"They have some guys that can flat fly," said Bedford, now Florida's cornerbacks coach. "They have three or four receivers, they touch the football, they can be in the end zone. It's going to take a full team to slow 'em down."
Stoops said that until you're on the field, you can't gauge team speed, although I would assume he makes individual exceptions for the likes of Demps and Harvin.
Stoops pointed out a Miami trip of recent vintage. OU came to the Orange Bowl eight years ago and heard all about Florida State's speed. The Sooners won 13-2 and the game could have lasted into the next morning without the Seminoles sniffing the end zone.
And for a more recent lesson, the Fiesta Bowl last January. West Virginia coaching legend Don Nehlen warned us that the Mountaineers were lightning-swift, but not until his school pinned a 48-28 loss on the Sooners did folks outside Appalachia believe it.
Stoops' theory: the top team in most every conference can run. Florida, OU, West Virginia last year. "Utah looked really fast" in the Sugar Bowl, Stoops said. "I don't know if anyone knew how fast they were."
Truth is, both defenses must corral ballhandlers, be they fast or elusive.
"Tackling will be the most important thing in this game," said OU free safety Lendy Holmes.
Sooner cornerback Dom Franks spent most of the week throwing laurel wreaths at the Gators but got grilled for his one sidestep, about quarterback Tim Tebow.
"They're probably the fastest team in the country on offense," Franks said.
"You can't simulate it. We haven't seen anything like that.
"You just gotta fly around to the ball. Just gotta tackle well. That's all we've done is tackling drills."
Team speed shows up on Florida's defense, too. If the Gators can quickly pressure Sam Bradford, their chances of victory skyrocket. If those Gators get blocked, their chances of victory plummet.
"Every team has an extra gear," Bradford said, "and it's going to be faster on game day than in practice."
But who knows? The race is not always to the swift, nor even to the strong, but rarely is it won by a football team that is neither.
Tonight at Dolphin Stadium, where the Sooners have achieved great glory and suffered massive despair, we find out just how much of a shell the Oklahoma turtles carry.
Berry Tramel: 405-760-8080. Berry Tramel can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1.