Bob Stoops is back for the Alamo Bowl, and Oklahoma fans are loving it

Bob Stoops, the former Oklahoma coach, is leading the team in the Valero Alamo Bowl.

6:30 AM

Oklahoma football fans had a bad weekend. Lincoln Riley left USC after a day that began with a loss to Oklahoma State and ended with the elimination of Big 12 title contention.

For the first time since 1947, a Sooners coach left for another job. Oklahoma was in free fall.

"For 24 to 36 hours, there was panic in the streets, and people didn't know what was going to happen with Oklahoma football," said Dvoracek, a former Sooners player who lives in Norman and hosts a daily radio show on SiriusXM. People were very scared around here. Oklahoma is not a place that someone leaves.

The news conference was held inside the stadium, and it was held by Oklahoma president Joe Harroz and athletic director Joe Castiglione. Bob Stoops was the new interim coach of the Sooners. Stoops said that Oklahoma football would be fine.

Stoops said he told the team after Riley left the room that it was Lincoln's choice to leave. It's okay. You are the one who will make the plays or not. You guys win and lose. You're a football player. He is not. I'm not. Any other coach who comes here isn't.

The football team has been here a long time. It is not going anywhere else. It's going to be here, and it's going to be at the top of college football.

It had only been five years since Stoops stepped aside and gave the keys to the program to Riley, who had a 190-48 record at OU. The College Football Hall of Fame inducted Stoops earlier this month.

When Stoops got his turn at the microphone, fans had to relive it. Fans celebrated his confident assertions that this was a "bump in the road" when he spoke.

The executive director of the Touchdown Club of Oklahoma said that Stoops' comments stopped the panic after Riley's departure.

He said it was darkness and light at the same time.

"It's amazing how fast it flips," Dvoracek said.

Castiglione said that it helped quickly change the narrative. He was the winningest coach in Oklahoma history. A coach that achieved greatness through his players. And why he's so beloved.

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It was a stark contrast to what OU fans were used to. Stoops embodied loyalty when he asked, "How can I help?", whereas Riley embodied disloyalty when he snubbed the Sooners and the coach who hired him from East Carolina.

The man who wore the OU visor for 18 years and turned away dozens of opportunities to leave for the NFL or other college jobs is still living in Norman. With Stoops leading the charge, fans have been thrilled to be along for the ride that will conclude with Wednesday's Valero Alamo Bowl, when Stoops and Oklahoma play Oregon. The app is available on the Disney/ESPN website.

Berry Tramel is the long time columnist at The Oklahoman and radio host. They loved Bob. It's possible that they love him more now than they did back then.

Bob Stoops was making his first start at safety for the Hawkeyes when Tramel covered his first Sooners game in 1979.

Tramel said that people forgot the persona of Stoops. He projects confidence no matter what. The world falls in, and he's up there saying that everything will be fine. Everybody settles down.

It was the same as when Stoops arrived from Florida in 1998 to be introduced as the new coach of the Sooners.

Stoops said people are going to expect what they want. I expect more. I think we will be very good next year and have a chance to win a lot of games.

Nothing was guaranteed. In the six years before Stoops arrived, the Sooners hadn't had a winning season.

The Sooners didn't win all of them, but they did make their first bowl appearance in five years. They beat Texas 63-14 and then knocked off Kansas State and Nebraska in the title game to finish 13-0. The Sooners went to 18 straight bowl games and won 10 Big 12 titles under Stoops. The school built a statue of him next to those of Bud and Barry.

After Oklahoma beat Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl, Stoops was drenched by his players. The Sooners went to 18 straight bowl games under Stoops.

Stoops left it in a situation where it would continue to thrive for decades to come, Dvoracek said. I think it's unique for him to be able to step in when there is a little gap.

Tramel said that Stoops didn't upend his life to take on this role. He lives on I-35.

Stoops doesn't like the adoration. He doesn't know what the big deal is.

He said that his return allowed people to have some comfort. Coming back after five years is different. It was easy because I've been here so long.

He has been with the team a lot. Some of the players are still there. Drake is a wide receiver for the Sooners. He had several assistant coaches working for him.

Stoops was just 56 when he retired, which means he still looks like 61.

He left when he was still burning. He's still got a lot of fire five years later. He is not a relic. He looks a lot like he used to, and he sounds like he used to.

Stoops worked on Fox's college football show for an entire season and even led the crowd in a "Texas Sucks!" chant before the OU game against Nebraska. It made him a hero to a new generation of fans and even those who criticized him for not winning a national title after his second season at Oklahoma, which is the true measure of success at Oklahoma.

The legend Bob Stoops is pictured.
The world is called Oklahoma-VS-The World.

Tramel said that anyone who was on the fence about him was off after that.

During a coaching change, Stoops hit the road recruiting, helping the Sooners maintain a top 10 recruiting class. While Riley was an assistant for two seasons, the new coach of the Sooners is a long time Stoops loyalist.

Venables and Stoops worked together at K-State from 1993 to 1995 before Stoops left to become Florida's D-coordinator. Venables was brought to Norman by Stoops when he was the Oklahoma coach, where he served as defensive co-coordinator with his brother Mike.

Stoops told reporters after Venables was hired that he was the perfect fit for OU. Stoops spoke at the National Football Foundation dinner in Las Vegas on behalf of his fellow College Football Hall of Fame inductees. He's perfect for us. I love his experience with us, but also at the same place, at the same school. I think he's going to improve us.

A popular Christmas gift this year was a T-shirt. Barry. Bob. "Brent." The guy who made three College Football Playoff appearances and won four Big 12 titles has already been excommunicated.

Stoops' legacy has been given a new shine after a few weeks of holding down the fort while his old office was renovated.

"We need to build him a second statue, maybe with a beard and some Rock N Roll Tequila and a cigar on it," said Oklahoma fan, who organizes regular Twitter Spaces gatherings about the team, in a nod to Stoops' post-coaching side business.

The owner, partner, and dear friend of ours, Coach Bob Stoops, has been recognized for the work he's put in, day in and day out for his entire life, to become one of the newest members of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Rock N Roll Tequila is on December 11, 2021.

If the Sooners win the Alamo Bowl, Stoops was asked if he would take a bath with a splash of tequila.

"That would be fine," he said. What will the administration do to me?

Stoops has gotten Oklahoma fans excited about a bowl game that would have been a disappointment if the Sooners hadn't made it to the national championship game.

OU fans are a little tired. "Especially for a bowl like the Alamo Bowl, they don't stir very easily." We have people who want to go to the Alamo Bowl to see Bob beat Oregon.

One last chance to thank a Hall of Famer, they will be watching to see Stoops in the visor one more time.

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Tramel said that Stoops didn't leave when he left. When Urban Meyer left Florida, he went to Ohio State. Pete Carroll moved to Seattle after he left USC. Guys move on to something else. When you look back, you know what? When he said he liked Oklahoma, he wasn't just a babblin', he was also a genius. But he did.

This chapter puts Stoops in a rarefied air among legendary company.

Barry Switzer is the king in Oklahoma, and Bob was the prince, according to the people there. Bob is the king for the generations after us.