ESPN’s Paul Finebaum keeps grinding his ax when it comes to Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops, but the more he takes to the airwaves the more his credibility as an actual journalist slips away.
Wednesday night he took to the airwaves to blast Stoops for the way he handled the Joe Mixon situation. While throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak, ESPN’s resident SEC homer said that Bob Stoops was a, “total failure” when it comes to discipline.
“I believe what they say is he’s a very good coach, if not a great coach, but when it comes to discipline, I believe he’s a total failure,” Finebaum said. “I thought it was interesting what Baker (Mayfield) said there, about setting a good example. Bob Stoops had a chance to set an example a couple of years ago during the Joe Mixon case. Instead he looked around and tried to find an equitable way out that was going to be good for him and very bad for the university’s reputation.
“When Bob Stoops talks, I don’t really listen, because I think he’s disingenuous when it comes to discipline.”
That’s a pretty broad brush that Finebaum is painting with. Granted, there are many opinions out there on how Joe Mixon should have been handled but, let’s be honest, almost all of them fit into some sort of agenda. They seem to all gravitate around the homer or hater point of view. If you’re a homer then Mixon deserved a second chance, if you’re a hater then Stoops is a classless coach who advocates violence against women. The second category is where Finebaum fits in and there’s the problem.
Even more egregious than Joe Mixon’s case is the winning record that Stoops has against the conference Finebaum consistently lauds as the greatest in all of America. Stoops is 7-4 against the SEC and is currently riding a four-game winning streak that is capped by his second Sugar Bowl win over a school from Alabama in as many tries.
Make no mistake, Paul Finebaum loathes Bob Stoops and it has nothing to do with Joe Mixon. It has more to do with Stoops winning and then reminding the media of what they said. Whether he’s talking about the SEC propaganda (2013), lack of defense (2014), soft schedules (2014), or making direct response to Finebaum like he did in 2015, following the double overtime win at Tennessee, Finebaum has spewed his rhetoric and Stoops has put him in check. That’s what Wednesday’s comments are all about.
In 2015 a total of 31 players from the SEC were arrested, including five from Alabama. In fact, in that year only four schools didn’t have a single arrest. Those numbers didn’t look any better in 2016 either where 15 SEC players were arrested before the season even started. Drugs, theft, assault, domestic violence, public intoxication, you’ll find it all in the SEC…just like you will any other major conference. However, I’m pretty confident you won’t find any record of Finebaum stating that any coach in the SEC is a failure when it comes to discipline.
A much better talking point would be how the SEC failed to produce a winning record in the bowl games that followed last season. Nope! That’s not what Finebaum gets paid to do. He’s the mouthpiece of the conference and therefore he has to go after those who go after the conference…and that is something Bob Stoops is most definitely guilty of.