The Oklahoma Sooners are looking at something that doesn’t happen very often in Norman, Oklahoma: 2 losses at home in one season. Granted that the two losses came against two teams that are both undefeated and the No. 2 and No. 4 teams in the country, but is it time for some change on the sidelines? Before I have a mob of pitchforked Sooner fans knocking on my front door, I’m not talking about firing anyone, especially Bob Stoops.
Stoops catches a lot of flak, just like every good coach and every team with high expectations. The same inconsistencies that led to the loss against Kansas State in September played a role in the loss against Notre Dame. The Sooners had a major regrouping after the loss to the Wildcats, but is it going to work a second time around? It’s time for some accountability.
Since Stoops’ arrival in Norman, he hasn’t fired a single person on his staff. The ones that have left have gone on to other programs. After the departure of offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, who took the head coaching job at Indiana, Stoops promoted Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell. Heupel was the team’s quarterbacks coach while Norvell was the receivers coach, but has had OC experience as he was the Co-OC for the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2011. With the success of Heupel and his QB pedigree and Norvell’s experience, it seemed like it was the natural choice. It may have been a little too soon for one of the choices, that choice being Heupel.
The intensity on the offense hasn’t been the same since Wilson’s departure. Everyone expected that to continue with Heupel and his play-calling. I am a huge Heupel fan, the way he can develop a quarterback is unmatched. Look at what he did with Jason White, Sam Bradford and the 2010 Landry Jones. Since Heupel has moved to the booth, it hasn’t been the same Jones. The confidence seems to have gone by the wayside. I have talked about this several times before, but maybe it’s time to put Heupel back on the sidelines with Jones and put Norvell up in the booth. Something isn’t working, why not try something else?
There were a lot of excuses being thrown around after the most recent loss as to what went wrong. Things did go wrong, but when the same issues keep happening over and over, it’s time to look a little further into what the problem is; accountability, not excuses.
The team seems to be very positive in finding the solution and stomping it out. Sooners Guard Gabe Ikard spoke to the media on Monday:
It’s going to be our job to keep this team together, make us realize we still have a lot to play for. You never know what can happen on Saturdays, whether we still have an outside shot at a BCS game, I guess, and then we still have a chance to win the conference.
We’ve got to keep this team, keep up a positive attitude, just make sure we’re all invested in practice.
He isn’t making excuses, he is being accountable. I think it’s a good lead to follow.