You guys know I'm a Sooner fan. Always have been. Jack Mildren was the first QB I remember watching play. I didn't really understand the game until I was about 10 though, and by that time Steve Davis was the Qb. Good Lord I miss the Wishbone. I remember those ridiculous Afros that OU's runners had back in the 70's....OU's players running up to the TV camera, taking off their hats, and "poof", the 'fro would explode. Great times. Then the Dupree era came and went like a flash and OU won one final national title under Barry before Charlies Thompson decided to go Scarface on the Sooner Nation. Switzer took the blame for not being the player's daddy and was essentially ran off. Then the dark days began.....Gibbs, who wasn't allowed to pick his own coaching staff by the douchebags at OU's Athletic Department, held the team together gamely for a few years, but the drop in quality was obvious. Then we got a drunken hillbilly for coach after Gibbs was fired....and then the unspeakably horrible coach John Blake. Then Stoops came in, resurrected the program, and OU has stayed on top of the Big 12 ever since. BUT....things aren't perfect in Sooner Nation, and it's time I yelled about mistakes I've seen in Stoop's method.
1) Improper personnel management in blowouts. OU has had a pretty good team under Coach Stoops. A lot of games have consequently been big blowouts. Here's the problem: when OU has an insurmountable lead Stoops has a tendency to leave the starters in too long so they can pad their stats. That's bad. Very bad. Why? Firstly because it runs the risk of getting starting players injured. I don't know how many times I've seen our players get creamed when they shouldn't have even been in the game at that point. Off the top of my head I can't remember any getting knocked out for the season or anything, but the risk is still foolish to take. Secondly I think it's important to get the subs quality playing time. Those young guys riding the bench will be starters someday, and it'll benefit OU in the future if they get experience in front of the big crowds of D1 football. Lastly, when the subs do get playing time they are not being allowed to play the game the way the starters do. Short passes and runs up the middle are the name of the game when Stoops sends the subs in. That's nonsense. Let them execute the same playbook as the starters. I don't give a damn if we beat the other team 150-0, if our subs are scoring from running the system then the other team can't really say we're rubbing it in...at that point the opponent sucks bad enough he deserves to be crushed. Does it really make OU look better to beat a team 63-14 as opposed to 49-21 if the subs are allowed to play? Maybe, but good coaching principle dictates that you acquire experience for your reserves.
2) Stupid recruiting strategies. Why is it that OU always seems thin on the offensive and defensive lines? The offensive line is the most important position on the field, in my opinion. If you have a strong offensive line you can put guys in wheelchairs in the backfield and you'll still get yards. Stoops needs to bring in more linemen. Look at the way Saban recruits, and there is no doubt he's better at it than Stoops....Saban brings in the beef, goddammit. I'd rather have extra offensive or defensive linemen on the team than too many players at other positions. On the other hand OU has way too many wide receivers, QBs, and running backs. It seems like half the lineup are wide receivers at times. I can't believe the defensive line is so thin either. There is no depth on the defensive line this year. NONE. That is some poor recruiting and very poor planning folks. If an assistant coach is a poor recruiter he should be fired posthaste. I'm looking at you Tim Kish. There is no excuse for a team with OU's status and tradition struggling to bring in 3 star players. Hell, we should be bringing in 3 star players to back up the 4 and 5 star players starting on the field!
3) Stupid playcalling during games. I was one of the guys that was happiest that Mike Stoops was back leading our defense. For awhile it looked like OU was improving on defense....then we played WVU, and it was downhill after that. It seems to me if an opponent's offense is SHREDDING our defense like WVU was doing that it would be obvious that we need to try some different strategies. But no adjustments were made. NONE. Our defense made WVU look like they were in God Mode on an arcade game. While I'm on the topic...why weren't any adjustments made to the defense in the Notre Dame game? Their offense was running very short passing patterns and the QB was scrambling for 5-7 yards alot. No adjustments were made. Not only that, but no adjustments were made on offense either. Why did OU keep trying to run the ball up the middle, unsuccessfully, when it seemed like every time they threw a pass downfield they were getting big yards? Here's a tip Heupel...take what the goddamn defense gives you. Don't keep trying to pound the ball, wasting plays, when you can just throw for easy first downs. I used to think Josh was football smart...I don't believe that anymore.
To sum up....I'm getting a very bad feeling about this upcoming year. I think we're about where the Longhorns were 3 years ago, and it's because the team is being mismanaged on multiple levels. X and O wise I think Bob Stoops is still an elite coach. I like him as a human being as well. But Coach Stoops has allowed the team to degrade by not demanding the best from his staff. I think he's just too nice a guy to crack the whip on his staff, and that's what needs to be done. Also Coach Stoops needs to shut the hell up about things that upset student athletes...they aren't going to play for a guy who makes some of the public statements he's made. Just shut up Coach, and concentrate on the team you are paid so handsomely to lead.