Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops shocked the college football world by announcing his retirement on Wednesday. Young offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley was named his successor immediately. Stoops had talked about retiring early and wanting to be able to enjoy his life in retirement, but I assumed that meant he’d retire around 60, not 56.
Though Missouri left the Big 12 five seasons ago and hasn’t played OU since 2011, Stoops played a role in Mizzou’s history for over a decade.
- Stoops’ first win over Missouri, a 37-0 debacle in 1999, was the first sign that Larry Smith’s Mizzou program was getting away from him a little bit. The Tigers were 4-4 when they headed to Norman but would get outscored by a combined 154-14 over the final three games of the season.
- The 2002 OU-MU game — coincidentally, the focus of tomorrow’s Pinkel Years piece — was Brad Smith’s coming-out party. Or at least, it was the second half of his coming-out party after the Illinois game. Smith was amazing, but Stoops called for a fake field goal in the fourth quarter. It was well-guarded but worked anyway, and OU survived, 31-24.
- In 2007, Missouri went 12-2 and briefly moved to No. 1 in the country. But two losses to Oklahoma spoiled the dream season. The Sooners made a fourth-quarter surge in Norman to win, 41-31, in October, and they made a third-quarter surge in San Antonio to win the Big 12 title game, 38-17, in San Antonio.
- In 2008, OU walloped Missouri in the Big 12 title game for the second straight year.
- In 2010, on the other hand, Stoops and his Sooners were the victims in Missouri’s greatest Homecoming Day ever.
The Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter has a nice piece on Stoops' impact on the Mizzou-era Big 12, and Rivals.com’s Adam Gorney named Missouri one of the programs that could benefit the most, short-term, from Stoops’ absence on the recruiting trail.
Last recruiting cycle, the Sooners beat out numerous top programs for four-star offensive guard Marquis Hayes and Oklahoma is heavily back in that bordering state this cycle especially since it’s a loaded class. Four-star defensive tackles Michael Thompson and Trevor Trout would be phenomenal pieces to the class and then defensive ends Ronnie Perkins and Daniel Carson, along with wide receiver Kamryn Babb, are all top targets. This could be huge for Barry Odom and his staff at Mizzou if he could convince those top targets among many others to stay home instead of leaving the state to play for the Sooners.
Really, though, this post is one giant excuse to relive one of the greatest, dumbest series in Rock M Nation’s 10-year history. (Why yes, we’ve been around nearly 10 damn years.)
First, a series of tweets from Wednesday:
Favorite Stoops story: Putting fake quotes from #Mizzou players in a story my dad wrote, printing it out, putting it in OU locker room— Gabe DeArmond (@GabeDeArmond) June 7, 2017
Was down at OU at the time and remember telling a player was fake planted by coaches. Player still was mad, said "it's too late." https://t.co/JLvY7y2Z4t— Vahe Gregorian (@vgregorian) June 7, 2017
Per @GabeDeArmond's Tweet earlier, found 2002 story did for Post-Dispatch about OU's fake quotes attributed to Pinkel in doctored Star story— Vahe Gregorian (@vgregorian) June 7, 2017
Indeed, from the October 2, 2002, Post-Dispatch:
The gambit wasn’t incredibly effective — indeed, Smith had a field day, and OU needed trickery to survive. But that didn’t stop Stoops from employing the tactic again six years later. In a post-game interview after OU’s thrashing of Missouri in 2008 in Kansas City, the Sooners’ Sam Bradford talked about reading passages in the KC Star (presumably the incident Gabe Dearmond was referring to above) in which Missouri players called OU’s 2007 wins flukes and said that the Sooners’ incredible offense was overrated. Every Mizzou fan, player, and coach all had the same reaction: “What?”
The silliness did set in motion this series of posts from former RMN poster and Stubble Drive creator ghtd36, however, which made it all worth it.
- December 2008: 'The Sooners Have a Gift Exchange': a dramatic re-enactment
- December 2008: 'The Sooners Ride an Airplane': a dramatic re-enactment
- January 2009: 'The Sooners Have a Chat': a dramatic re-enactment
- September 2009: 'The Sooners Go to the Hospital': a dramatic re-enactment
- August 2010: 'The Sooners Take a Team Photo': a dramatic re-enactment
- October 2010: 'The Sooners Attend a Costume Party': a dramatic re-enactment
Enjoy retirement, Coach Stoops. Can’t wait to see the fake newspaper articles you come up with to get your sons to mow the lawn.