Stoops Away: Why a Coaching Change in Norman Would Mean Texas Dominance

At this point, according to anyone not named Adam Schefter anyways, it appears Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops will stay in Norman for his 12th season with the Sooners.

However, a disappointing 2009 campaign, as well as a growing sense of frustration toward the program’s recent BCS woes, seems to make the possibility of Stoops exiting for greener pastures more and more of a possibility.

Read this carefully, OU fans: Don’t let the man go.

If Stoops leaves for Notre Dame, the NFL, or, heck, the Norman Pop Warner Association, it will only result in one thing: more Texas dominance.

Don’t believe me? Take a look at where Sooners football was before Stoops arrived.

The late 1980s saw the program begin to flounder under the care of Barry Switzer.

NCAA violations tainted one of the nation’s most accomplished programs, pushing on-field success increasingly further into the background.

Taking over for Switzer in 1988, Gary Gibbs cleaned up the program’s image but had trouble producing wins the way Switzer had.

In fact, Oklahoma never won more than five games in the Big Eight conference under Gibbs.

What followed Gibbs was two even more disastrous tenures under Howard Schnellenberger (5-5-1 in 1995) and John Blake (12-22 from 1996-1998).

OU football was quickly careening off the map of college football’s elite programs, and everyone from Tulsa to Tuscaloosa knew it.

But, then came Bob Stoops.

In his first year, Stoops led the Sooners back to their first bowl game in four years. In his second, Oklahoma won its first BCS championship.

Since then, Stoops has tallied a 115-29 overall record and a 71-16 mark in the Big 12.

Oklahoma has won six conference titles and has appeared in seven BCS bowls during Stoops’ reign.

Of course, that last point is typically followed by the fact that Stoops’ teams are an unimpressive 2-5 in BCS games, having lost in each of their last five appearances, including three BCS title games.

Couple that sad statistic with this season’s 7-5 disappointment, and you have yourself a growing sense of discontent breeding among both boosters and fans in Norman.

But even in the “what have you done for me lately?” world of college football, Oklahoma supporters would be wise to remember exactly what Stoops has done for a program that had lost itself by the mid-1990s.

Stoops not only made the Sooners perennial national title contenders again, he restored Norman as an attractive place for the nation’s top recruits.

Names like Jason White, Adrian Peterson, and Sam Bradford all came to play for him. Better television deals and ratings quickly followed.

Simply put: Stoops made OU football look like OU football again.

Anyone who thinks a “fresh start” with a new hire in Norman would be a good thing for this program should think again.