Oklahoma Extending Brent Venables May Backfire

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Since when does going 16-10 over two years mean you get a six-year extension to keep leading Oklahoma football? That’s the situation with Brent Venables in Norman. It’s surprising because OU’s athletic director, Joe Castiglione, is usually spot-on with his decisions.

Last year was better than the year before, but it’s still a lot of money for Venables. If the Sooners were staying in the Big 12, this move might make more sense. Historically, Oklahoma has dominated that league.

Now, with OU joining the SEC, everything changes. Oklahoma will go from being at the top of its league with Texas to looking up at powerhouses like Georgia, Alabama, and LSU. And yes, even Texas again.

I understand Castiglione’s good faith in extending Venables’ contract. But it feels like he’s not facing much pushback here.

Castiglione has been Oklahoma’s athletic director since 1998 and hired Bob Stoops.

This extension seems like a mix of several factors. It’s not just about last year’s performance; it’s also about recruiting efforts and rivalry with Texas. The Longhorns won the Big 12 last year and are national title contenders now.

Steve Sarkisian is casting a big shadow over Oklahoma. As a defensive mind and recruiter, Venables is solid. He was Dabo Swinney’s best assistant at Clemson, although most haven’t succeeded as head coaches.

Last year’s 10-win season at OU isn’t bad. But did Oklahoma make a huge mistake? Maybe. After all, patience isn’t exactly a virtue in Sooner land.

The “Sooner” name itself comes from people jumping the gun during the Land Run of 1889. Fast forward to now, and some things never change. Castiglione has been leading OU’s athletics for almost a fifth of that time—26 years!

While I admire Castiglione’s boldness, this could easily backfire.

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