OU football seeking the perfect balance of style and substance

Bob Stoops was formally launched as the interim head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners Monday afternoon in Norman after Lincoln Riley determined to go away a program he’d constructed over the final 5 years and begin over at USC.

When Bob Stoops spoke Monday, OU followers heard one thing that they haven’t heard in a very long time. It might have been one thing they forgot existed. Bob Stoops took OU football and eliminated its pretend wig, pretend nails and wiped away all the glitter.

It was as if Lincoln Riley left OU football behind and gave it again to Stoops to element it and get all the Cheetos out of the backseat so they may put it again on the street.

Riley did an amazing job recruiting to Norman. As effectively as anybody has recruited since the days of Barry Switzer. Riley’s spin on the program was as a lot style because it was substance. And slowly however absolutely style was successful out.

It took Bob Stoops, who seems to have OU football coursing by way of his veins to remind us of why we’re all right here. To remind the gamers on this group why they’re all right here.

“You guys win or lose,” stated Stoops to the gamers left behind. “You’re OU football. (Riley) isn’t. I’m not. Any other coach who comes here isn’t. OU football has been here a long time, and it isn’t going anywhere else. It’s going to be here and it’s going to be at the top of college football and is going to continue that way.”

It was nice for the followers to listen to too.

But it isn’t sufficient for some of the gamers. Several high-profile gamers have already entered the switch portal after Stoops’ preliminary discuss with the group.

That’s simply going to occur. Stoops would not have been capable of recruit quite a bit of these gamers to Norman with out Lincoln Riley in the first place. And now he would not have him.

Riley has introduced 5 stars to Norman by the bushel. He’s produced No. 1 draft picks, Heisman Trophy winners, runner-ups, Biletnikoff Award winners, finalists, Joe Moore Award successful offensive strains and numerous All-Americans.

But OU football has been a backdrop for Riley. It’s not been a centerpiece. OU football someway turned much more distant as gamers took middle stage. What OU football might do for recruits turned larger than what OU football meant to the individuals who really performed the video games each Saturday.

Fans needed to begin to surprise, are the gamers enjoying football for my group? Or are they simply right here as a result of my faculty offers them the most publicity to get to the NFL?

That’s a query each program faces. And it’s a balance Oklahoma hasn’t discovered but. Near the finish of Stoops’ tenure he nonetheless hadn’t discovered that balance.

Riley and Stoops had been each criticized for basically the similar issues.

Stoops wasn’t social media savvy sufficient. Riley revolutionized social media at OU, but additionally used it so as to add a sure flash to the program that some really feel despatched the unsuitable message.

Stoops had Jerry Schmidt and there was at all times controversy about whether or not he was too arduous on gamers and ran off gifted gamers. Riley was criticized for Bennie Wylie not being arduous sufficient on gamers and not growing gamers who might final for 4 quarters.

It’s been two completely different approaches and neither has produced the nationwide title followers crave over the final decade. The balance between recruiting centric and football centric approaches hasn’t been achieved.

In the finish, Lincoln Riley wasn’t the man for Oklahoma. OU football was too large for him. He selected to go away for a job he felt would match his teaching style and his character higher. And to be sincere, it is perhaps a perfect match. It’s much less of a meat grinder than Oklahoma. It’s a down program. The glitz and glam will likely be extra accepted by a much less rabid fanbase in Los Angeles.

But Riley didn’t have OU football coursing by way of his veins the means Stoops does.

Stoops’ messages Monday reminded us OU football has a soul. It simply wants to seek out the coach that appreciates and respects the course of of successful, excels at the course of of recruiting can be taught to have OU football operating by way of their veins.

OU football has been in the background for lengthy sufficient. Joe Castiglione’s largest problem is discovering the proper man to marry the style and the substance collectively.

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