Oklahoma Head Football Coach Bob Stoops is tonight's guest on The Factor and we appreciate the coach taking time from the recruiting trail to visit with us tonight.
NOTE: BOR = Bill O'Reilly; BS = Bob Stoops.
BOR: "Ok, welcome Coach Stoops to The Factor."
BS: "Thanks for having me, Bill."
BOR: "First of all, Coach, you and I hail from similar backgrounds."
BOR: "Yes we do. I grew up on the mean streets of New Jersey and I understand you're a Youngstown steel kid."
BS: "That's right!"
BOR: "So, I wanted to establish right up front that we are cut from the same cloth. We're both blue collar guys."
BOR: "Now Coach, I get the overall 80% win record, the national championship in just your second year and the Oklahoma all-time coaching win number which is really a big deal since the two guys you passed were named Wilkinson and Switzer. I get that. And all of those Big 12 Championships. I think 6 in 10 years? Very impressive resume. But that was a long time ago. What is the problem now at Oklahoma? You just lost 5 games for the third time in your career. That won't cut it at OU. You and I both know that. What say you?"
BS: "You forgot we beat Alabama last year."
BOR: "Exactly. And Coach, I gotta tell you, that's what has the folks back in Oklahoma up in arms. You seem to be living in the past."
BS: "Well, you know, we won 8 games this year and have won 8 games every year over the past 16 years. So winning hasn't been our problem."
BOR: "But Coach, you have to admit, this is Oklahoma. Eight wins is not acceptable and you lost to Oklahoma State...at home!"
BS: "We were ahead with 1:01 to go."
BOR: "Ok. Ok. I get it. Coach, there are some saying it's time for a change at OU. What say you?"
BS: "I'm trying to find my baby brother a job."
BOR: "Dean Blevins just reported today he's interviewing with LSU. Any truth to those rumors?"
BS: "I would never talk about a rumor. And I haven't talked to Les Miles since 2002."
BOR: "Ok. What about Heupel?
BS: "What about him?"
BOR: "The folks back home are upset with his play calling and seemingly lack of a grasp of personnel and the quarterback development or lack thereof of Trevor Knight. What say you?"
BS: "So what?
BOR: "Well now Coach, isn't that cavalier, "So what?", attitude what got you in hot water last fall?
BS: "I could care less."
BOR: "But coach, you're the leader of the flagship program in the Sooner state and you are telling me you don't care what the fans back home say?"
BS: "I'm repeating myself here but in the end I could care less what anyone thinks."
BOR: "Ok, Coach. You've always been a standup guy and I appreciate your candor but this is The Factor home of the "No Spin Zone" so can you identify what needs to be corrected at OU to get back on top? I mean, you finished in fourth place this year in the Big 12 and lost three times at home where you used to be invincible. People are telling me Owen Field has lost its' mystique. Are you the guy to get things back on top?"
BS: "I've always been that guy."
BOR: But Coach, that's exactly what the folks back home are upset about. You simply won't answer any questions or give any specifics about what you are thinking. Don't the Sooner fans deserve a straight answer from their coach?
BS: "We just have to get better beginning with me. It all starts with me. We have to recruit better and coach em' up better and work harder as a group."
BOR: "But c'mon coach. That sounds like a bunch of coach-speak to me. Why can't you be more specific? Like will you ever beat Baylor again?
BS: I am 13-3 all-time against them!"
BOR: "I realize the totality of the win record is great but coach, you've lost twice in the past two years to Baylor by a total of 63 points. Your brother even admitted a "separation" in talent between the programs, his words not mine, as the reason for the back-to-back losses. What say you?"
BS: "I don't care what my brother thinks."
BOR: "Ok, Coach. Let's move on.
BS: "Uh, huh."
BOR: "I have some pretty good sources down there in Norman and the Sooner state and I'm gonna get a little specific on you and try and get some answers."
BOR: "You brought your brother back in 2012 to replace Brent Venables after Venable's defense was ranked 55th in the country and you lost three games in 2011 to Texas Tech, Baylor and Oklahoma State. And, this year before the bowl game against Clemson your brother's defense was ranked 53rd in the country, in the middle of the pack of the Big 12 and at one point during the season tied with Iowa State and Kansas for defensive time outs with 12. Was it a mistake to bring your brother back?"
BS: "No, I don't feel that way."
BOR: "But a lot of folks in Oklahoma are demanding he go and say the reason why he is staying is the "N" word. What say you?"
BS: "My brother is not a racist!"
BOR: "I didn't say he was. The "N" word in this case is "nepotism." Is that why he is staying?
BS: "No. I don't want him going to Youngstown State with Pelini."
BOR: "What about the sideline rants?"
BS: "Me or my brother?"
BOR: "Both. Coach, some say you two became a sideline side-show this past season.
BS: "That's their opinion."
BOR: "But Coach, you have to admit the situation with Julian Wilson during the second half of Baylor caught national attention with the rant by both Stoops brothers and Wilson's response. Was that the jumping the shark situation with your brother?
BOR: "You know, the "Happy Days" sitcom toward the end of its' run in the 70's where the Fonz went waterskiing in his leather jacket. Critics said it was time to go because they had just "jumped the shark" with that scene.
BS: "I never watched that show growing up."
BOR: "OK. Coach, what are you going to do with Josh Heupel? It's evident by his play calling and offensive ineptitude this year that he is in over his head. Can you really keep him next year?
BS: "We averaged 35 points a game this year and set an NCAA rushing record against Kansas. So I would say you are wrong."
BOR: "But c'om coach. That was Kansas. I could have run for the NCAA record that day as could of you and you know it. The problem folks have with Heupel is it took him to the Kansas game in November to figure out his offensive identity was to run behind that massive Oklahoma offensive line. They were compared all-season on ESPN as the second largest line in the NFL this year. Why didn't you run first and pass second with that line from the beginning instead of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole trying to make a running quarterback into a pocket passer and forcing a running quarterback to stay put who you wouldn't let run?
BS: "I am not going to get into play calling with you."
BOR: "Ok Coach. But that is a cop out. And you know it. You are a straight up guy and I'm trying to help you out here but you gotta work with me on this and meet me halfway if you are going to be believable to the folks back home."
BS: "Ok. I'll try."
BOR: "Let's go back to Fort Worth and the TCU game. You were favored in that one by I think 3 points. And, I might add, you were favored in all 13 games this year including the bowl game. But you have 3rd and 2 in the third quarter on the TCU side of the field, tied at 31 and you try a slant pass that is picked off for a pick six. Ball game. Why not run it behind that line with Perine? Wasn't that a classic example of Heupel not understanding situational football and trying to squeeze one in against a defense that was one of the top in the nation?
BS: "You don't see what Josh sees."
BOR: "But isn't that the problem coach? No one sees what Heupel sees. Ok. Let's move on. Kansas State. At home. Your favored again. This time it's early in the game on your own goal line. Conventional wisdom says you grind it out with Perine, get some yardage to set-up a punt and play field position football. Yet, incredibly, Heupel calls a pop-up pass on the goal line that he telegraphs to everyone in the stadium and it's another pick six. What say you?"
BS: "Again, in the end, you don't see what Josh sees."
BOR: "Ok. Let's move on from the coordinators. What about Bedlam? Why in the world did you decide to punt again to Tyreek Hill? He's the fastest guy on the team. The only way OSU can win is with a punt return. You had just punted and downed the ball at the 15 and your guys were exhausted from just running the length of the field. Why didn't you just let them have the ball at the 15 yard line and make them go 85 yards without any timeouts to beat you?
BS: "I tried that in Waco in 2011 and it didn't end too good."
BOR: "You mean the game where you called a defensive timeout with just over a minute left in the game and your defense made RGIII's Heisman-moment for him?
BS: "Uh, huh."
BOR: "Coach. I appreciate your candor and I only have a few more for you. What would it take for David Boren and Joe Castiglione to fire you?"
BS: "I have no idea. You would have to ask them."
BOR: "But coach even you have stated recently that they were happy with your work at Oklahoma. "
Can't you envision a scenario where even you would have crossed the line?"
BS: "No, not really."
BOR: "Ok. Fair enough. Does Heupel stay in 2015?"
BS: "I don't discuss personnel or coaching changes."
BOR: "But a lot of the folks in the stands are calling for his head."
BS: "They don't count in my book."
BOR: "Who does count, coach, if not the folks who attend the games and buy the tickets."
BS: "There are a lot of other fans than just those who attend the games."
BOR: "But even the fans around the Sooner Nation are lighting up the social media message boards."
BS: "I don't read those."
BOR: "Can you survive another 8-5 season at Oklahoma?"
BS: "I don't predict the future. That's your job."
BOR: "I can't either coach but it sure seems a little contrition on your part might go a long way to patching things up with the Sooner fans back home. What say you?"
BS: "I could really care less."
BOR: "Will you consider bringing Brent Venables back to replace your brother after the Clemson fiasco. Venable's defense was ranked #1 in the country and they sure took your offense to the wood shed down in Florida Monday night. Wow. 40-6. Didn't see that one coming."
BOR: "Ok. Bob Stoops. Thank you for taking time for this interview. You are a stand up guy. I wish you well and hope you find the Sooner Magic this off season."
BS: "Thank you."