Timing – Oklahoma style…
I could talk all day about how timing impacts life. As a former school administrator I realized first hand the importance of timing. Whenever changing jobs I found that following a “good old boy” on cruise control could be very helpful.
As a competitive type that wanted my school to be numero uno, I found it easier to motivate my staff and students after following one of these guys.
This tends to be true in football as well.
Bob Stoops was on a streak of championship games for the first decade of his OU career…as he moved into his second decade and moved into the big house on the pond, it may have become harder for him to fire up his belly.
After a push from Joe C., I believe was initiated by OU Regents, Bob made some substantive staff changes into his second term. Those changes included getting rid of the deadwood and replacing them with young guys out to prove themselves.
Bob and OU survived his downturn, but I suspect that Bob may have realized that he had had enough. Thankfully for OU fans, Bob recognized that he had fallen into the “good is good enough” syndrome. With timing being everything, Bob handed the baton off to Lincoln Riley while still on top.
Bob’s timing was perfect. The next great head coach was already on campus in the form of Lincoln Riley. Riley has hit the ground running on the recruiting trail and is looking at a top ten finish in his first year.
Conversely, Mike Gundy’s timing sucks…yes, he has used T. Boone’s money to etch out a name for himself in the OSU record books, but he has spent his career playing second fiddle to Bob Stoops and the Sooners. Gundy caught Stoops at the middle of his first ten years or at the height of Bob’s his effectiveness.
Gundy became the OSU coach at the same time that Bob Stoops was still hot. As a result, Gundy has only a .167 batting average. This year Gundy will be asked to parlay this batting prowess to beat the young up and coming OU coach twice. Facing the Sooners with this type average is like a 9-hole hitter going up against Nolan Ryan’s fastball. Bad timing…
Jimmy Johnson used his short time in Stillwater to recruit by hook or by crook a ton of gifted athletes to OSU. The problem was that he was facing the King. Johnson did use perfect timing to leave Stillwater for Miami and the Dallas Cowboys where he won a National and World Championship.
The best example of bad timing was that of Pat Jones. Jones inherited the OSU job just as the NCAA Sherriff was arriving in town. A near death penalty and a winless season later, Pat was toast.
Last, but certainly not least is Mike Gundy again who must now face the next great OU coach in Lincoln Riley. He must handle the Sooners this year or spend his twilight years getting pummeled by Lincoln Riley.
I love timing when it works out for the Sooners…