The 2014 Season of Suffering is over for OU

The 2014 Season of Suffering is over for OU

A season that started with so much promise for the Oklahoma Sooners has mercifully ended with a humiliating loss to the Clemson Tigers in the Russell Athletic Bowl (a humbling post-season consolation for such a proud program) by a final score of 40 to 6, and it really wasn’t that close!  The 2014 Sooner campaign began on the wave of the still fresh January 2nd Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama, a game that nobody in the nation gave OU a chance of winning.  I followed the Team along with all the other OU season ticket holders every game this season, either present in the first person in Section 18, Row 32 of the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium for the home games or on the big screen TV in my home adorned with much OU decorum for the away games.  Losing for every Sooner is difficult.  Losing ugly like tonight and as many times as the Team did this season is outright painful!  More than a few times this season I have heard criticisms of Coach Bob Stoops and his staff growing ever louder from the Sooner fan base, from vocal Sooner faithful I don’t know and even from more vocal Sooner fans I do know.  For the amount of money the OU head coach earns, much of the criticisms being offered actually have merit!  Coach Bob Stoops is the highest paid state employee in Oklahoma and the third highest paid college football coach in the nation in 2014.

The University of Oklahoma Athletic Department in general and the OU Football program in specific has evolved into a monster essential to the existence of the rest of the institution.  Football is the big money sport that pays so many of the bills, the financial locomotive that pulls the rest of the athletic train.  Getting the biggest possible bang for the budget and donor dollar is critical to managing such a bureaucracy.  So long as the football team was winning few cared that the coach’s compensation was four to five times greater than the highest tenured professor on campus.  However, when money in the OUAD is going to pay a coach who is delivering less than acceptable results on the gridiron the fan and donor base take note and demand results, ie, a higher figure under the “W” and preferably a “0” under the “L.”  I vividly recall the OU football doldrums of the mid-1990’s when an 8-5 season actually looked appealing.  I also can say with reasonable certainty that coaches Gary Gibbs, Howard Schnellenberger and John Blake combined did not earn $5 million a year.  One point that was driven home after Bob Stoops became OU head coach in December 1998 was that if we football fans are satisfied with a 7-5 or an 8-4 record then guess what we are going to have?  Well, $5 million in annual salary for a head coach who has lapsed into a pattern of mediocre performance and OU finishes with an 8-5 record on the season.  Something has to change in Norman.  I do not purport to have all or any of the answers to the OU Football dilemma but if something is not working then something has to change.

As a fan of Oklahoma Football I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to all the Seniors who played their final game in a Sooner uniform tonight.  Thank you for the memories, gentlemen!

Senior Day 2014

1 Comment

  1. Jack Boyte
    Dec 30, 2014

    VR.