Arizona's firing of football coach Mike Stoops does not seem to have come as much of a surprise. The Wildcats are currently on a 10-game losing streak against FBS opponents and are 1-5 this season.
It's true that Stoops took over a program that was in shambles. He succeeded in turning that around, but as Arizona Desert Swarm points out, the problem was that after initial success Stoops was never able to get his team over the hump:
His rebuilding peaked.
He was brought to the Arizona Wildcats to bring a two-win team from 2003 out of the basement following the ugly departure of John Mackovic. He did that.
Then, you know the rest of the story. Incremental growth in his first four seasons finally led to a bowl berth in his fourth, the first in nine seasons for the Wildcats. Arizona won the 2008 Las Vegas Bowl against BYU and followed it up with shellackings against Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl of 2009 and Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl of 2010.
Over at SB Nation Arizona, they point out that Stoops' tenure had plenty of fond memories. The best of those may have been the Wildcats' upset of Arizona State in 2004:
To this day, I'm not sure I have ever heard a louder Arizona Stadium than I did that sunny afternoon in November. The weather was perfect, the atmosphere was perfect, and, most importantly, the game was perfect. Arizona Football was fun again for the first time in a long time.
Although not particularly vested in his success, Addicted to Quack points out that one of Stoops' problems was one of perception:
His antics were clearly hurting the team. I don't wish ill will on Mike Stoops, and hope he learns to be a better coach wherever he lands. But, as we've said repeatedly on our podcasts, his behavior on the sidelines was an embarrassment to his program, the conference, and college football. It wasn't good for the kids playing the game.