive regardless. The Big 12 is arguably the second best conference in the nation. We're not talking about dominating the ACC or Big East here.
Stoops has been under fire in recent years for not being able to win the big one, but I think it's time Sooner fans put things into a bit of perspective and appreciate the tradition Stoops has brought back to the university.
Is it realistic to expect a national championship once a decade? Is that even fair considering all the other powerhouse programs with huge fanbases as well?
Time will tell if Bob can pull off another title run, but even if he doesn't, I'll always appreciate the job he did returning Sooner football back to prominence where it belongs.