Bob Stoops: Fan of Colt McCoy, not Texas
Bob Stoops chatted with the Big 12 media the other day and was talking about how much he regretted the way Colt McCoy’s career ended — with a first-quarter injury in Texas’ Big Bowl against Alabama. But Stoops was quick to add a caveat: “Now don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t rootin’ for Texas.”
Alabama won 37-21, denying UT its second national title in four years, and Stoops says he wasn’t pulling for Bama, either: “I wasn’t rootin’ either way to be quite honest with you. I was just watching as a spectator. If it’s not you (OU), I’m not rooting or pulling against, put it that way. You’re kind of just paying attention to it.”
Stoops, of course, knows the calamity of losing a quarterback. Sam Bradford went down in the first half against BYU with a major shoulder injury, returned for the Baylor game in October then was lost the next week, for good, in the first quarter against Texas.
So when it happened to Texas and McCoy, “I for sure wasn’t rooting for that or hoping that it ended up that way or happy that happened at all. I think the world of Colt McCoy. I love competitors whether they’re on my team or other teams and appreciate them and admire them.
“Getting to know him at some of the Heisman stuff, I didn’t like it (the injury), to be honest with you. Just for his sake and all. I’m glad he seems to be OK now.”
Of course, you know my stance. I realize Stoops can’t find it in his heart to pull for Texas, just as Longhorns feel about Sooners. But clearly, without question, OU would have been better off had Texas won. Just as Texas would have been better off had the Sooners beaten Florida for the 2008 national title.
Especially now that we know what’s happened to the Big 12. The departures of Nebraska and Colorado have given the conference a reputation hit. Two schools with national titles in the last 20 years (CU 1990; NU 1994, ’95, ’97) are fleeing. In truth, the league won’t fall much, since OU and Texas have been carrying the banner, anyway, but nationally, the reputation takes a hit. Perception, polls, heck, even the computer rankings figure to take a hit, since more games against the remaining Big 12 North schools won’t beef up the old strength of schedule.
Every little bit helps in the dog-eat-dog world of college football. Look at the whisker thin margin by which OU got into the Big Bowl in 2008. Or how the Sooners were involved in 2003 and 2004 controversies to determine title-game participants.
If OU and Texas had won these last two title games, the Big 12′s reputation might not equal the SEC’s, but there wouldn’t be the gulf that now exists, by which even people outside of Dixie tout the Southeastern Conference as something superior to the NFC West. Instead, the SEC has won four national titles and the Big 12 not only lost two national title games, now it has lost two prominent schools.
Maybe you found that monumental Texas victory over USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl distasteful. Maybe Longhorns were crushed by OU’s Orange Bowl win over Florida State for the 2000 national title. But those victories were great for the Big 12, which in turn helps every Big 12 school. The Red River rivals most prominently.
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