Greg Byrne does right thing for Arizona in firing Mike Stoops
“We have relieved Coach Stoops of his duties as head
football coach at the University of Arizona.”
Many a Wildcat fan has been hoping to hear director of
athletics Greg Byrne say those 17 words for a while, and I
joined their ranks just one week ago.
Needless to say, as an Arizona alum and fan, I’m
comfortable with the decision.
The team’s 1-5 record on the heels of last season’s
collapse isn’t what concerned me. Yeah, it would have been
nice to see the Wildcats play better in most of their
losses, but few teams in the nation would have done much
better than them during the stretch.
And to be honest, Stoops’ sideline antics didn’t concern
me one bit. When the team is winning he is a “fiery
leader” and when it’s losing he’s “out of control.” The
difference has nothing to do with his demeanor, only the
quality of his team’s play—which, since the end of October
last year, has been rather poor.
The games have been mostly blowouts on national TV. Not
good, but guiding the Cats to three consecutive bowl games
was worth a little slack, as the only reason fans are
upset with the team losing so much is because they’re at a
point where they expect to, at the very least, compete.
Oklahoma State, Stanford, Oregon, USC and ASU all beat
Arizona during the Wildcats’ 10-game FBS losing skid, some
of them doing so twice. While there is no shame in losing
most of those games, the ways in which the losses happened
42, 24, 48, 30, 36, 37, 37, 56, 48, 37. Those numbers
represent the amount of points the Wildcats have allowed
during their losing skid, dating back to last season, good
for an average of 39.5 points per game. Mike Stoops may
have made a name for himself as a defensive coordinator
but you’d never know it from those numbers.