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Stoops downplays ranking during Big 12 teleconference

By Mike Baldwin Modified: September 29, 2008 at 12:18 pm •  Published: September 29, 2008
Oklahoma is ranked No. 1 this week.

It’s a familiar spot for the Sooners.

Oklahoma has been ranked No. 1 for as many weeks as any college program in the country. OU coach Bob Stoops said that’s a compliment to previous coaches and teams from previous eras as well as current players and coaches who have continued the tradition.

Stoops, though, downplayed being ranked No. 1 before might allow this team to handle the publicity better than a program unaccustomed to the top spot.

“I don’t know that gives us any special advantage in the end,” Stoops said. “Each year is different. You have to go earn it each time. Just because we’ve done it before, sometimes that’s a long time ago. The bottom line is all that matters is what you’re able to do now.”

Stoops also was asked if being ranked No. 1 puts an ever larger bulls eye on their backs.

“We generally have a pretty good sized one regardless,” Stoops said. “We’re fairly used to that.”

Does he mention to his team that USC, Florida, Georgia and Wisconsin all lost last week.

“They understand,” Stoops said. “Our guys know who has lost and how they lost. We’ll certainly discuss it to some degree but they know. Everybody understands if you’re not at your best, and don’t perform at your best, and you play foolishly you’re going to lose. You’ve got to be on top of your game.”

After looking at game film in which the Sooners averaged only 0.7 yards per rushing attempt, Stoops was asked if there is some concern with the running game despite taking advantage of TCU’s stack-the-box strategy to throw for 411 yards in a 35-10 win.

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