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Dean's Blog: Bob Stoops

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Bob Stoops was Bob Stoops at his primary Big 12 Media Q & A. The same guy he’s been for seventeen years of running the Sooner football program. If you don’t like him, you’d complain that it was ‘more of the same; mostly generic answers and defensive posturing on the tough questions.’ The Big Game Bob supporters will focus on the fact that it’s the man’s consistency and overall level of excellence that has kept Oklahoma in the upper-crust of college football.

But 2015 presents challenges that will likely have Stoops either back in the good graces of the locals and on the short list of college coaches, or have his angst and the frustration of the folks, at an all-time low.

Coming off a miserable season, tough schedule, QB questions, level of talent, and discipline decisions that turned off a lot of people, make the upcoming season most interesting.

STOOPS ON QBs:

Stoops was emphatic that the starter has not been decided: “People assume they know who’ll start at QB but they couldn’t be further from the truth.” I asked Stoops to compare and contrast Baker Mayfield and Trevor Knight and the status of Mayfield’s summer shoulder fatigue. He says Mayfield simply over-threw and needed to back off and it won’t be a problem moving forward. He said Mayfield may have an edge in that he has a year more than Knight in this style of offense and that while the Tech transfer “might not be as fast as Trevor, but he moves his hips well and is elusive in getting out of trouble.”

THE MIXON QUESTION:

Second question out of the box: “Why haven’t you distanced yourself from Joe Mixon?” Stoops was direct and convincing to his supporters but evasive and unspecific to critics. He basically said that they felt the season-long suspension was the proper discipline and that Mixon (and presumably Frank Shannon) has done all the right things to get a second chance. Stoops says he’s always believed kids deserve the chance to redeem themselves and grow and that the educational opportunities are valuable. He added, “But if they don’t meet the standards they won’t be with us any longer.”

HERE’S MY GUY TO WATCH FOR A BREAKOUT SEASON:

Charles Walker, 6-2, 300 pound redshirt sophomore DL from South Garland High School in Garland, TX. Players and Stoops sound as though he’s arrived. “He’s turned the corner, if a fast and athletic at 300 pounds.”

ON SAMAJE PERINE:

Stoops said he’s faster, trimmed off five pounds and has more strength with one more year in the weight room. Scary. Samaje, hard to improve but I believe he will.

OFFENSIVE TACKLES:

Stoops sounds set on two veterans who’ve “come out of spring OTs came out of spring in good shape and are gusy that have been with us awhile and have progressed in the weight room.” He’s talking about Canadian Josiah St. John and fifth-year senior Derek Farniok, who must, must play very well to avoid a big dropoff in what OU got the past couple of years from now-NFL tackles Darly Williams and Tyrus Thompson.

I remember Bob’s first Big 12 Media Day like it was yesterday. Not a lot has changed with his demeanor. And Sooner fans best hope not much has changed with his overall degree of success. It’s a mighty big season. 

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