As an engineering major, I am used to analyzing raw numbers to come to my conclusions. In analyzing Bob's
inaccurate well-known moniker, I analyzed the most important football stat: wins and losses. I researched every game since Bob's first year as head coach in 1999. In my opinion, the results are quite telling.
First, I'd like to clarify what I classified as a big game. If any game was one of the following, I considered it a big game:
- Texas (as our biggest rival, this has always been a big game in the Stoops era, regardless of records)
- Games in which we were an underdog
- Games in which we were favored by a field goal or less
- Games against a top 25 opponent
- Big 12 Championship games
- Bowl games
For the 2012 season, this meant the big games were: Kansas State, Texas, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M. The following chart shows the win percentage in these big games for each year.
Obviously, in 2000-2002, Stoops had impressive results. This is why he earned the moniker "Big Game Bob". However, the chart shows what many fans already know: college football is cyclical. If you take the average win percentage in big games, Stoops has won approximately 59% of the time. Thus, he wins big games more often than he loses, but he doesn't have some impressive record that should give him that title. A lot of other variables come into play, and Stoops just had the right pieces in his second-fourth seasons to win so much.
While analyzing the games, I decided to compare the performances against the Vegas spread. This is a solid analysis since Vegas makes a living on creating an accurate spread. It also shows what the public expects of OU for each game. However, rather than another cyclical trend, these results show what many fans on this site believe: OU has declined.
You could try and argue this trend by stating that parity in college football has caused some middle tier teams to rise up and be able to beat the traditionally elite teams on a more regular basis. While this might be true, Vegas would also adjust to this fact and make the spreads closer. Thus, the decline of OU's performance in comparison to the spread is simply just OU underperforming. You can see the decline in the following chart:
So, the results back up what many people believe. Something needs to be done. Fast. I'm not in a position to be able to pinpoint the problem. I don't think Stoops should be fired, but it's quite possible that some of the position coaches just aren't up to OU's standards, whether that's Kish or Shipp or anyone else. There also could be some complacency or even attitude problems with some of the players we've been recruiting. Who knows? But the one thing that even the sunshine pumpers cannot deny, OU is not currently as dominant as we once were or as we should be.