Arizona FB: The Downfall of Mike Stoops

Bryan MilwardCorrespondent IOctober 24, 2007

IconWith the Arizona Wildcats floundering, it's becoming more and more likely that coach Mike Stoops will be gone by the end of the year.

The Cats are coming off an embarrassing loss to a Stanford Cardinal team they should have beaten by three touchdowns.

The biggest culprit this season has been the Arizona offense, which looks great one week and disappears the next two.

With a roster full of Stoops' own recruits, this year's team was supposed to break through a tough Pac-10 and earn a bowl berth. That hasn't come to pass—and Stoops is a big part of the problem.

The offense, supposedly the strength of the team, has been unimaginative and far too predictable. Opposing defenses know to expect short passes. The few times the team has gone deep have produced poorly thrown balls and incompletions.

Stoops' poor playcalling was on display for the whole country to see against USC. Needing to go 70 yards to tie the game with less than a minute left, Stoops called one of our patented screens.

The result?

A loss of four yards and 30 seconds off the clock.

On second down, Stoops called for a pass that would have at least gotten a first down, but it sailed high and Delashaun Dean couldn't hold on.

The next two plays were screens that gained a grand total of six yards—when 72 were needed for a touchdown.

Another problem has been the abundance of penalties. Against USC, the Wildcats had 16 penalties for 116 yards. Against Stanford, it was seven for 65 yards. Against New Mexico, nine for 96 yards.

If you cut those numbers in half, Arizona has three more wins and is in position to go to a bowl game. It's as simple as that.

As it stands, U of A needs a coach who can build a disciplined team.

Don't get me wrong—Stoops is nowhere near as bad John Mackovic, who completely lost control of his players and couldn't get a dog to come to U of A if he held a steak in front of it.

But the results just haven't been good enough—and it's time for a chance. 

I don't know who will replace Stoops, but we need someone who has a knack for offensive creativity and who won't tolerate players committing unnecessary penalties.

We should be 5-3 right now and gunning for the postseason. Instead, we're talking ourselves into waiting for basketball season.