Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops resigned from his “Top of the Mountain” college coaching job last week, leaving more tongues wagging than when Clementine ran away with the local bartender!
Stoops, who is only 56, leaves the Sooners, a national championship contender, at a strange time, leaving pundits across the country to wonder. Health? Burnout? Another job? Professional football? An announcing gig? Some even suggest that he will replace Kansas State’s Bill Snyder after this season. Who the heck would want to do that?
Stoops does have quite a Kansas State history. In 1989, he joined Bill Snyder in Manhattan. He was named co-defensive coordinator for the Wildcats in 1991 and assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator in 1995. During his tenure on the K-State staff, Stoops played a key role in their impressive turnaround, helping take what many considered to be the worst program in Division 1-A to national contention. During his final four seasons there, KSU was 35-12 with three bowl appearances.
Stoops once joked that he had to move on from Kansas State because Bill Snyder was “working him to death!” There’s no doubt they have quite a bond but that’s probably not enough for Stoops to return to Manhattan after a year’s vacation.
Obviously Stoops can have most any college coaching job he wants in the country plus several professional jobs, including the Chicago Bears. Most likely, you will see him on some television broadcasts this Fall, but not many. Stoops is probably tired and quite aware that his father died at 54 of heart failure, though he says that his health is not the primary issue. What then?
It’s making for a lot of tongue wagging in Sooner Nation and around the football country!
My “Pet Peeves” list grows larger the older I get. You’ve all heard me rant about the overuse of the “Best Ever” labels. Another is when writers and broadcast pundits refer to someone as the best because they won x-number of championships. For instance, we are told frequently that Bill Russell is the best professional basketball player ever because he won 11 NBA Championships. In my way of thinking, Russell didn’t win those 11 championships, the Boston Celtics DID!
Russell was an outstanding defensive player and rebounder. He was adequate on offense. The point is, you could put any number of centers on that Celtic team and they would have won 11 championships. Tom Brady is a great quarterback but he is not the sole reason for the Patriots’ success. Ditto for Yogi Berra and the Yankees. Only in individual sports like golf, tennis and track and field can you attribute a championship strictly to an individual.
The Royals’ recent power surge has rekindled hopes for the Blue faithful that this team CAN contend for a championship. The Royals are nearing “do or die” time, that time when the management of a ball club must decide whether they are going to give up on this season and trade those players that will become free agents or decide to keep them for a pennant run. Right now, for the Royals’ Brass, it is a tough decision!
Speaking of Oklahoma football, new coach Lincoln Riley has his work cut out for him. Anything less than nine wins will be considered failure by Sooner fans.
By joining the AAC, Wichita State really upgraded their home basketball schedule for their fans by adding home and away games with Central Florida, Cincinnati, UConn, Houston, SMU, Temple and Tulsa. Tickets will now be even more difficult to come by in the Roundhouse!
Buddy Tabler is a guest columnist for the Great Bend Tribune and his views don’t necessarily reflect those of the paper. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.