Bob Stoops: Not a Big Game Coach?

If you’ve watched college football the past few seasons, you have to be asking yourself that exact question right now. Is Bob Stoops no longer a big game coach? And what happened to Oklahoma? After getting smashed by West Virginia last night, Oklahoma is now 1-4 in their last five bowl games under Stoops. Don’t get me wrong — the guy is still a marquee coach who I’d love to have leading my program — but why the losses to end the seasons?

The Sooners got beat by Boise State last year, throttled by West Virginia this year, crushed by USC in the Orange Bowl, and beat by LSU in the Sugar Bowl the previous year. The argument can be made that they’ve overachieved in the regular season — a tribute to Stoops’ ability as a coach — and wound up in a mismatch come January. Only problem is that such reasoning doesn’t suffice when you’re matching up against Boise State and West Virginia who are traditionally inferior programs. So why, why I ask, did Oklahoma go for an onside kick in the 3rd quarter? They had the momentum after cutting the halftime deficit from 14 to 5 points but subsequently shortened the field for West Virginia who punched it in and regained momentum.

It seems to me that there were questionable play calls that fall on Stoops’ shoulder which cost Oklahoma the game. So I ask you, is Bob Stoops no longer a big-game coach? Or is it mere coincidence (or poor timing) that they’ve lost their marquee bowl games recently?

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  • http://pointguardu.com nick

    That is funny.. his brother, Mike, Cant wins games either….

  • Curt Timsah

    No, he is not. I am a big time OU fan too.

    Look, his 2000 National Championship team had offense coordinator Leach and Mike Stoops on defense. Mangino was here too…all are gone.

    We only scored 13 points in that game.

    So, what is Bob’s problem?

    Easy. He believes that his players need to be emotionally level headed at all times – that is not to high and not to low. Kind of robotic and mature.

    Now, I understand this theory can work during the regular season but in the last game of the year – why not go ahead and give a big speech and let kids get UP for a big game.

    Sure didn’t seem to hurt West Virgina getting excited.

    Also worked well or Barry Switzer too.

    A bad team on an emotional high will beat a great team just going through the motions any day.


  • Gene

    I think that maybe he works the guys too hard and they run out of gas late in the year, but there are some explanations for some of the losses:

    West Virginia was on a mission this year and would not be denied.

    Last year, the Sooners had their weakest team in years and they overachieved to get to the Fiesta Bowl, where Boise State blindsided them. Notice how Georgia learned from that game and was well prepared for Hawaii this year.

    USC destroyed them, but I keep hearing that the team was divided by racial issues prior to that game.

    LSU beat them because USC should have been playing LSU in the title game, had it not been for the BCS computers (which is another topic for another day).

    If Bob Stoops cannot win the big one, how come he has consistently beat Texas, their most important rival, and a top ten team throughout Stoops’ tenure at OU?

  • http://www.seekorswim.net Adam

    “consistently beat Texas”

    HaHaHa… he has lost 3 of 4 to Texas and hasn’t won in Lubbock since 2003. He is Medimum game Bob… Time for another exposure in the NC game…. haven’t we learned anything…

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