A calmer Stoops

Has Mike Stoops finally relaxed and will he be calm on the sidelines in 2008? The answer might just be yes.

There's been something awkward about Mike Stoops' opening season press conference and first two practices. Stoops hasn't been his normal, angry and emotional self.

In fact, he has been very laid back, laughing with the media for the first time in five years and allowing his assistants to do much more yelling than he's done.

This is new for Stoops, who has had the reputation as one of the biggest hot heads in college football.

Could Stoops know something we don't about how good this team is?

Could Stoops know the end is coming and has he finally embraced it?

Could Stoops have finally realized that he's at his best when he's a calm leader?

These questions can't be answered until the season. On top of that, we won't know how he responds in games until Idaho.

However, sources have said that Arizona president Robert Shelton had a sit-down meeting with Stoops during the off-season, telling him that this year he needs to cool it.

That probably wouldn't be the reason he's acted so calm to the media and practice though. It's almost like the fact that he has more pressure on him to succeed this year than almost any coach in the country doesn't affect him.

Props to Stoops for how he has acted so far, but the real test will come later. He needs to be a mature leader on the sidelines, inspiring players instead of having them scared to approach him.

Stoops needs to trust his coaches and assistants to do what they're paid to do, rather than scare them from operating in a way they're capable of.

That's been the case in the past, but have things finally changed?

Stay tuned.

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