By now, most (if not all) of you reading this know the situation K-State faces if they lose this Saturday against Oklahoma. A loss drops the Wildcats to 3-3 on the season and 0-3 in Big 12 play.
The other side of the coin is a much bigger story, however.
If Oklahoma loses on the road in Manhattan, a second straight loss sends the 2015 Oklahoma season into a complete tailspin. Not only would the loss give the Sooners their first loss in Manhattan since 1996, it could be one of the final straws that breaks the camel’s back when it comes to Bob Stoops at Oklahoma.
The former defensive coordinator at K-State has put together a very successful run as Oklahoma’s head coach.
Since winning a national championship in 2000 and countless Big 12 championships, however, the mantra of “Big Game Bob” has slowly lost its luster. Since raising the crystal football in 2000, Stoops is 0-3 in National Championship Games and some of his best teams have fallen short when they were expected to be big winners.
A game that instantly comes to mind is the 2003 Big 12 title game, where the Sooners were stunned by the Wildcats after being hailed as one of the greatest teams of all time.
The latest example of “Big Game Bob” turning into “Shortcomings Stoops” is their most recent loss to their bitter rival, the Texas Longhorns.
In that game, like many others in the Stoops era at Oklahoma, the Sooners seemed disinterested and lacked a certain edge that vintage Stoops-led teams had. You may argue that it could’ve been the fact that it was a rivalry game that led the Longhorns to play with a little added inspiration. Still, it’s no excuse for the Sooners to be as uninterested as they were, which has been a common theme among Stoops teams.
Over the last few years, many pundits in the college football world have often wondered “Is Oklahoma Back?” This is especially true after wins against Alabama in the 2014 Sugar Bowl and earlier this season on the road at Tennessee, where they came back from a second-half double-digit deficit.
If previous history tells us anything, it’s that Oklahoma’s chances of winning in Manhattan are very good. If Oklahoma loses, however, will it further the narrative that Bob Stoops has stayed in Norman, Oklahoma long enough to see himself become the villain?
Andrew Hammond is a sophomore in journalism.