Friday, December 16, 2011

Holiday Wishes for Bob Stoops

After pre-season declarations of "It's time" regarding winning an 8th national championship, a signature win in Tallahassee and a vicious smackdown in the Cotton Bowl, a season of so much promise evaporated quickly.

Numerous key injuries, attitude issues with young players overimpressed with their own talent and some questionable coaching decisions aside, there is much promise in the Sooner Nation for 2012.

However, here are 5 Holiday Wishes for Coach Bob Stoops to avoid another off-season of Hell:

#1--Please Landry Jones: Go Pro!

After three seasons, we've seen enough. Give him a pass on his freshman season taking over for an injured Sam Bradford in game one of the season. Throw him a bone for meltdowns on special teams in losses to Missouri and Texas A & M last season.

But how in the heck do you give him a pass after a dismal display in Stillwater that cost the Sooners any chance of victory?

Yes, he is the school's leading passer in yards and touchdown passes. Yes, he can break Steve Davis' school wins record next season. Yes, he has an NFL arm and potential. Yes, he is a good kid off the field.

But, is he ever going to be better than 8-5, 11-2 or 9-3?

No. I've seen enough. Good luck in the pro's.


At 6'6" and 265 lbs., Blake Bell represents an opportunity for the future for Bob Stoops by returning to his Youngstown, Ohio roots: blue-collar, hard-nosed, punch-you-in-the-mouth, control the ball football.

And it starts up front with the sophomore quarterback.

Yes, we have mastered the no-huddle offensive package that has been copied across the country. Yes, we have a slew of blue-chip wide receiver recruits arriving in Norman next year to become the next Ryan Broyles.

But if the Sooners have any hope of winning an 8th National Championship in 2012, it will be on the ground and led by the "BellDozer!"

#3--Brent Venables: 5 is > 3!

As good as Brent Venables has been on defense the past 13 years in Norman, he's also been plain awful at times.

Players make plays but coaches make the schemes to put them in position to make plays.

His 3-man front got us killed by a very poor Texas Tech team who seized the opportunity and looked like Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

It also gave us no-chance to beat the best offensive team we faced all year in OSU who incredibly beat the Sooners on the ground racking up over 250 yards pounding the ball down our throats.

Why? Pressure. Injuries ravaged our defense in key spots all season, but unless the Sooners put pressure on opposing quarterbacks, and figure out a way to stop the run with more than three down-lineman, you can expect similar results in 2012.

#4--Tony Jefferson Is Really Good: At Safety!

Tony complained via Twitter that the Big 12 coaches overlooked him in the All-Big 12 Team selections at the end of the season.

I guess the coaches watched the entire season not just up to the Ball State game.

Jefferson nicked his knee early in the season and clearly was not the same player.

However, the experiment Bob Stoops wanted to try in pre-season practice by moving his best defensive back to Free Safety and was immediately halted when linebacker Travis Lewis broke his toe the first week of practice, was validated by his play in Bedlam.

Stoops moved Jefferson to Free Safety against OSU and guess what happened? That high-powered OSU offense of Weeden2Blackman was held to zero touchdowns. In fact, Brandon Weeden didn't throw a touchdown pass the entire game.

The reason? Shutdown defense by Tony Jefferson deep that took away any chance for OSU going long in the passing game.

Here's hoping Jefferson begins the spring at Free Safety. I bet the Big 12 coaches won't overlook him for Big 12 honors next season.

#5--Where's Big Game Bob? Please Find Him And Deliver To Norman!

Bob Stoops made his mark in Norman and on college football by aggressive and brash decisions on both sides of the ball and physicality in the trenches.

Maybe it's the $5 million a year salary, the Mansion on I-35, and the security that comes by winning a national championship in your second season.

But whatever the reason, Big Game Bob has gone soft.

Soft on the sidelines. Soft on his players. Just plain soft.

How else do you explain his bizarre comments after three key losses:

Texas Tech 41-38 Loss That Ended 39-Game Home Win Streak:

"It will happen again unless we play better."

Baylor 45-38 Loss Which Gave Baylor 1st Win Ever Against OU:

"They have players too!"

OSU 44-10 Loss Which Gave OSU 1st Big 12 Title and BCS Bowl Game:

"I noticed that too during the first half. (OU ran 8 running plays vs. 38 passing plays in the first half.) I brought it up to our coaches at half time."

Dear Coach: Get mad. Show some anger. Scream at your players. Scream at your coaches. Do anything but tell us what we already know.

You are the head coach. Coach them up. Get them fired up. Tell your offensive coordinator to run the ball DURING the game not point it out at halftime.

Big Game Bob lost his edge this season at key times during the year. He needs to find his off-season mojo and come back firing in 2012 to regain his edge and show the Sooner Nation he still has the competitive fire that gave him the opportunity to be where he is today.