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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Stoops’

No. 9: Oklahoma

Before Ryan Broyles was lost for the season, the Sooners’ lone loss came as a result of the worst 30 minutes Oklahoma had played since John Blake. After Broyles tore up his knee in the second half against Texas A&M, the Sooners lost to Baylor for the first time in program history and to Oklahoma State for the first time since 2002. Through nine games, Oklahoma was averaging 8.3 yards per pass attempt; extrapolated over the entire season, that total would have tied O.U. with five other teams for 13th-best in the country. Over their last four games, the Sooners averaged 6.6 yards per attempt; extrapolated over the entire season, that total would have tied O.U. with seven other teams — including Duke and Minnesota — for 85th in the country. The final month defined Oklahoma’s season; in a nutshell, the Sooners could only weather so many storms before the offense fell apart. As the offense went, so went Oklahoma. At least O.U. won’t have to worry about losing Broyles in 2012; he’s now healthy, making plays for the Detroit Lions.

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    Future Members of the Hall of Fame: Coaches

    So there are issues with the College Football Hall of Fame’s eligibility criteria for coaches, as discussed at length earlier today. Eliminating those whose career spanned less than 10 years is silly; excluding those with a career winning percentage less than 60 percent is ridiculous. But rules are rules: Howard Schnellenberger deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame, but he’ll continue to be ineligible until the National Football Foundation alters its criteria. For now, active or recently active coaches who deserve Hall of Fame consideration must meet the Foundation’s existing — and puzzling — stipulations for inclusion.

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      The Year in Review: Oklahoma (10-3, 6-3)

      The first set of numbers that backs up what everyone knows already — that Oklahoma wasn’t the same team without Ryan Broyles:

      Record re-injury 8-1
      Record post-injury 2-2

      The second set of numbers, which includes the entirety of the win over Texas A&M, that backs up what everyone knows already:

      Passing offense with 264 of 412 (64.1 percent) for 3,428 yards, 28 touchdowns, 9 interceptions
      Passing offense without 101 of 171 (59.1 percent) for 1,114 yards, 1 touchdown, 7 interceptions

      I’ve done the math. That’s more losses in four games than Oklahoma had in its first nine games. Before Broyles was lost for the season, the Sooners’ lone loss came thanks to the worst 30 minutes O.U. has played since John Blake. After Broyles tore up his knee in the second half against the Aggies, the Sooners lost to Baylor for the first time in program history and to Oklahoma State for the first time since 2002.

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        Trending Young, But Old Guard Still Reigns

        What does a football coach have in common with fine wine, real estate holdings, antiques and scotch? Like that quartet — but not necessarily always, as a disclaimer — a coach gets better with age. As our first piece of evidence, check out how Tom Coughlin, 65, led the Giants to a second Super Bowl win in five years over the Patriots, who were in turn led by Bill Belichick, 59. Bruce Feldman did the calculations shortly after the Giants’ win was in the books: the average age of the head coach or manager of the last five major North American sports champions is… 62. It’s in that 62nd year that an American is first eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, albeit at a slightly reduced rate than one would receive had he or she waited until 66 or 67, depending on your year and date of birth. Let’s get back on track.

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          Oklahoma’s Class Touches Down All Over

          Bob Stoops and the Sooners started in Oklahoma, bused to Texas, stepped into Kansas, hopped over to Missouri, drove to Illinois, flew the private jet down to Florida and built up the frequent-flyer miles in California. Oklahoma’s recently-signed recruiting class, the next 25 recruits poised to help the Sooners make another run at a national title, featured players from 11 different states: Oklahoma has always recruited nationally, but never to this degree. “I love to recruit the whole country,” said Stoops as his signing day press conference. Stoops has also never been afraid to add players off the JUCO ranks, should need be, and this particular recruiting class was no exception.

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            Do You Believe in Karma?

            I don’t want to say it. I don’t want to say it because it’s a bit ridiculous, unless you believe in that sort of thing. But the idea was floated about after Wisconsin’s second straight heartbreaking loss, with Ohio State’s late heave joining Michigan State’s desperation Hail Mary: karma. The Badgers, and Bret Bielema in particular, were getting their comeuppance for the various forms of unwritten-rule dastardly deeds a season ago. Do you buy that?

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              Ten Years Later, Catching Up With O.U.

              These two teams met in early 2001 with even more on the line, but have since gone their separate ways, one up, one down. Oklahoma won that night, humbling the defending national champs, 13-2, and starting a decade-long run under Bob Stoops that is virtually unparalleled in the program’s long and illustrious history. Florida State didn’t drop off the map, not immediately, but beginning in 2004 experienced a six-year dip that didn’t end until Bobby Bowden’s retirement following the 2009 season. Is Florida State already back? That’s still unknown — ask again on Sunday. But the fact that F.S.U. hosts Oklahoma with national title aspirations on the line does suggest that the Seminoles, after a prolonged absence from center stage, are once again the Seminoles.

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                Good, Bad, Otherwise: You’re Fired

                Lane Kiffin has one. Of course. So does Dabo Swinney. And Paul Rhoads, strangely enough. Mike Riley has one! And you know Ron Zook is represented. Kirk Ferentz might have one, had Iowa not jumped in ahead of the curve. I’m talking about www.fire_____.com, the ubiquitous coach-unfriendly Web site typically purchased by an intrepid, capitalistic fan in the days following a coach’s hiring and either maintained or left to languish depending on the ensuing results. Careful research — spanning several minutes surfing the Internet — has yielded the following conclusion: bad coaches get them, good coaches get them, nice coaches get them and mean coaches get them. So there’s little rhyme or reason to the whole thing.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.