Well, that was...sigh...
Was Sooner Nation seriously subjected to another one of "those games" by the body occupying the Quarterback position? Ladies and gentlemen, I just can't get my head around the idea of #12 still being the QB of this football team. It defies logic. It makes no sense. And it is a microcosm of what is currently wrong with the program.
I'm hurting right now. Sure, losing stings, but it isn't what is hurting right now. Right now, I am angry, confused and saddened because it appears that this program has no sense of itself. There is no identity. There is no desire. There is no follow through. This is what makes me sad. This is what hurts. And the worst part of all of it is that Bob Stoops has ALLOWED this to happen.
Some may scoff at the notion that Bob has done anything negative in his football life that doesn't revolve around the whipping Tommy Frazier put on his Florida defense in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. Quite frankly, we've seen worse at Oklahoma over the course of the last few years. Oklahoma is in dire need of change. What that change is, I'm not sure. Could it be a different QB? Yes, please! This might not be the be-all and end-all of solutions to fix what ails Sooner football, but it would be a glorious start. This program has become stagnant and is showing the ill-effects of college football in-breeding; too much promotion from within, or from within the Good Old Boys' Club.
It has been well-chronicled, Bob's need to promote from within the ranks or to find another buddy to fill a vacancy. This has to stop. Oklahoma must have an infusion of fresh blood, new ideas...on both sides of the ball. This in-breeding has to stop because we are seeing the negative mutations. Of all Bob's recent hires, the only one that I have any hope will prove somewhat successful is his brother, Mike. Other than that, I am afraid that we're looking at decent coaches stepping into roles where there need to be GREAT coaches.
The other area that is destroying this team is recruiting. For years, Oklahoma had the premier talent and continued to develop that talent. Sadly, that time is past. They no longer acquire the best talent out there and they dang sure no longer develop anyone into anything. Case-in-point the Offensive and Defensive lines. Talk about nauseating. Those guys have not developed one iota, some in four years! What gives? Why is there no production from either of the two sets of hog mollies? Is it coaching? Is it lack of ability? Is it entitlement? Is it lack of on-field leadership? I think the simple answer is, "yes." I think the Oklahoma program is lacking in all of these areas...and has far too much entitlement. Oklahoma has become soft. They've lost their killer instinct.
To take it one step further from coaching, it seems to me that the current OU players are not in the best physical condition anymore either. Has Schmitty lost his drive? Has his program been outclassed in recent years? Why does it seem that our big boys are no longer stronger, quicker and in better shape than their counter-parts? I've been wondering, for a while now, whether Oklahoma needs to also look to get some new ideas/techniques in the weight room. I don't know. Maybe, maybe not.
Lastly, what in the world is wrong with the running game? Oklahoma is lights out against the likes of FAMU, but bring in a decent defense and they simply cannot run the football with any regularity and dang sure ain't going to do it in crunch time, especially short yardage. That is embarrassing. I look to the Offensive Line and their coach as the major culprits in this. Yet, there is a fair amount of blame to fall on the shoulders of the Offensive Coordinator and the Head Coach too. The OC is not tailoring his scheme to fit his personnel and does not apparently demand the OL get fixed. If OU cannot run out of a formation, they need to dump those plays, period. The HC gets a lot of blame here because he allows all this to happen and has not made a serious move to fix these perennial issues.
It is precisely because of the issues in the running game (and in the What-In-The-Heck-Was-That?!?!?!? category) that I come full circle in this post and land again on the change in QB idea. Yes, yes, before the #12 Fan Club starts in, I know Blake Bell is relatively untested and unproven. However, I fully believe that with him in the offense, Oklahoma, at worst, has an offense like KSU...with a better passer and more talent surrounding him. Is it the perfect offense? Absolutely not. Is it better than what we currently have? Uhh...YEAH! With a true running threat at QB, defenses have so much more for which to prepare. There is that added stress of the QB pulling down the ball and taking off when there aren't open WRs. #12 is a statue. A statue that makes terrible decisions on a nearly weekly basis. It's time to change things up. Heck, it's PAST time actually.
There are many questions swirling around Owen Field and the Sooner football program right now. They are well-deserved and must be answered quickly. We, as fans, can only hope that if Bob won't address them that President Boren and/or Joe C will.