When the Oklahoma Sooners take on the Alabama Crimson Tide in the AllState Sugar Bowl, it will be the ninth time that Bob Stoops has led his team to a BCS bowl in the 15 years of the BCS system. That’s more than any other coach in college football, though Stoops’ trips to the BCS have been less than memorable. With the BCS system dying after this season, Stoops has one last chance to define his legacy on college football’s biggest stage. Will he leave on a high note?
While Stoops has more trips to the BCS than any other coach, his eight previous trips have had mixed success. Stoops has a 3-5 record in BCS games and is one of just four coaches with three or more trips to the BCS with a losing record. Since winning his first trip to the BCS to win a BCS National Championship back in 2000, Stoops and Oklahoma has lost their last three tips to the the national title game, including a 2003 loss to a Nick Saban-led LSU Tigers. In addition to their three losses in BCS title games, Oklahoma also lost a memorable one to the BCS busting Boise State Broncos in a stunning finish in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
But it’s not too late for Stoops to leave a positive BCS legacy. If Oklahoma can find a way to upset Alabama (they are currently two-touchdown underdogs), Stoops will improve to 4-5 in BCS bowl games, which looks much better than 3-6. A win at the Sugar Bowl would also give Stoops a win in each BCS bowl (Rose Bowl Game, Fiesta, Discover Orange Bowl, Sugar), which no other coach has done in the BCS era. Additionally, Stoops would become just the second coach in history to have a win in the four BCS bowls and the Cotton Bowl, joining Joe Paterno of the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Oklahoma’s well-documented struggles in the BCS bowls over the years has created a black-mark on Bob Stoops’ reputation as one of the elite coaches in college football. Can “Big-Game Bob” use this last opportunity to put a positive spin on his BCS legacy as the BCS system dies off?