Many are ready to jump ship, and are calling for Stoops to head to Michigan or Florida. They claim that OU can get any coach (lest we forget John Blake and Howard Schnellenberger) and that it would be best for Stoops to move on because he has become complacent. I don't believe that this is the best scenario for a number of reasons. They are:
1) What if the next coach is another John Blake? Look at Michigan, Look at Florida, for examples of how elite programs thought that they could hire anybody and got stuck with nobodys. It is not a shoe in that the next Sooner coach will be able to bring back the success that the Sooner nation expects. I hate to say it but 10-3 or 9-4 is a whole lot better than 5-7.
2) I still believe that Bob Stoops can coach. In fact the most frustrating part about Bob Stoops is that I honestly believe that he is smarter and knows more about coaching than the likes of Saban, Briles, and Fisher. So maybe I'm naive but hope springs eternal that Stoops has the knowledge of what it takes to lead the Sooners to the top of the college football world.
3) If Stoops were to be fired, there would virtually no chance that any big time coach would take a position with the Sooners. Who would want to have the threat of being fired after enjoying the level of success that Stoops has had? The Sooners would be cutting over their nose to spite their face.
This might seem a little arm chair quarterbacking, but here are several of the things that I believe need to happen in order for this program to rebound back into the elite status of college football.
1) Determine an identity on offense and defense.
Are the Sooners a spread team? power run team? Hurry-up? West Coast? Do they run a 4-3? 3-4? 3-3-5? The Dreaded 4-1-6? (Tavon Austin still gives me nightmares and I think he just scored another TD and broke off a 50 yard run).
The Sooner coaches need to determine what offense and defense they need to run, teach it and recruit to it.
The Sooner coaches must do a better job of recruiting. They have made strides in the direction, but they are still nowhere close to a finished product. Recruiting is the lifeblood of any program. It's amazing how players like Todd Gurley, Marcus Mariotta, Robert Nkemdiche, Myles Garrett, and Jameis Winston cover over a multitude of coaching sins and mistakes. It's not always about X's and O's, sometimes its about Jimmy's and Joe's. OU should never be in a situation where Caleb Gastellum (who is a great guy) should have to play meaningful minutes in a game. Further Julian Wilson should not have to be playing corner with a broken thumb. The depth at some of these positions is concerning and shouldn't be the case at a program like OU.The talent level on this Sooners team is average at best. Gone are the difference makers like a Gerald McCoy, Tommie Harris, Andre Woolfolk, Adrian Peterson, and Roy Williams. Players like these still exist, but the Sooners are not winning these recruiting battles.
This is where it gets tough. I honestly believe that the Sooner assistant coaches as a group have woefully underachieved. There are several who probably should either retire, be asked to move on, or have a "come to Jesus" moment with Stoops. The problem is that many of these guys are close friends of Stoops and even 1 is his brother. This is going to be the most interesting thing to watch after National Signing Day, but also I believe one of the most necessary.
Will Stoops pull it off? I would like to think yes. I don't believe that he should be given forever to do so,but he has definitely earned the right to do so. However, something tells me getting embarrassed by a former Big 12 nobody in Baylor will move this program in the right direction.