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potdangerous

The State of the Sooner Program

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I don't hear much from the Sooner faithful these days.

 

This past season had to be a disappointment. A 10th place finish (2nd, 8th, and 8th place individual finishes), no national champions, an exodus of talent due to graduation, no significant club program, and a veteran assistant coach is gone.

 

I know there were extenuating circumstances (Maple's health) and maybe Frayer's departure isn't a huge deal. The real question is whether OU is headed in the right direction under Cody. OU seems like (to me) an advantanged program. Is Cody struggling to create and implement a vision? Maybe Cody is better suited to a disadvantaged program?

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He was considered a "genius" during his days at American, and now questions about his coaching ability arise.

 

How could he have become a worse coach, or is it that coaches aren't 100% responsible for a team's success and disappointments? 8-)

 

Cue flat/lamebrain...NOW!

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He did not become a worse coach, but overachieving at a low end job is definitely different than living up to huge expectations at a high end job. Not everyone can win at the big programs. You see it in every sport with successful small school HCs that can't duplicate it on the bigger scale. That is why I give Cael lots of credit even if he gets the best recruits, etc... Because winning when you are supposed to is not easy. We give tons of credit to underdogs who overachieve, and almost no credit to favorites who win (even though favorites often lose).

 

Cody could be doing the same things that worked at American and they could be failing at Oklahoma. They are two different jobs that need two different skill sets. Recruiting has stagnated, the transfers have not worked out as well as hoped, they threw away 2013 for 2014 and then had a bad 2014, and now they enter this year with the cupboard just as bare as in Spates' worst times (but without ever experiencing the team trophy years of Spates' best years). It will be interesting to see how long OU fans are in Cody's corner after some turned so viciously on Spates.

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Rome wasn't built in a day......... Cody will get the job done. He is an excellent coach.

I'm just a wrestling fan so I'm too far away to have any assessment of this. I'm just looking at tangible signs of progress...and I'm not finding anything.

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cody is doing the same thing he did at American with a few good recruits and bringing in high ability transfers and he is seeing the same exact results but what was considered great at American is now average at Oklahoma the top five finish was more of an anomaly at American due to a bunch of transfers all performing better than expected while this past year the transfers were better and didn't perform as well

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In all fairness, 12 months ago it looked as though OU was fully stocked and primed for a national title run. The fact that it simply didn't happen, or even come close, has to stand as a disappointing year for their fan base.

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This season was a lost opportunity, but hopefully he gets it going in the right direction. If you are passionate about this sport like virtually all of us on this message board, you have had your season of disappointment following whatever team you follow. They got that out of the way, now let's see if he can get them moving in the right direction again. I'm a Cowboy fan obviously, but I've always pulled for the Sooners and this has to be one of the bigger let downs in a while, but I still have faith that Cody gets it done in the long run.

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Mark has made inroads on recruiting in-state. A former Cowboy great who I won't name recommended a kid in his club to Mark who signed with OU.

 

Mark said he was tired of watching "dancing with the stars" in the practice room. He wants tough hard nosed kids. The Dixon triplets are exactly that type, they've been playing football at a school that always went deep into the playoffs. Now for the first time they are wrestling year round with good coaching.

 

John Smith has a definite leg up on Mark when it comes to getting who he wants in-state, but at least the high school coaches will talk to Mark. The bridges had been almost totally burnt prior to his arrival.

 

For the first time since he's been here there will be depth at each weight class. He has been forced to wrestle some guys at a higher weight class in order to have a decent dual meet team. DeAngelis and Howe should have been a weight class lower.

 

There has been a connection to the old timers from the Port Robertson-Tommy Evans-Stan Abel eras that had been lost. These guys are stepping up with financial support, and coming to meets, when many hadn't come in 15-20 years.

 

It won't happen overnight, and this year's team won't be as last year's at the NCAA tournament.

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At the end of the day, none of that "soft" progress (i.e. the type that doesn't show up in the numbers) will matter if Cody can't get 3-4 top recruits who can develop into AAs in the next year. He has his work cut out for him.

 

It's either that or the alumni and fans need to readjust the expectation that Cody himself gave them that he needed five years to rebuild the program. By his own time line, he is running out of time.

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As stated on the OU website:

 

The latest (of 7 total) team championship came under Stan Abel in 1974. Since then, Oklahoma has finished among the top 10 at the national tournament 27 times, including four runner-up finishes.

 

Not that folks should be happy about it, but face it, somewhere around top 10 seems about par for OU over the past 40 years; and Cody has been there, what, 3 years now?

 

As long as the trend is going up, why not see how it play out?

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The trend is up? Maybe more consistent, but not really an upgrade. I still have hope for OU, but next year will be rough.

 

Finishes at NCAA:

2014 - 10th (Cody)

2013 - 12th (Cody)

2012 - 13th

2011 - 16th

2010 - 5th

2009 - 31st

2008 - ?

2007 - 22nd

2006 - 3rd

2005 - 3rd

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I think 2008 was 39th. I know there was a 3-year stretch that were the worst in school history since wrestling started giving scholarships after the 1949 season. It is not a quick fix. When Abel took over OU had 30 full wrestling scholarships, plus some on financial aide. We usually started with around 50 in the room. When Stan took over 5 minutes after he met me and found out what I'd done assisting Tommy Evans, he said you are doing the same things for me. Now which 16 are we cutting, because that is how many recruits i have lined up. I picked the 16, none of whoever did anything at the D1 level after that. 2 years later OU won its 7th and last title. Most of those 16 were better than what Mark inherited when he took over in my opinion. There were 6-8 that were good enough athletes to become AAs at the D1 level.

 

Today you can't cut kids for athletic performance, you can cut them or reduce their scholarships for other reasons. There are areas in neutral and bottom that aren't as good as they were under Abel, which is my frame of reference. Hopefully, those things will get improved soon.

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10th place finish in the nation, and we call it bad? I love this sport!

 

There's this thing called context. Compared to pre-season expectations of legitimate title contention, 10th place is NOT GOOD at all.

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So what is good then? Top 5? top 3? Or do you have to win a national championship to be good? Of course, only one team can do that so are there only 1-3 good teams now? Or is there really only one good team a year. I know that teams with a long tradition need to strive to be number 1 and not settle for less, but I am sorry, finishing in the top ten in the nation is not cause for alarm. Maybe if it only happens once in 5 years a fan may want more. But many people on here sound like it is a terrible program? Give the guy a chance.

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teach:

 

You must be obtuse. Sooners fans are wondering what's up with a team that prior to the season was a viable national title contender but ended up the year barely in the top ten. For them, there's concern, and that's the reality of operating in an elite program.

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teach:

 

You must be obtuse. Sooners fans are wondering what's up with a team that prior to the season was a viable national title contender but ended up the year barely in the top ten. For them, there's concern, and that's the reality of operating in an elite program.

 

And we wonder why we keep losing more D-1 wrestling programs!? :roll:

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So many people look at the bottom line without looking at the circumstances that lead to that bottom line.

Simply put, OU had a mixture of injuries and bad luck hold them back. I actually think they did quite well finishing 10th considering Maple had the health issues his father detailed on this forum earlier, Rutt had concussion issues and Patterson had a late season injury. Add in Howe lost to a super motivated Perry.

 

Other than the Howe loss, I see NOTHING listed in the paragraph above that can be attributed to Cody. He can't control Maple's metabolism or Rutt's cranium. He can't help that Patterson hurt himself throwing legs like he has done his whole career. Of the three, Patterson still wrestled the championship bracket to his 6th seed, but lost to a red hot Dance 6-5 in the R12 match. The other 2 were obvious shells of their former selves.

 

125:Patterson accounted for roughly 8 points less than expected.

133:Brewer actually surprised and beat Morrison after getting soundly beaten all season.

141:Lester won 2 matches, which isn't bad considering how bad he looked all year.

149:Maple was a shadow of himself and still placing 8th was a testament to his resolve.

157:Deangelis won a couple matches

165:DNQ

174:Howe is the one finish I attribute some fault to Cody as it looked like they had no game plan for Perry.

184:DNQ

197:Rutt, simply unable to perform

285:Larson won a couple matches.

 

With some health and a bit of luck, Patterson places top 6 at 125, Maple makes the finals at 149, Howe wins 174 and Rutt places Top 5. All of these are reasonable expectations and would account for the 35+ points that would have put them above Iowa for a team trophy.

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I agree that the health challenges and bad luck cannot be laid all at Cody's feet. But what can be is throwing away 2013 in the name of 2014. For everyone saying they were top 10, so cut him some slack, Cody does not appear to agree with you, since he passed on a top 10 finish in 2013 to put all his eggs in the 2014 basket. They gave 4 years combined of big scholarship money to Howe and Rutt for 2 years combined of performance (and essentially lost one of those years to injury). This is undoubtedly part of the reason they are a little behind when it comes to young talent. When you double down on 2014, 2013 (and the way 2015 looks) are your fault, even if the injuries and 2014 are not.

 

Either way, I hope that as he has a team that is more and more his, they have more and more success, and that OU fans give him time to show definitively one way or another. And I agree with Big Apple that he is doing a much better job winning the in-state coaches than Spates did. I used to bring my team to Spates team camp and it would be all teams from Kansas, Missouri, Texas, etc... basically no OK teams. And with the talent coming up in OK, going after the in state coaches is a good strategy. Smith and OSU will get most of the big guns, but the 2nd level guys will be better than the top guys the state turned out in the last 5 years.

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Howe tore up a knee in the fall of 2012, which forced Cody have him use his redshirt year. When that happened he decided to redshirt Patterson and Rutt as well. Hopefully, the freshman who wrestled that year and then redshirted this year will be vastly improved. Matt Reed (174), Brad Johnson (197) both had excellent open tournament records. Ross Larson has really improved this spring. My concern is 141 and 157. I think Mark may have to use a walkon at 141. At 157 (DeAngelis drops to 149), Oliver Pierce or Tim Hamilton would be the most likely. Hsmilton has yet to make it through a season without getting injured. 184 will be Crimmons (sp) who was highly rated coming out HS in Georgia. He went to the AFA prep school and decided he didn't like the military life. I haven't seen him yet, and don't have any reports on him.

 

I think OU will be decent in duals, including Bedlam (OSU lost 5 starters, but the replacements will be takented, but inexperienced). Not enough guys will make the finals to score high.

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