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No Limits On Success Stoops Can Achieve In Norman

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MANHATTAN, Kansas -

Bob Stoops downplayed the possibility of him becoming the all-time leader in wins at Oklahoma against his former mentor—Bill Snyder—and at his former place of employment—Kansas State—this past week. In the end, that's exactly what happened, as Stoops passed Barry Switzer with win No. 158, a 41-31 victory over Snyder's Wildcats.

It was the same score Stoops' Troops won by in his first trip to Manhattan 13 years ago. In 2000, an up-and-coming OU team, ranked No. 8 in the country knocked off the No. 2 Wildcats en route to a national championship. That game carried a bit more significance in terms of an individual season, but this win will carry more weight going forward.

Even though the Sooners have won just that single national championship in 2000 during Stoops' tenure, it has never felt like the shadows of past greats Switzer and Bud Wilkinson—who each won three titles while in Norman—have loomed large over Stoops. Winning a national championship in your second season will do that for you, but it's been more than that for Stoops.

Eight conference championships. Eight BCS bowls. A 9-6 record vs. Texas. And no inexcusable losses to FCS schools (looking at you, Will Muschamp). Stoops hasn't been bringing in a lot of crystal footballs, but it's pretty much impossible to find more consistent success over a longer period of time than what Stoops has done in Norman.

Related Story: 158: Sooners Use Punishing Ground Game To Put Stoops On Top

The best part about it is Stoops has been himself the entire time, not changing for anyone or anything; an uncompromising standard. Some don't appreciate that, given Stoops' somewhat abrasive personality with people outside his locker room and circle of family and friends, but it's hard to not admire someone for sticking to their guns no matter the situation.

There have been peaks and valleys during Stoops' time in Norman, the lowest being the end of the 2011 season, when there was a mass exodus from Norman due to dismissal or transfer after a disappointing 10-3 season where Oklahoma began the year No. 1 in the country. That year clearly wore Stoops out and made him begin to make changes he'd never made before.

He fired an assistant coach after that year and fired three more after last season. He made a drastic change on offense this season to account for a running quarterback, something the Sooners had never really had before 2013. His willingness to change after so many years to cycling through the status quo and getting positive results has revitalized his career.

Stoops was very complimentary of the 2012 team and has been the same way with this year's team, never failing to mention how much of an enjoyment it is to coach his team. That absolutely makes a big difference for a head coach and if Stoops keeps coaching teams that are easy to coach, there's no telling how long his career will go and how many wins he'll pile up.

But for now, we're only focused on today and on Saturday, Stoops overtook The King as the coach with the most wins in OU history. He may still not be the best in Oklahoma history, but it's hard to argue with the incredible success he's had in Norman.

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