When Did Winning Stop Being Enough?

If you were to listen to some of the callers on local sports radio here in Oklahoma or check some of the message boards on the internet you would think that the Oklahoma Sooners were standing at 1-7 instead of 7-1. Oklahoma is scoring points at a pace of 48.3 points per game which is the best in the Big 12 but it doesn’t seem good enough to satisfy some fans.

The defense is bad. Special teams are bad. Both will probably get trounced when they play Tech and OSU. I don't expect anyone to get the ax during the season. If Bob Stoops doesn't make some changes in his coaching staff at season's end, what gives?? Bob Stoops is the one who took this job and said there were not going to be any excuses. He didn't know how talented they were, but his staff would put in the right place, have them wrap up and tackle, and have the players in good condition, etc.  Does anyone believe the special teams and defense are being coached and put in the right place to be successful??  Maybe I am wrong, but I don't believe this is the player's fault. – jimtraber.com

I’m not going to be an apologist for Brent Venables and the Oklahoma defense because there are some problems that have to be handled but I refuse to sit and stew over a 23 point win. To be quite honest I don’t care if opponents continue to score 35 points as long as the Sooners keep scoring 58. Of course the problem against Texas was they didn’t score 58. Let’s blame Kevin Wilson for not keeping up the pace!

Yes, I’m kidding about that and yes I was extremely frustrated when OU gave up 45 points to Texas but I was even more frustrated that they lost. The next week Oklahoma gave up 31 points to Kansas and then 35 to KansasState but I didn’t care because they won. Funny how it works out that way! I wish there were more people who felt that way. Instead there seem to be more fans who are interested in comparing the Sooners to O-State than celebrating a win.

I'm going to hate myself for giving this comparison, but OU's defense got lit up for 45 points vs. Texas--in Dallas--while Poke State's D gave up 28 points (only 7 in the 2nd half) vs. Texas IN AUSTIN.  Now, are you going to tell me OSU has, overall, better athletes on defense than OU?  And even if we agree that the athletes for both squads are equal, why the scoring disparity?  What's the component that caused OU to have more points scored against its D?

And yes, offenses in today's game have gone nuclear, but, as evidenced by PokeState, high-powered offenses can be slowed down in big games.  And effective defenses don't get torched for 28 points in one half by a team that couldn't score more than 13 the week before.  jimtraber.com

Of course both of these quotes were taken from jimtraber.com and if you’ve never allowed yourself the opportunity to visit that site you should. If you thought you had a bleak outlook on life some of the posters there will make you feel like a ray of sunshine. There’s so much negativity and criticism there that even the host himself wants to shut it down. At this point I’m not real concerned with comparing OU with OSU and I won’t be until they play each other. I’m more concerned with Nebraska this week.

Brent Venables has been a part of a coaching staff that won Big 12 championships in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 and a national championship in 2000. Let’s go ahead and fire him though because his defense gave up 35 points to KansasState. Does that sound insane to anyone else?

I don’t have the answers to Oklahoma’s defensive woes but I do know that firing Venables isn’t the answer. Can you name another defensive coordinator with 5 conference championships in the last nine years? Let’s fire him too then!

There are eight other teams in the conference giving up more points than Oklahoma. In fact every Big 12 team other than Texas is giving up more than 21 points per game. I really don’t know if it is the offenses in the Big 12 that have caught up with the defenses (8 of the conference teams average more than 32 points per game) or that the conference defenses are just that bad.

Here’s what I do know though. Four Big 12 schools are ranked in the Top 10 and Oklahoma is one of them. They may not be leading the pack but the Sooners are still very much in the conference race. They may not win it, there’s a good chance they won’t, and if they don’t it will most likely be because of defense and special teams. How about we hold our complaints until then!  

 

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