(Rumor) Venables to Oklahoma

Clemson defensive coordinator Brett Venables is “virtually a done deal” to coach Oklahoma next season.

Venables is one of the most decorated coordinators in the game. Even in a lost season, Clemson’s defense certainly could not be blamed, as their 15 points per game allowed was 11th in the country, and that’s with being in one of the most high offense conferences in the league. It was only a matter of time for Venables, and he lands in a prodigious destination in Oklahoma. If he can marry the famous Oklahoma offense with his Clemson defense, that’s a school to look out for. According to the same report, Venables will be looking at Ole Miss offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby to take that same job at Oklahoma, and call the plays.

Damn. It’s nuts out there.

I’ve never looked up his bio before. Apparently he was at Oklahoma longer than he was at Clemson, so this was probably his dream job. He’s from Kansas, played at Kansas State and coached at OU from 1999 all the way to 2011.

More tidbits: Bob Stoops, Mike Stoops and Brett Venables all coached together at Kansas State. And all 3 of them moved on to Oklahoma in 1999 when Bob got the Oklahoma head coaching job. Mike was named defensive coordinator. A handful of years later Mike Stoops got the Arizona HC job, so Venables became DC. In 2011/2012 when Arizona fired Mike Stoops…Bob gave Mike his old job back and that’s when Venables moved on to Clemson (was pushed out, is what I’d say).

He’s a good choice for them.

He should make OU defense relevant because they are shitty.

Would be totally true… if Oklahoma was staying in the Big 12. Instead the powers that be there just relegated their program to also-ran status in the SEC, and good luck putting together a playoff-worthy record there anywhere near as often as they have for the last few decades.

Seriously, WTF were Texas and Oklahoma thinking? This move was the dumbest possible decision, and Lincoln Riley is just the first domino to fall. I have a REALLY hard time seeing Riley agree to what historically would’ve been a lateral move otherwise. But if OK is going to be regularly competing for, what, second or third place in their division? Fourth or fifth in the SEC? Why the hell wouldn’t you move over to USC, where he’ll likely end up competing for the conference title every year?

I realize this thread was supposed to be about Venables, but damn, I’m still effing ticked at how stupid and shortsighted Oklahoma and Texas were. If they’d gone to the Big 10 or the Pac 12, they’d instantly be annual conference title contenders. Instead they signed on to be also-rans. Good luck jerkoffs.

Also, can I note that it’s hilarious that Notre Dame’s refusal to join a conference is now officially blowing up in their stupid faces? Go enjoy the ACC you cowards!

(I love college football)


Texas and Oklahoma were thinking money. That’s it. Of course they also thought there programs would be hitting top level with Sark and Riley by time the SEC move happened, and that’s not even close to accurate.

At least Texas and Oklahoma were pretty good. I still have zero idea why Missouri moved over. The SEC already had enough doormats. Sure, you get to play on national tv, and lose to top 10. Teams every year just as part of your schedule. Still, pass.

I mean, the Big Ten currently has the richest TV deal, and while it looks like the SEC will overtake them in 24/25, the B10 will be negotiating new deals after that. I’d be shocked if they weren’t competitive with or even beating the SEC deals. (You can argue the top-to-bottom quality of football is better in the SEC, but the Big 10 has made the most money for years.)

Even if all you care about is cash, the move was still shortsighted. If the game continues to evolve towards superconferences and a real playoff, all the Power 5 conferences are going to be basically printing money. So you’re going to get paid in terms of the shared revenues. But the difference is what you generate on your own.

Being one of the premier, consistently winning programs in your conference, with a legitimate shot to make the college playoffs every year, is worth a lot. If Oklahoma and Texas had joined the Big Ten, they’d get just as much cash, but they’d instantly be in the top tier of the conference. If they’d joined the Pac 12, they’d run that conference–it would basically be the Big 12 all over again, alongside USC and Oregon. Instead they jumped at the quick cash, and they’ll be annual doormats.

People said the same thing about Texas A&M. They immediately ran thru the SEC and finished 5th in the country. And since that time they have been a better SEC team than they were Big 12 team.

Alabama is a beast but the SEC overall is a bit overrated. So you get alot more credit for beating an SEC team than you do beating a Big 12 team…and you get dinged less in the rankings for losing to an SEC team vs a Big 12 team. Even if the teams are on the same level.

Jimbo Fisher was a good hire.

I still think Texas and Oklahoma have a chance to be really good in the SEC. I mean the way they probably figured is that Saban, who is 70, ain’t gonna be coaching much longer. That opens the SEC up, although Alabama will always be Alabama to a degree.

Now they get to tell their recruits they’ll play the best in the nation and they have great natural recruiting grounds. Texas IMO more than Oklahoma.

This is just a liiiiiiiittle bit of cherry-picking. Yes, in 2012, A&M had a nice run and finished 6-2 in the conference. In 2020 they also had a great year. Every other year they’ve been in the SEC (eight of them) they’ve had a .500 conference record. If that’s what Oklahoma aspires to–hoping for 1-2 SEC title game appearances per decade–have at.

I agree the SEC is overrated–not in the sense that there aren’t some powerhouse teams there, but the premier programs in other conferences have gotten more competitive with them, and the SEC has always had a bit of a soft underbelly if you’re looking at it top to bottom.

Anyway, yes, Oklahoma will get some juice going up against Alabama and LSU, but will that translate to more playoff appearances and revenues than if they were playing Michigan and Ohio State and Nebraska and Penn State every year? Or being the face of the Pac 12 with a clear path to the playoffs every season? I have my doubts.

I thought Texas would have been a great fit for the B1G personally. Its a big program, but its also a very good school academically.

Did you happen to look up who Texas A&M was when they made the move? I will pull it all the way back to 1998…the last time they won the Big 12 which didn’t even give them a top 10 finish.


Now here’s the record after the move. And again, this team wasn’t Oklahoma when they left the Big 12. They were a middling team for over a decade, so keep that in perspective.


I guess I’m not understanding the argument. Oklahoma will actually end up better in the SEC than they were in the Big 12, because one data point kind of suggests that happened to A&M if you squint a little?

I mean, OK, let’s concede the point that Oklahoma will be forced to up their game to compete. How will that translate to their record and college playoff appearances? They’ve had more than 2 conference losses just three times in the last 20 years. Not sure how much improvement you’re expecting from them in the SEC, but I’d suggest coming anywhere close to that is going to be tough.

I thought Mark Stoops made sense as he’s already proven successful in the SEC at a really tough
spot to win.

I’m saying the SEC has gotten a little overrated, and isn’t the murderers row people make it out to be. If you take the 10 years since A&M has been in the SEC and compare them to the last 10 or so years in the Big 12…you can’t tell me there was a dropoff. Because there wasn’t.

As a diehard Oklahoma State fan, I am of course loving everything happening down there at UT-Norman. Venables has rehabbed his image a lot at Clemson, but he was basically run out of Norman the first time, his defenses were well below average. I think he was a co-defensive coordinator for much of that time, but most of my friends who are ou fans are less than thrilled by this hire.

The move was strictly about $$$. They (the administration) know OU and Texas will be mediocre. The competition is too much and the expectation of the fanbase is out of this world. They have no touch with reality. Good luck going 7-5 or 8-4 every year.

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Has Venables actually been hired? I haven’t seen it yet.

I agree with you that the SEC isn’t quite the murderer’s row it gets billed as. Nevertheless, the top of the conference–the teams you have to get through to win a title there or get to the playoffs–is significantly better than what Oklahoma has been dealing with up to now. And no amount of squinting at A&M is going to change that.

Oklahoma is going from a situation where they were the cream of their conference and odds-on favorite to win it every year (which will be an even bigger deal once we get to a real playoff), to a scenario where they’ll be a perennial middle-of-the-pack team, maybe competing for the conference once or twice a decade. They’re basically taking a big paycheck to trade in their status as a premier college football brand to become Wisconsin of the SEC.

That would not be the case if they’d moved to the Pac 12. And while I think the B10 is better than the Pac 12, Oklahoma would still be one of the top teams in the conference and an annual contender for the title here–which is not what they’ll be in the SEC.

I should note, building on the comment from @farmerted, that it’s possible the B10 told Oklahoma they weren’t welcome, because they don’t have the academic credentials of the other schools in the conference (though yes, Texas would’ve been a perfect fit).