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OU's Bob Stoops, Florida State's Mark Stoops set to face off for first time as coaches

Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops had no clue he was signing up to take on his brother Bob's team when he took the job with the Seminoles.
BY JAKE TROTTER, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Modified: September 7, 2010 at 9:37 pm •  Published: September 7, 2010

NORMAN — Mark Stoops wasn't expecting to see older brother Bob or the Oklahoma Sooners this season.

He wasn't expecting it even after he decided to become the defensive coordinator at Florida State.

"Well, he was talking to me about it, leaving Mike, what I thought," Bob said of Mark, who previously was brother Mike Stoops' defensive coordinator at Arizona.

Unbeknownst to Mark, the Seminoles were scheduled to play the Sooners.

"He didn't even know it at the time. And I didn't bring up. I knew, of course, but I didn't say anything," Bob said. "We talked it through, that he's the only one that can make that decision in his career, what he wants to do.

"When he said he was going to do it, I said, 'Well, you know we're playing the second game of the year, right? And he said, 'No, I didn't!'"

For the first time Saturday, Stoops brothers will face off against one another from opposite sidelines.

The Stoops matriarch, Dee, is flying in for the game. Asked how his mom felt, Bob replied "conflicted."

"You don't really want to play your brother," Bob said. "You want to play your brother in the championship game because. ... someone is going to win the championship. That's really the only time you're looking to do it."

Saturday won't be a championship. But it's a big game for both sides.

Mark has been charged with resurrecting the defense of a Sunshine State power, something Bob did in Gainesville during the 1990s before taking the head job in Norman.

Mark's reclamation project could take a big step forward if Florida State upsets OU.

Bob's Sooners, meanwhile, could take a big step toward the national championship game with a victory.

Talk about sibling rivalry.

"I actually talked to him today, but not about much," Bob joked. "I said, 'Well, I'll see you Saturday.'"

Growing up, though, Mark had little sibling rivalry with big brothers Ron Jr., Bob and Mike, who were all at least five years older than Mark in age.

"My older brother Ron is three years older than me and the three of us were always scuffling, especially me," Bob said. "But Mark was too young, he couldn't be in the middle of it. No one was fighting him."

With their parents and sisters in rooms downstairs, the four boys shared a room upstairs in the family's Youngstown, Ohio, two-story home. That arrangement often led to trouble.

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