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The Writing Is On The Wall

This is a tricky one so follow me here, did you have that girlfriend that you and her enjoyed each other and everything seems so grand and pure. That this woman is going to be THE one. You could envision marrying her, having kids, and living the good life with her for the next 50 years. That is the apex. Then you realize that she somehow developed a random smoking habit that she can't seem to shake, or that she's not as willing to "give" as she used to be. Or even though she is still beautiful, she still hasn't shaken that belly all the way. Also, it seems like she always fusses with you on little stuff. You kind of wonder what happened, yet you realize that she's still cooks dinner every night, still works her 8 to 5 job, and generally promotes the long term objective of being a good woman to you.

Yet you just don't feel she's as committed as you want her to be. (To all women reading this post, just replace women with men and rephrase instances to manly duties...)

This is how I feel personally about Oklahoma. For many of you Buckeye fans, I bet this is how you feel about Ohio State. Michigan, Tennessee, and Florida State have all felt the aftermath of letting this state of being content ruin their program. The fact of the matter is this, you are dealing with coaches like Bobby Stoops (I can call him Bobby, you can't) and Senator Tressel who have reached acclaimed success early in their tenure at the universities which employ them.

Take a look at what Stoops has done. Now in his 10th year as head coach of the Sooners, Stoops has a combined record of 109–24–0, the most wins by any D1 Football school and the best record of any BCS school during that stretch. More importantly, he won the national championship in just his 2nd year with about 90% of his players from the previous regime, that being from Coach John Blake.

Same with Tressel, now in his 9th season as head coach of Ohio State, he's amassed a record of 87-20, and also won the national championship in just his 2nd year with about 90% of the players coming from the previous regime, that being from Coach John Cooper.

Stoops and Tressel were able to do the one thing that all great coaches can make their players do, buy into the system. Both programs were always getting great athletes, but their coaching, their schemes, and their preparation is what had let them down under the previous coaching staffs tenure. When Stoops came in, he hired more workout staff, hired more coordinators, and totally revolutionized what was going on at Oklahoma. What did Tressel do? He changed the mindset of Ohio State, that just because they do have a ton of athletes, doesn't mean you can do what the hell you want to. Play the scheme, learn the scheme, and trust it.

Here's the problem, you've got two coaches who won national titles within 24 months of taking the job. The coaches are among the top 5 highest paid in the collegiate world. Have made millions upon millions of dollars from their state's funding. One would think that they know what they are doing, and to say they don't would be blasphemy, right? I'm not so sure. Those two don't coach like they're hungry anymore, and I'm not talking about a gimmick fake FG. I'm talking about coaching like your hair is on fire, and your life is on the line. Its been NINE years for Oklahoma, EIGHT for Ohio State...Oklahoma has played in 3 national championships since then and to put it simply, they were outcoached...period. You go look at what USC did to Oklahoma, they knew EVERYTHING that Oklahoma was going to do that night. Hell, I can tell you Oklahoma's gameplan right now. I know exactly what they're going to do.

They're going to run the spread offense, not a lot of throws past 10-15 yards. Most runs will feature a shotgun read play by the QB who will either keep or hand off to the running back. On defense, Oklahoma's defense is always predicated on getting pressure to the QB. The linebackers will always play downhill. If you max protect, run slip screens, and effectively use play-action, you can beat Oklahoma who leave their secondary in zone coverage and there will be gaping holes in the deep third.

This philosophy of Oklahoma's hasn't changed since Stoops got there. Its really not that hard to stop. Go ask Boise State, go ask West Virginia, go ask Miami. Those three teams weren't better than Oklahoma athletically (yes, even Miami). Texas, USC, LSU and Florida hasn't had a problem with us in years, because their coaching adjusts game-to-game, week-to-week.

Go look at film when Ohio State played Florida...I honestly believe that talent wise, Ohio State was damned good that year, yet Florida put together a better strategy to take down Ohio State. They made it look easy.

The fact is, Stoops and Tressel have a gameplan that they stick to. They don't adjust for anyone, and they recruit players to fit specifically into that system. If you don't fit, then you can't sign here.

Its a death that almost befell Penn State. Joe Paterno is 137 years old, the Nittany Lions were struggling mightily just a couple of years ago. Joe's light bulb didn't just magically turn on, they adjusted the philosophies at Penn State. They got better coordinators, shifted the authority around so that the assistant coaches could do more, while Joe could still lead and be healthy. Florida State has Bobby Bowden in the crosshairs now, because they aren't winning and the assistant coaches for the Seminoles just plain suck.

It happened at Michigan, it happened at Tennessee, it happened to Nebraska, and if Oklahoma and Ohio State isn't careful...it will happen to them too. The writing is on the wall, and either you fall from the upper-echelon or you will adjust and coach like your job is on the line. Because, maybe it is.



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