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Heading South: Stoops Could Soon Be In Brown's Shoes

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DALLAS, Texas -

Saturday was D-Day for Mack Brown; D standing for desperation. With his job hanging in the balance, Brown and the Longhorns turned in a huge performance, smothering the Oklahoma offense and bulldozing the Oklahoma defense to the tune of a 36-20 victory at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday.

Brown's back has been against the wall for a couple years now, but he was basically placed in front of the firing squad after the Longhorns' losses to BYU and Ole Miss to start this season.

This is nothing new in college football, or any sport for that matter. After a coach has been with a team for 16 years like Brown has, the love goes away. Signs of struggle automatically create cries for change from the fan base. It's a sign of the times we live in. Everyone wants results and they want them immediately.

Related Story: Gored: Longhorns Dominate Sooners In Dallas

The instant-gratification mindset doesn't leave room for appreciation of the things coaches have done for their teams in the past. Most Texas fans appreciate Brown—or rather, Vince Young—for the national championship in 2005, and I'm sure they're thankful for the 2009 season. But they're not using those two years as reasons to keep Brown in Austin; those are pointed to as two of the three seasons in the past nine years when Texas was in contention for a national championship.

Point being, D-Day is coming for Bob Stoops some time in the future, just like it did for Brown on Saturday. Stoops is in his 15th season at Oklahoma and has a national championship, two BCS bowl wins and eight Big 12 championships on his resume. However, that national championship came way back in 2000 and those BCS bowl wins were in 2003 over Washington State in the Rose Bowl and over a hapless Connecticut team in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl that had no business being there. The eight conference titles are nice, but OU fans want more than that, especially if they only result in blowout bowl losses to Texas A&M.

The Oklahoma fan base is restless, make no mistake about it. They've been restless since a bad 2009 season, defined by a season-ending injury to Sam Bradford and a wildly inconsistent offense. A 2011 season that failed to live up to the No. 1 preseason ranking made things worse. Recruiting has been down, an indictment of the Sooners' current status of being good, not great on the national stage. Now, Stoops has to deal with this year's team, one that doesn't have much of an identity; one that just got dominated on both sides of the ball by a team most had left for dead in week two.

Stoops isn't going to be fired on Monday, or even at the end of this season. He's done too much good at Oklahoma for that to even be an option. After all, the Sooners shared the Big 12 title just last season. However, don't tell that to Sooner fans; 13 years is too long without a national championship in today's world of instant gratification. Although, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation if OU had won one of the '03, '04 or '08 national championships. Heck, we may not be having it if OU had taken care of business against Boise State and West Virginia in the Fiesta Bowl.

In fact, to further highlight the instant gratification of athletics today, we're not having this discussion if Oklahoma wins—even by a single point—today because the Sooners would still have been in the national championship picture. How quickly we've forgotten about the dominating win the Sooners had over Notre Dame just two weeks ago.

Even though the Sooners haven't been churning out mediocre 7-5 seasons, they haven't been churning out BCS bowls or national championship contending seasons either. The Sooners are still a national power in today's college football landscape, but they are no longer elite. There is plenty of respect for Oklahoma and its place in history, but they're not a top-10 program right now.

The day is coming when Stoops is going to have his back against the wall in front of the firing squad made up of people who aren't satisfied with good or what he did at Oklahoma a decade ago. When that day comes, Stoops better hope his team responds for him like the Longhorns did for Brown on Saturday.

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