The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

December 6, 2011

Stoops has plenty to think about

NORMAN — Welcome to the December of Sooner football’s discontent.

Bob Stoops is not speaking today.

He speaks every Tuesday at his weekly media luncheon, but not this one, the regular season being complete. It’s probably a good thing, for he may have much to decide.

The question is “What happened?”

From outside the Switzer Center, the best guess is Stoops doesn’t know. Or knows, but doesn’t know why it happened. At least not yet.

You don’t have to go back to the Texas Tech game to question the direction of his stewardship of the program. Instead, you can go back just a couple of weeks, over which many things happened.

Facing its in-state Bedlam rival, for a championship, OU suffered its worst defeat since the 2004 national championship game against USC.

Also, talking afterward, Stoops came off surprised and upset by his team’s apparent offensive game plan, a game plan on which it is assumed he signed off. Unless he signed off an a different game plan, only to have offensive coordinator Josh Heupel go all contrarian on him and decide, by himself, to throw the ball almost every down against the nation’s 93rd-ranked run defense.

Stoops, after the game, also revealed defensive end Ronnell Lewis had been suspended for his failure to adhere to the team’s class attendance policy.

Lewis was hurt, and perhaps could not have played, but even if Lewis knows he’ll be entering the NFL draft and always expected to blow off his academics in time to prepare for the draft, he nonetheless is leaving or risking leaving his teammates in a bowl game lurch.

It’s unknown if Lewis can get healthy in time and back in class often enough to make the trip to the Insight Bowl. But even if he can, he has already let his teammates down.

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