Blog Entry

Big Game Bob rides again

Posted on: September 13, 2011 4:50 pm
Edited on: September 13, 2011 6:21 pm

NORMAN, Okla. -- If nothing else, Bob Stoops is laying the groundwork this week, just in case, you know, Oklahoma doesn't win.

He's not saying that overtly, but playing No. 5 Florida State this early has its benefits even if No. 1 Oklahoma doesn't win.

"If all things are equal and you play a tougher schedule than somebody than you, you would get the nod. If not, why play them?" Stoops said at his weekly presser.

Take that "nod" any way you want -- Jan. 1 bowl, BCS bowl, BCS championship. The man is a big believer in scheduling. Take 2008 when Oklahoma won a controversial Big 12 tiebreaker against Texas in the South Division. Even though Texas had beaten OU that year, Oklahoma won the tiebreaker based on highest BCS ranking. OU nosed out Texas by .0128 of a point for the right to play Missouri in the Big 12 title game.

Oklahoma beat the Tigers and advanced to the BCS title game where it lost to Florida.

That year the BCS computers deemed that OU had the tougher schedule, one that included Chattanooga, Cincinnati, Washington and TCU. Meanwhile, Texas played Florida Atlantic, Texas-El Paso, Rice and Arkansas. The difference was a sliver of a point, all that Oklahoma needed.

Never has a rivalry been so bitter as when Texas lost a possible BCS title shot by calculations of computers.

"If you're willing to go to Florida State, Alabama, there should be some reward in that," Stoops said of the non-conference schedules he has assembled in his 13 seasons here. "The other reward is our fans love it, college football loves it, it puts us in the national picture."

So, yeah, scheduling counts at OU. In 2003, Oklahoma lost the Big 12 title game to Kansas State by four touchdowns but remained in the BCS top two, able to play LSU for the national championship. The BCS formula has since been adjusted but it didn't hurt that Oklahoma played Alabama and UCLA that year.

That's part of the reason why Stoops intentionally schedules these big games. Saturday's contest at Doak Campbell Stadium is arguably the biggest non-conference game of the Stoops era. While he has never beaten a ranked non-con opponent in a true road game, the sample size isn't that big. There was the controversial Oregon "loss" in 2006 and Miami in 2009.

Future OU series include Notre Dame (2012-13), Tennessee (2014-15), Ohio State (2016-17) and LSU in (2018-19). Saturday ends a home-and-home with FSU that began with a 47-17 thumping of the Noles in Norman last year.

There is talk of revenge by FSU, but in his heart of hearts Stoops has to know that OU could lose in Week 3 and still rebound to have a title shot.

"Look at through the years: we’ve had Alabama, we’ve had Oregon, we've had UCLA, Miami, Florida State. They're all great programs," Stoops said. "When you schedule them, you know that. You expect them to be a top-five, 10 team."

When he was at Florida as defensive coordinator, Stoops remembers looking up at the TV after a practice and seeing Oklahoma suffer an early season loss.

"Most of the [Florida] coaches there were kind of from the Southeast," he said. "I had roots with seven years in the Big 12 [at Kansas State]. I said, 'That's a shame.' I grew up in Ohio following  Oklahoma in Coach Switzer's years. I remember pointing at the TV saying, 'That's a sleeping giant. They should not be getting beat or having the years they're having.' "

It started with that lone championship in 2000, a magic season that ended with a 13-2 win over the Seminoles in the Orange Bowl.

"Once that happened in 2000 the mood changed," Stoops said. "It just shot us back to one of the more elite teams -- a team legitimately that year in, year out has a chance to contend for your conference championship and has a chance to contend for national championships.

"When we walked in here there wasn't a real confident group anyway. That [Florida State game] was the key. It immediately shoots you right back like a big ball in sling shot. It immediately puts you right back in the game."

That year Stoops became known as Big Game Bob. A run now referred to as "Red October" included wins against No. 7 Texas, No. 2 Kansas State and No. 1 Nebraska in consecutive games. After that, there came a run of BCS bowl defeats over the years. Even as Stoops continued to pile up Big 12 titles, Big Game Bob became a term of derision.  It's a problem a lot of coaches would like to have.

Under Stoops, Oklahoma has spent the most weeks ranked No. 1 in the BCS (20) and, this week, became the first program to spend 100 weeks at No. 1 in the AP poll.

"You ever hear me call myself that?" Big Game Bob asked.

No, but the label is waiting to be applied again after Saturday.  

Category: NCAAF

Since: Nov 19, 2008
Posted on: September 15, 2011 12:44 pm

Big Game Bob rides again

Stoops has said more than once that he never cared for that moniker, it came from more than just the 2000 season, it started there and then included five straight wins over Texas, Two by blowouts, Two big wins over Alabama and Big 12 domination from 2000-2004. Stoops is one of the best coaches around, and a good teacher, he believes in Work ethic first, which is why you see a walkon starting at tailback, despite the transfer of two highly regarded blue chip recruits.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: September 14, 2011 1:49 pm

Big Game Bob rides again

Good luck in the game. Represent the Big 12 well.

Since: Apr 18, 2011
Posted on: September 14, 2011 11:58 am

Big Game Bob rides again

The whole situation that happened in 2008 was more than they are saying in this article.  There was a 3 way tie in the Big 12 south that year.  OU did lose to Texas, but Texas lost to Texas Tech and Texas Tech lost to OU.  All 3 teams had 1 loss and created that triangle.  The reason OU was given the nod to play in the Big 12 Championship was they had a higher BCS ranking which was helped by their strength of schedule.

Since: Aug 23, 2006
Posted on: September 14, 2011 11:43 am

Big Game Bob rides again

You must hate Wal-Mart

Since: Dec 13, 2006
Posted on: September 14, 2011 10:33 am

Big Game Bob rides again

If OU beats FSU, even I am willing to put them at my #1 ranking over my own team.  But that's the problem.

Scheduling is every bit as much a game as the ones played on the field. First we have a patently unfair situation in which money is allowed to dictate everything.  Wealthy teams can literally hire bad teams to come into their house and lose (well, most of the time).  Poor teams are perpetually obligated to accept lopsided deals in which they must always be the team on the road, out-spent, out-recruited, and out-distanced.  Add a BCS system which deliberately writes rules that favor 66 teams over 53 others, and creates a special category for only one (Notre Dame), total this up, and you have seriously flawed system.

College football is the only sport in which money trumps fairness is nearly every case.  Every other sport has an overseeing organization that redistributes income to equalize things, and controls scheduling practices.  In football, the NCAA has ceded all control to the BCS which is really a cartel of the 6 wealthiest conferences created in no small degree to assure that they stay wealthy to the exclusion of everyone else in the division, well unless they are invited to join the Country Club.  Instead of equalizing payouts, the BCS in fact makes them even more unfair, carefully distributing 89% of the loot back to the cartel conferences.  They throw just enough back to the nonAutomatic qualifying schools to keep them in, and wave the carrot of "maybe we'll let you in someday" line to tease them into playing sucker.

Finally, every other sport has some kind of a playoff system in which the winner is determined on the field of play.  In football, we rely on beauty pageant judges and computer programs designed by, well, even more beauty pageant judges.  Who is to say that Oklahoma is REALLY superior to, say, Texas, if the Longhorns actually defeated them in a game?  That is wrong on so many levels.
I can understand why the Oklahomas and Alabamas of the world love this system and why the Boise States and TCU's of the world hate it.  It's the simple truth that we created a system in which the haves have virtually assured themselves a guaranteed revenue stream and the competitive advantages that will always flow towards them as a result.

Bob Stoops is a fine coach, and to his credit, is more willing than others to take on more challenging games than the unending parade of cupcakes that many SEC schools bring in, for example.  But this doesn't mean that the system isn't broken.

Since: Aug 18, 2010
Posted on: September 13, 2011 6:55 pm

Big Game Bob rides again

OU does a very good job of scheduling OOC opponents, and Stoops should be commended for that.  As far as the moniker "big game Bob", that has to go away.  His BCS bowl game record does not merit that.  But, as Stoops said, he does not call himself that. 

Since: Jun 5, 2009
Posted on: September 13, 2011 6:22 pm

Big Game Bob rides again

Interesting article, but way, Way, WAY too many typos here.  Give it a proofread and I guarantee you'll find at least 3 sentences that, when read as is, make absolutely no sense.

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