I feel bad writing this. I held off since Saturday saying anything thinking I'd feel differently after the disappointment wore off. But here I am on Wednesday and the feeling hasn't subsided. Y'all can say whatever you want to say about me but I basically feel like this years' team is a big fraud.
I think their individual egos have supplanted the team. I think they are arrogant. And I think they are lazy.
I think the assistant coaches are there for a paycheck knowing that Stoops ain't gonna do anything about it.
I think these kids come into the program with a sense of entitlement and don't feel they have to earn anything.
In this day and age it's unrealistic to expect to compete for championships, conference or national, year in and year out. That isn't my expectation. What I do expect is that these players play with passion and enthusiasm. I expect these coaches to motivate these kids and coach them toward improvement week in and week out.
I feel like Stoops and Co are making their ridiculous millions and they aren't moving the program forward. I feel like the players have let their egos get in the way of their ability to work together as a team. I am ashamed to feel this way. I've thought a lot about it and I don't want to feel the way I do. But my gut feel is that this team is one big distortion.
Landry Jones, as good as he is, is not a leader. This team lacks the leadership of a Bradford or a White or a Heupel. He can hold all of the records he holds and I'll still feel like he is not a great OU QB. He is a follower where he needs to be a leader. Losing Broyles and Whaley and having had issues with injuries on the line are all contributing factors. But leadership is one of those intangibles that we lack this season and it's biting us hard.
On defense these "sharks" need to stop with the nicknames. T. Lewis needs to strop shaving sharks into his hair. They just need to stop with that kind of cockiness and go out and play football. And where's the leadership on D? Lewis? He's been injured, and I'll give him that. But his play hasn't backed up his talk and he is not the leader that he should have been this year. He can line people up but that is not leadership nor is sitting on the bench lipping at team mates nor is avoiding the media.
And, for the love of all that is decent and holy, STOP WITH THE TWEETS GUYS!!!
I feel like I am a good fan. I'm a good fan because I feel badly to be so down on this team. I'm a good fan because this bothers me so much. If I didn't care I'd be off to the next thing. But I just brood over this season. I see no improvement. I see the same poor play over and over. I don't see any fire or enthusiasm. I see team mates turning on each other. And all the while I see a coach towing the company line. Stoops gets uncomfortable when people question things but those people who are asking the questions are the reason for his success. He makes those millions because those people spend their hard-earned money on tickets and merchandise. What kind of an example does that set for the rest of the staff and for the team? If he doesn't want to be held accountable then why should the assistants or the players? I see a coaching staff losing its edge. The killer instinct is gone save for playing your starters with two minutes left up by 30 points. The resulting lack of experience that causes is the subject of some other post for some other time.
Bottom line for me is I think this team has performed well below it's potential. I say that having lost only two games to this point and I don't want to be 'that guy' who has ridiculous expectations. But it's not that we lost those two games. It's how we lost them and it's how we've played in several other games. With this talent there is no way that we struggle like we do without being complacent and without something lacking on the coaching side. And, I'd like to add, this isn't a new trend for OU. This has gone on for the awhile now. I can't put my finger on it. I read everyone's posts and comments trying to identify the problem. I think it's a multitude of different things. But I see absolutely no improvement at all year to year. It's worn me down. OU has been ranked high every year and has contended for the NC and what happens each time? We show up at a game we're supposed to win big and lay an egg. Happens all the time it seems.
OU is my team and I bleed the Crimson & Cream! As disappointed as I am I'll be pulling for them hard the next two weeks plus the bowl game. I just can't get past this recurring tendency toward poor play season to season, this inconsistency and what I see as being selfishness on the part of the individual players as well as the coaches' failure to address those shortcomings. If something doesn't give, if we don't start to improve over the course of a given season, then 9-10 win seasons will remain attainable given our level of competition, but anything more will remain an unfulfilled dream. We've peaked if we can't address what's wrong within this program. Not that 9-10 win seasons are anything to sneeze at. There are probably 80+ teams who would love to win 9-10 games each year. But when those losses are attributed to simple self-destruction, then it becomes a harder pill to swallow. A loss is a loss but if you look at our losses and close games over the last few seasons it's usually against a weaker opponent that we just aren't ready to play. All due respect to Tech and Baylor this season, but what I saw in both cases was an OU team that looked like it had somewhere else to be. I realize that me complaining about 'only' winning 9-10 games sounds plenty arrogant on my part but my point is, in the end, if a fanbase doesn't have at least that remote hope that 'maybe this year'....then what does that fanbase have to look forward to? And the other obvious question is if the team doesn't make those improvements where does it lead? At what point does one season's self-destruction lead into the next season and eventually render that team obsolete?
I'm not calling for firings and all of that. I do think that the coaches need to be flexible and willing to change things up some (see JTE's recent post on the defense). As the saying goes...the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result each time. And I think these players need to learn to play for something bigger than themselves. I don't care how good an individual player is he won't win games by himself. It takes a team of guys to win football games. OU stopped playing as a team some time ago I feel. Drop the egos, pick up the football and let's go play!
Thanks for letting me rant. As frustrated as I am let's get back on track this weekend. BOOMER SOONER!!!!