It is my informed opinion that Mike Stoops will indeed return as a defensive coach at Oklahoma. This opinion is based on updated information to the story we broke here last week that Stoops was offered a co-defensive coordinator position under Urban Meyer at Ohio State.
To be clear, neither Mike nor OU Head Coach Bob Stoops has told me that Mike will return but as I have gathered updated facts and information it has led me to believe it will happen.
The former OU assistant and head coach at Arizona has not turned down the Ohio State job, which is one of the best jobs an assistant coach in America, but I have reason to believe that all things considered, the younger brother to head coach Bob Stoops will indeed return to coach with the Sooners.
Mike Stoops and current defensive coordinator Brent Venables worked miracles with OU's defense when they arrived with Bob Stoops in December of 1999. I said at the time Mike left to become the coach at Arizona in 2003, that his departure would prove to be a major loss and that the OU defense would not sustain its level of excellence.
The combo package of the two Stoops brothers, along with Venables (and a top-notch group of position coaches Stoops initially brought in) immediately turned OU's defense from lethargic to lethal.
I've always seen Mike Stoops as a guy who did as good a job of getting guys to play with an "edge" as any. Of all the defensive coordinators I've been around as a player and reporter and game broadcaster (during my dozen years as a network announcer from 1989-2001 I got to meet with most of the best coordinators in college football), I've always maintained no one is better than Mike Stoops.
If he returns, it would be a much-needed boost for brother Bob and the program. OU is on the receiving end of the most criticism nationally its seen in the Stoops era. Bringing in Mike Stoops in would do wonders in dousing those feelings, not to mention reviving the spirits within the program and enhancing recruiting effort.
It is hard for many to understand why Mike Stoops would want to return to Norman. What they don't grasp is the fact that he loved Norman, become fast friends with many people both inside and outside the program and loved working with his brother and a staff he helped assemble.
I'm told family considerations would entice a move back to Norman and not to Columbus. I'm also told money is not the driving force behind a decision because if it were he'd already be on the payroll under Meyer. OU would pay well, but not like Meyer and the Buckeyes.
Finally, the chance to work with his brother again and the chance to elevate Oklahoma from a program that has not lived up to its preseason rankings more times than not in recent years to winning national championships.
I could be wrong, but I have reason to believe it is much more likely to happen than not.
I will be surprised if Mike Stoops doesn't come to Oklahoma.