Dean Blevins, News 9 Sports Director
OKLAHOMA CITY -- I have confirmed that Mike Stoops has been offered the co-defensive coordinator position at Ohio State by Urban Meyer. Stoops spent yesterday in Columbus and is currently considering the position.
I'm also told from a source with intimate details that Stoops has multiple opportunities to become a head coach, although the source would not disclose the schools.
This move presents an opportunity for Oklahoma that it should not dismiss. It will be interesting to see how things develop the next few days as Oklahoma plays Oklahoma State Saturday night in its final regular season game.
The assumption is Meyer will want to make the move sooner rather than later.
I believe a move back to Oklahoma to work for brother Bob and alongside longtime friend and defensive coordinator Brent Venables would be appealing to Mike and his family. However, Bob Stoops tells me he hasn't talked to Mike recently and as of last Sunday did not know Mike was being considered for the Ohio State job.
Oklahoma should do everything it can to re-hire Mike Stoops—as fine of a defensive coordinator as I've been around. Larry Lacewell was extraordinarily bright and successful at Oklahoma under Barry Switzer and Gary Gibbs enjoyed remarkable success as a DC, much more so than he did as the OU head coach.
But Mike Stoops brings a fire and passion to coaching that is special. Teamed with Venables, there's no reason the OU defense would not see substantial improvement, something that is necessary for the Sooners to go from winning conference championships to winning national championships.
Players have told me Mike Stoops coaches them hard, but they say he's fair and that winning makes up for any tough coaching many of today's players dislike.
My guess is it would be a difficult decision for Bob Stoops to try to bring his brother back—as much politically as anything else; little brother doesn't "need" a job. This is not a case of helping out a down-trodden little brother who just got canned at Arizona. Instead of big bro helping out little bro, it's just the opposite; little bother would be helping out big bro.
This should be simple stuff. If a person with the skill set of Mike Stoops is perhaps available, it would be a massive mistake to not make the move. This would be the biggest decision Bob Stoops would make between now and when he hangs it up in Norman. One he would regret the rest of his life. Bob Stoops should do all within his power to pull it off.
Re-hiring Mike Stoops would elate a dejected fan base that's actually been calling for this since Mike was fired at Arizona. The public would do hand-stands. Although Venables has endured a good deal of criticism—and might be in store for more if OSU lays a lickin' on his defense—Stoops is loyal and stands by his man. This is one move that can be made that would mean a demotion to Venables. It would be a chance to team up with a long-time friend who will actually enhance the resume' of Venables.
In the end, Bob Stoops, Athletic Director Joe Castiglione and even President David Boren should do everything in their power to take advantage to an opportunity that rarely presents itself. They should talk right now while Mike is considering his options.
Right after Bedlam—assuming Bob decides this is what he should do, they should make the move. I realize it would mean replacing someone on the staff. And Bob Stoops is nothing if not loyal. I realize it would be making a bold decision quickly. But the circumstances require it. Doing so is more than reasonable under the circumstances.
If OU sits on its hands, they will likely lose out on the chance of hitting a much-needed home run. Mike Stoops has the chance right now to jump aboard the high-profile program Meyer is putting together with the Buckeyes.
Now's the time to see once again that blood runs thick in the Stoops household. This win-win situation that should not be ignored.
Batter up, Bob and Joe C. Don't strike out on this one. You don't get do-overs in this one.