Florida State Seminoles: Bob Stoops

3-point stance: Stoops' bowl success

December, 26, 2013
1. With great fanfare 19 years ago, Joe Paterno of Penn State became the first coach to win every major bowl (Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta and, for you oldsters, the Cotton). With a lot less fanfare, Bob Stoops of Oklahoma has a chance to match Paterno if the No. 11 Sooners can figure out a way to knock off No. 3 Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Stoops is 0-1 in the Sugar; Oklahoma lost to LSU a decade ago in the BCS Championship Game.

2. Speaking of Paterno, one of his favorite methods of scouting recruits was to watch them play basketball. It gave him a different measure of their athleticism and competitive spirit. Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher, in discussing Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston’s prowess as a pitcher, told the Associated Press recently that he loves seeing recruits play another sport. This flies in the face of the 12-month-a-year commitment that is expected of most kids today. Here’s hoping Fisher’s message breaks through.

3. Watch the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl Thursday night when Northern Illinois has the ball. The Huskies have Heisman third-place finisher Jordan Lynch at quarterback and led the Mid-American Conference in every major offensive statistic. Utah State led the Mountain West in every major defensive statistic. In fact, the Aggies are the only MWC team to win by shutout this season. Utah State defeated Colorado State, 13-0, on Nov. 23.
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Texas not making the top four for 2015 star Daylon Mack is an interesting -- and troubling -- development; the top player in Texas is scheduled to announce next week and everything is looking good for the Aggies; and Washington adds a four-star lineman, which could help give the Huskies recruiting momentum before Oregon comes to town.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- If part of the job of being a head coach includes deftly maneuvering around the tough questions with a politically satisfactory answer, Mark Stoops has already proven he's ready for it.

[+] EnlargeMark Stoops
AP Photo/Phil CoaleFSU defensive coordinator Mark Stoops could be a head-coaching candidate at season's end.
There aren't many opportunities for Florida State's defensive coordinator to face the media onslaught -- head coach Jimbo Fisher limits the availability of assistants -- but Stoops is a natural.

He offers glowing reviews of his best players and still faint praise for the disappointments. He mixes high-level discussion of Xs and Os with a healthy dose of coach-speak. And when the inevitable question is finally posed about how many offers he's received for other coaching jobs, Stoops sidesteps it with ease.

"I'm just working hard to do my job to prepare myself to be the best I can be, to be a better and better coach," Stoops said. "I appreciate the structure and the organization and the leadership that I've been afforded the opportunity to be a part of. It makes me a better coach to work here."

Indeed, Stoops' first two seasons at Florida State have helped to bolster his coaching credentials and allowed him to step out from the shadow cast by three older brothers, who are all college coaches.

But as Stoops has taken Florida State's defense from 108th in the nation the year before he arrived to the No. 4 unit in the country last season, there's not a whole lot more he needs to add to his resume.

Whether Stoops wants to offer detail or not, there were coaching jobs available, according to multiple reports, and more will certainly be on the horizon should the Seminoles' defense produce another elite season in 2012. And if Florida State lives up to expectations this year, there will be more -- and better -- offers coming Stoops' way.

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FSU Coach Explains Why Winston Went Unpunished
ESPN Florida State reporter Jared Shanker breaks down head coach Jimbo Fisher's explanation that Jameis Winston's suspension from the baseball team for a shoplifting incident in April was sufficient punishment.