First of all I’d like to thank Mike Stoops for his time and given to the Sooner Nation and wish him the very best. I hope to see Mike at homecoming for the 20th year celebration.
Mike’s second stint at OU was like watching an old broke legged championship horse trying to get up and run the Kentucky. Everyone around wants him to succeed and sometimes he’s shows flashes of prior greatness giving hope and prolonging to do what’s necessary. Well around 3:30 last week the Texas Longhorns did what no one at OU was wanting or willing to do. As Mike fell once again they finally when Horns Up and dug in, a day later OU pulled the trigger for a record stint (Trevan WVU, Mohommes TTU, Erllinger UT, BEDLAM ) that seemed could never be put out of misery.
Bob Stoops was fiercely loyal to his coaches and players and furthermore we’ve come to understand that from him blood is thicker than water and even sometimes bigger than the program. I’ve always maintained that Josh Heupel was unfairly made a scapegoat and recent articles suggest that there could be still be some open wounds between Stoops and the QB of his only NC. If Josh really wanted to run a Air Raid and forced to run another system only to be fired and then bring in Some to run the Air rauid then yes, he has a legitimate beef.
Although not on the level of Riley’s, Josh’s offenses were still good, not great but still good. Brent Venabels although upfront seems a bit more cordial but to me it looks like the relationship took a hit as well. Both men seem to be flourishing in new roles plus Brent was able to give his rub in statement twice while only now Josh is likely now feeling a bit vindicated. As for Josh, be willing to bet that had both of them been let go he would have been able to take it a little better but unfortunately the obvious nepotism has likely left a permanent bad taste in his mouth. I truly hope as he gets older he will come to understand his old coach and boss’ dilemma and make peace. After all, it’s the same guy that gave both he and Brent positions they too were not ready for and allowed them to cut teeth at a Blue Blood program.
There are other recent articles that also shed light on what seemed to be a continuous problem. Former players saying that they’d practice a scheme all week and then it would be changed the day before the game. Other players saying that having to learn MULTIPLE positions stunted their development in Mike’s infamous MULTIPLE schemes. The Curtis Bolton issue reminds me of the sideline situation in 2014 that got Mike sent up to the box in the first place. Players are just as frustrated as coaches, perhaps even more so because they are trying to make a path to earn the millions their coaches receive. To add, there was also the rumors of a heated meeting between the defensive coaches after the Rose Bowl which leans toward the old saying “where there’s smoke”…
Now, thanks to Texas, Riley was able to do what I believe was the long-term plan all along. His hands were tied right after Bob left, and let’s face it, based off Mike’s production, under any other circumstances he would have been gone or at the very least demoted prior to the 2016 season. Last week allowed Riley (Pres. Galloway) to draw the line. Heck, if I were Galloway I would have told Riley ‘tell Bob and Mike it was me… I’m cleaning house anyway”.
Now with 7 weeks left, OU is in great position. It can clean itself up and make a run and barring an offensive meltdown it should. We are 5-1 with the 94th ranked Defense in the country, which literally means we’ve been winning with a half a team. Again, barring a loss, with Texas sitting at 9 they’ll be a top 5 team or better come conference championship weekend. Any ..ANYYYY improvement makes this team a contender. Get in the bottom 3, it becomes scary.
If we fall short we still have cut the anchor and with hopefully with a pickup of a young DC like Bama’s we’d be headed in the right direction before Rattler and his bunch hits campus. So thank you Texas Longhorns and enjoy the rest of the season what I hope ironically turns out to be 2008 for OU.