John E. Hoover: Historic Sooners-Buckeyes game set; Stoops on CFB Rushmore; who else?

John E. Hoover: Historic Sooners-Buckeyes game set; Stoops on CFB Rushmore; who else?

Bob Stoops and one of his mentors, Steve Spurrier, prior to last year’s game in Norman against Ohio State. Stoops takes the Sooners to Columbus this year, and the game will be nationally televised in prime time.

College football news today — and who couldn’t use a little college football news in May?

Oklahoma’s Sept. 9 game at Ohio State kicks off at 6:30 p.m. CT and will be carried nationally by ABC.

It’ll be the largest crowd ever to see an OU team play. The current record for an OU football game was set two years ago for Oklahoma’s game at Tennessee, when 102,455 showed up at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. Last season, more than 110,000 turned out at Ohio Stadium to watch the Buckeyes take on Michigan.

The Sooners haven’t been to Columbus since 1977, when Uwe von Schamann kicked a dramatic game-winning field goal.

The Buckeyes and Sooners ranked Nos. 1 and 2 last year in the Associated Press’ all-time Top 25, and OU (183) and Ohio State (181) rank 1-2 among Power 5 conference teams in total victories since in this century.

More intrigue from that game: on Wednesday, College Football News writer Pete Fiutak wrote a column positing that OU coach Bob Stoops ranks only behind Alabama’s Nick Saban and Ohio State’s Urban Meyer among contemporary college football coaches.

“For all the faults, all of the recent controversy around Joe Mixon, and for all the years without a national title, on resume, Bob Stoops continues to put together one of the greatest careers of all-time,” Fiutak writes.

“Stoops isn’t just on the Mount Rushmore of college football coaches currently rolling – sorry, I know the gimmick’s been done to death – there’s no question that he’s instantly one of the first three getting carved into the rock, and there isn’t even another option.

“Meyer has three national titles, five conference championships, and 165 wins overall going back to his first year at Bowling Green in 2001.

“Saban had the two-year mid-career crisis with the Miami Dolphins in between SEC gigs, but after taking over LSU in 2000, he has 167 college football wins, five national titles, and seven conference championships.

“Stoops? Since 2000, yeah, he has just the one national championship, but he beats the other two guys with 183 wins (190 total) and an absolutely ridiculous ten conference titles.”

I agree with Fiutak’s take: Stoops’ career achievements (not the least of which is his going-on 19 years of service in Norman — outrageously successful service, at that) put him on any modern day Rushmore.

So who’s the fourth face on the current coaching mountain? Depends. Would you rather reward someone like Jimbo Fisher or Dabo Swinney, who have a national title in a relatively short body of work? Or someone like Bill Snyder, who doesn’t have a national title but forged K-State from nothingness to greatness, or at least very-goodness?

I’d vote Snyder. Put The Wizard in Tallahassee or Clemson or Athens or Gainesville and let’s see how many national championships he’d have. Put Jimbo or Dabo or anyone else in Manhattan and let’s see what that program looks like.

There are currently only 23 coaches with at least 200 Division I victories. Among those still active, Saban (205) ranks first, Snyder (202) is second. Only six coaches (Penn State’s Joe Paterno, BYU’s LaVell Edwards, Nebraska’s Tom Osborne, Nevada’s Chris Ault, Georgia’s Vince Dooley and Snyder) have done it for only one school.


Columnist John E. Hoover is co-host of “Further Review with Hoover & Rew” and can be heard every weekday on The Franchise in Tulsa from noon to 3 p.m. with co-host Lauren Rew. In Oklahoma City, catch him Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings at 10:25 and every Friday afternoon at 4:05. Listen at fm107.7 in OKC, fm107.9/am1270 in Tulsa, on The Franchise app, or click the “Listen” tab on The Franchise home page.


Hoover wrote for the Tulsa World for 24 years before joining The Franchise, where he's now co-host of "Further Review" on The Franchise Tulsa (weekdays 12-3, fm107.9/am1270) . In his time at the World, Hoover won numerous writing and reporting awards, including in 2011 National Beat Writer of the Year from the Associated Press Sports Editors for his work covering the Oklahoma Sooners. Hoover also covered Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Oral Roberts and the NFL as a beat writer. From 2012 to 2016, Hoover was the World's lead sports columnist. As a columnist, Hoover won national awards in 2012 and 2014 from the National Athletic Trainers Association for reporting on sports medicine and in 2015 won first place in sports columns from the Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists. After receiving a journalism degree from East Central University, Hoover worked at newspapers in Ada, Okmulgee, Tahlequah and Waynesville, Mo. He played football at Ada High School and grew up in North Pole, Alaska. Hoover and his family live in Broken Arrow.

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