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John Rohde: Sooners, Gators are rivals with a cause

Oklahoman Modified: August 19, 2009 at 8:02 am •  Published: August 19, 2009
During Big 12 Media Days last month, Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford was asked several questions about Florida.

Is Bradford consumed with thoughts about getting even against the Gators? Has Oklahoma-Florida become a budding rivalry? Does college football have a new showcase showdown?

Bradford paused before answering. You could envision his mind trying to connect the dots that didn’t warrant being connected.

Bradford didn’t want to give an answer that might embarrass the inquisitor, so he gave a one-word, one-syllable response that couldn’t possibly be misinterpreted.

"No,” Bradford said.

Bradford was puzzled by the line of questioning. Understandable, considering the Sooners and Gators are in different conferences and have met exactly once in their entire history.

That lone meeting came in last year’s BCS national championship game, which the Gators won 24-14 in Dolphin Stadium.

Florida now leads this storied series 1-0.

It took more than a century for the Gators and Sooners to finally meet in football. They are not scheduled to play again, though it’ll likely happen, possibly as soon as Jan. 7, 2010, in the Rose Bowl.

College football fans are hitting the fast-forward button on a potential OU-Florida rematch for the national title, but Florida linebacker Brandon Spikes recently pushed the rewind button on the subject.

One of the more entertaining interviews you will find, Spikes playfully was asked to name the dirtiest players on the Gators.

Spikes immediately thought about the Sooners.

"Compared to Oklahoma, you won’t find anyone (as dirty),” Spikes told the Orlando Sentinel.

Whenever one team talks about another team being dirty, there’s almost always some truth to it — usually both ways.

How much truth depends on which side of the ball you choose to believe.

Asked after Tuesday’s practice to respond to Spikes’ claim, OU defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said, "Dirty? Like we’re dirty players? ... That’s just how we play.


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