It’s not often that one of the the best coaches of the last quarter-century decides to quit when he has a senior Heisman Trophy candidate at QB and a team that has a legitimate shot at winning a National Championship.
It’s even less often that a coach does so about eight weeks before camp starts.
But such is life in Norman, Oklahoma right now as they come to grips with Bob Stoops stunningly stepping down as the Sooners coach, leaving the keys to a James Bond-like Aston Martin DB9 of a team to Lincoln Riley.
I wouldn’t know Lincoln Riley if the 33-year-old wore a “HELLO I’M LINCOLN RILEY” name tag, but the Sooners Athletic Department seems to like him, and they have a good track record of hiring good coaches.
But let’s dive into this a little more, shall we?
Coaches don’t quit with Baker Mayfield at QB. It doesn’t happen. Not as a senior. Not when you haven’t won a title since 2000 and your reputation is, falsely, that of a choker.
So is he pulling a Pete Carroll? Not likely. We would have heard rumors of cheating somewhere in his 18 years at the helm.
Did he find a better job? I suppose it wouldn’t stun me if he takes over at Florida next year! But lets face it, while Florida is the better job for recruits, OU is the better chance to win a title. The title is what Bob chases, so it makes no sense to leave OU for ‘The Swamp.’
Is this related to Joe Mixon? Hmm.
Worth mentioning, always in cases like this: health concerns and family matters.
The biggest winner in all of this? Not Lincoln Riley. Not Bob Stoops wife. It’s Tom Herman.
The third (or fourth if you want to argue) best coach of the last 25 years — Saban, Meyer, Stoops — is gone. Tom Herman just got to Texas and now he doesn’t have to worry about another coach in the Big 12 that is legendary.
Sorry, Mike Gundy, it’s true.
And, yes, Stoops is the third best NCAA coach of the last 25 years. Carroll cheated, Mack Brown wasn’t as good, and Harbaugh and Dabo and Jimbo haven’t been doing it long enough yet.
If you want to say Steve Spurrier, I won’t argue. He changed the game. Which makes Stoops 4th best at worst.
But the biggest point here: Tom Herman and Texas just got a gift.
So did Coach Bro, Kliff Kingsbury.
Even Kevin Sumlin benefits here when it comes to recruiting.
With Bob Stoops retiring, the State of Football just got its Texas back.