Criticism for Coale? This is uncharted waters

Wednesday, January 23rd 2008, 10:36 am
By: News 9

Is it possible Sherri Coale is feeling pressure? The OU coach who has been fireproof, immune to criticism...and rightfully so. What she's done in building the Sooner program to elite status has been remarkable.

And it's not necessarily the two-straight exits too early in March that have OU fans feeling uneasy. It's the fact that her Sooners may not be the best team in the state. That's new. That's shocking. That makes fans angry. Losing to Ole Miss or Stanford is one thing, getting blitzed by your in-state rivals then watching them party like it's 1999 is another.

I'm not saying Sherri is on any kind of a hot seat or anything. She can be at OU till she's 80 if she wants. But for the first time you're beginning to hear grumbling. Questions like: Is the man in the orange jacket a better coach? Has this team really improved since Courtney arrived?

Second-guessing that has been commonplace for Stoops and Sampson and Capel now creeping into discussions about Coale. No condemnation. Just observation. But it appears Kurt Budke has parted his hair down the middle and simultaneously raised the bar.