Come to think of it...is this even really rain?
You all know the saying to which I am referring. I think it's exactly what we, as fans, are getting from the OU powers.
I intended to write this up yesterday, but decided I'd better wait a while to let things sort themselves out in the old skull. Turns out, I'm only slightly less mad than yesterday. Truth be told, I watched the game after the fact, as I was out of the house while it was being played...bad idea. But, given what my eyes have seen, both on the DVR and on CCM, and what my ears have heard (various news outlets) I have solidified some of my previously held notions of the state of this program. That is my intention with this post. To offer up what I think needs to happen to essentially (and I steal a Star Wars analogy here) bring balance to the force once again.
This program is off kilter. Truly, it is. It can be fixed and the fixes aren't drastic. The biggest issue is whether the man in charge will ALLOW the fixes to happen. Bob's Jedi Mind tricks are wearing off and, guess what...this fan is pissed.
It is well documented that this current OU football team is in a funk. A funky funk. A stanky funk. It has to change. This team cannot effectively run the ball with any form of consistency (due to lack of running QB threat AND wussy, soft O-line play), the offensive play calling is suspect at best and the QB seems content to play like a Freshman his entire career. Couple this spazoid offense with a completely non-existent Special Teams performance (all season long) and, to quote Tim Roth in the movie Four Rooms "I've got (bleeping) problems plural!" These things are completely and utterly inexcusable, but they are not the focus of my semi-organized rant. Today, I want to focus my attention on the defense.
The Oklahoma Sooners defense, the much vaunted Sharks, is in shambles. It really reminds me of the 2008 Kansas City Chiefs defense at this point. They can't stop the run, they can't stop the pass and they can't keep anyone out of the end zone. I don't think I need to say it, but this does not raise the chances for the team winning football games.
The numbers are staggering. In the last three games the opponents have all tallied over, repeat OVER, 525 yards. That is insane. If we factor in the Missouri game, that will make four times this season alone where the defense has allowed over 525 yards...in a single game. How is this even conceivable at Oklahoma? This is an embarrassment. Some would like all of us to believe that these are anomalies, blips on a radar screen. I would argue that these kinds of "performances" by the once-feared OU defense have become more of the rule than the exception. Four times in 10 games this defense has been completely put to shame. This is without having played Okie State, who is certainly going for over 400.
The numbers alone aren't my issue. Even in games where the opponents overall yardage hasn't been overly impressive, the defense has still gone stretches of up to 2.5-3 quarters of terrible execution, only to be bailed out by the offense or their ability to create turnovers. Against Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri and Texas A&M, the defense had stretches of brilliance, only to be followed by over half of the game with shoddy effort/execution. This is too spastic, too schizophrenic to be what we accept as status quo here at Oklahoma.
The focus of all this chaos simply MUST be Brent Venables. He continues to not fix issues that have been issues for years. If my memory serves this program has had the same issues defensively for a long, long time. The kids and classes have come and gone, yet the mistakes persist. This fact alone leads me to believe that the problem simply is not with the personnel, but rather with the man directing the personnel; Brent Venables.
Yes, I know Brent does as Bob directs. I get that. However, if he can't figure out how to balance things within his unit, to at least slow the bleeding, then he is not the guy for this job. The buck must stop with Venables, otherwise we have to assign the blame higher up the food chain to El Presidente Roberto himself. I don't think we necessarily need to go that far. There simply has to be a way to find someone else to direct the defense. My inspiration comes from watching the Michigan defense. They were A-T-R-O-C-I-O-U-S for the past three seasons (in large part because their DC was a slobbering, raving moron), but a shake up in the coaching ranks has made exponential improvements in a very short time in that particular unit. They are now a shut down unit, with a dominating front four and seem to create turnovers every game. Further, they can adjust to the spread offenses to limit the damage done. A change is what this OU defense needs. A change in the guy calling the shots. The question is; will Bob allow it?
If not, then this program is doomed to 1-3 losses per season and will likely NOT hoist the crystal football any time soon.
Bob says this football is what his program is after. This guy doesn't see how they get there if the same mistakes keep happening.
Long story short, this program needs a change on the defensive staff. A defensive coordinator change is imperative. Personally, I wouldn't stop there, I'd change out the entire defensive staff, as I view them all as having lost effectiveness. Certainly, heads have to roll. There is just no two ways about it. Right now, we are living the definition of insanity. And guess what, this week will bring more of the same in practice with different results expected on the field come Saturday.