OU's Jeff Capel says rant after Texas game was calculated

By John Helsley, jhelsley@opubco.com Modified: February 9, 2009 at 12:34 am •  Published: February 9, 2009
NORMAN - Jeff Capel came clean Saturday.

His Rodney Dangerfield act after the Texas game, when he called for a little respect...

"That was calculated," Capel said.

"That was something I was doing for my team. That's something" — a lack of respect — "my guys felt and I got that from talking with them. I want them to know I always have their back."

Message delivered. And received.

"We really appreciated that," senior guard Austin Johnson said.

Capel said the message was tied to Texas, which had beaten OU six straight times — five under Capel's watch — and liked it, maybe a little too much.

"Coming into that particular game, the Texas game, that was kind of my theme," Capel said. "And it was more so, I didn't think Texas respected us. They shouldn't have, with the way they had beaten us since I've been here. So it was about getting respect from Texas.

"Every game that we've played them since I've been here, at the end of the game, their guys have kind of been laughing — and they should have, with the way they had been beating us. So it was about that."

And, Capel said, it was about the Sooners respecting themselves.

Now they do. And they respect him all the more, too, for publicly rallying on their behalf.

"He did that for us," said Sooner sophomore Blake Griffin. "He wasn't doing that for himself. He felt like people weren't giving us some of the respect that he felt we should have.

"That let us know that he was behind us completely. He told us if he had to, he'd do it again."

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