NORMAN — Mike Stoops stood at the podium after Oklahoma’s Bedlam upset of Oklahoma State last December in Stillwater and offered reporters a story idea.
“Write ‘Big Game Bob,’ Sooner Magic's back,” Stoops said.
As it turns out, we didn’t know the half of it.
Less than a month later, the Sooners stunned two-time defending national champion Alabama 45-31 in the Sugar Bowl.
“Big Game” Bob Stoops certainly did reappear late last season, when the Sooners finished on a three-game winning streak away from home. In all three games, OU wasn’t favored.
Stoops’ one national championship — won in 2000, his second season on the job — came when his Sooners were considered an underdog in virtually every big game they played.
But what about Stoops as a favorite?
His big-game record after the Sooners were established as a national power isn’t quite as strong. Since 2000, Stoops is 0-3 in national championship games and 3-5 in BCS bowl games, although Oklahoma has won seven more Big 12 titles in that time frame.
Between fake field goals, press conference bravado and an attacking defense, Stoops does seem more like his old self again.
But how much will that translate into success in 2014, especially with the Sooners considered a favorite to reach the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff? Only time will tell.
Big Game Bob by the numbers
Oklahoma ended its 2013 season with two straight upset wins over top-10 opponents away from home, winning 33-24 at No. 6 Oklahoma State and 45-31 in the Sugar Bowl against No. 3 Alabama.
The victories gave new life to “Big Game” Bob Stoops, who many felt hadn’t lived up to his old nickname in quite a while. The Sugar Bowl represented OU’s first major bowl win against a ranked opponent since the 2002 Rose Bowl. (The Sooners won the 2011 Fiesta Bowl, but against unranked Connecticut.)
Here’s a look at “Big Game” Bob by the numbers:
8-7 record in bowl games
4-5 record in BCS bowl games
1-3 record in national championship games
7-1 record in Big 12 championship games
50-23 record vs. ranked teams
19-11 record vs. AP Top-10
9-6 record vs. Texas