ESPN commentator Kirk Herbstreit is a friend of OU coach Bob Stoops. Both are
Why has Stoops been successful at OU?
If you remember, it was somewhat of a volatile time after a number of coaches tried to replace Barry Switzer. I think the best thing he did was bring all the different eras together and made them all feel welcome and made it a family atmosphere. I think after that, when he had the backing and the resources from Joe Castiglione and the athletic department and such early success, that it was very easy to buy in to the message that he was trying to send. If you go back from 2000 and beyond, they have been as consistent as probably anybody in the country. The reason why is recruiting and the type of the guy he is and the type of coaching he’s always been about — very aggressive.
The team he has this year, most people have them, if not one or two in the country, right there, just like they are every year in preseason. It comes down to Oct. 11. If they beat Texas, they have a great shot to get into the Big 12 championship game and into the national championship. And with Bradford and company offensively and the defense they have, there is no reason that they shouldn’t be up there.
Mike Stoops’ Arizona team
I think the surprise team in the Pac 10 conference will be Arizona. As much as Mike Stoops has kind of felt the heat, I think year with Willie Tuitama coming back at quarterback and (wide receiver) Mike Thomas and this big tight end, I think could surprise some people. I think they have a chance to get off to a good start. The first four years they have really struggled in their first four games. I think they’re 5-11 overall in the first four. I think if they get off to a good start, Arizona could be a surprise team in the Pac 10.