Myth Toss-Up: Bob Stoops And Bowl Games

Streeter Lecka

There is a clear divide in the subject matter of Oklahoma and Bowl Games. The focus clearly is on the myth that the Sooners come up short in the big game, but is that a fair statement?

Over the past 14 seasons, Bob Stoops has been at the helm of this Oklahoma Sooners football program. During that span, Coach Stoops earned himself the nickname, "Big Game Bob" as he hurled his team into the spotlight after a dominant defensive performance to win the National Championship in 2000.

While the success maintained a high level, it quickly fell apart just as fast as it rose up from the ashes. However, the notion has now become that Oklahoma lacks a "best foot forward" in bowl games as they consistently under perform in the games that matter most. A quick look at history may reveal this to be true but it also uncovers a sense of falsehood when referencing bowl games.

BCS Bowls
Season Bowl Opponent Result
2000 Orange Bowl Florida St. Seminoles W
2002 Rose Bowl Washington St. Cougars W
2003 Sugar Bowl LSU Tigers L
2004 Orange Bowl USC Trojans L
2006 Fiesta Bowl West Virginia Mountaineers L
2007 Fiesta Bowl Boise St. Broncos L
2008 BCS Championship Game Florida Gators L
2010 Fiesta Bowl UConn Huskies W

Things started with a bang for Bob Stoops as his Sooners won a National Championship in his second season as head coach. The momentum was carried through 2002 as Oklahoma would take home a trophy from the granddaddy of them all, the Rose Bowl.

Yet, it is plain as day to see that Stoops' record in BCS Bowl Games is less than impressive winning just three in eight attempts. This gives him a 3-5 overall record for a whopping 37.5% win percentage, a number that does not sit well with a fan base that demands championship seasons. Still, there are programs that would give nearly anything to find themselves in the same shoes Oklahoma is in.

If one was to make the statement "The Oklahoma Sooners have poor showings in BCS Bowl Games," then I would tend to agree but it still doesn't cover the entire picture.

Non-BCS Bowls
Season Bowl Opponent Result
1999 Independence Bowl Ole Miss Rebels L
2001 Cotton Bowl Arkansas Razorbacks W
2005 Holiday Bowl Oregon Ducks W
2009 Sun Bowl Stanford Cardinal W
2011 Insight Bowl Iowa Hawkeyes W
2012 Cotton Bowl Texas A&M Aggies L

The other half of the story paints an entirely different picture. In non-BCS bowls, Bob Stoops has come away with a 4-2 record giving him a 66.67% win percentage. Now, if you were to ask me if Stoops is capable of winning bowl games, I would respond with a yes.

Totaling the bowl wins during the Stoops era leaves the Sooners at a 7-7 record. We might as well flip a coin to see if Oklahoma is going to win their bowl game from any given season. After the analysis, I still say that it is a toss up. Can they win bowl games, absolutely but they are just as prone to losing them.

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