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Bob Stoops is happy the bowl system will live to fight another day

The OU football coach said, “What a lot of people don't get, these bowl games matter to young people.”
by Berry Tramel Modified: June 25, 2012 at 11:13 pm •  Published: June 25, 2012

“Show up two days before the game so you can do your interviews, get it out of the way, play a national championship game,” Stoops said. “I think it would be great.”

And it would preserve college football's vacation tradition for its players.

Stoops said some players' eyes are opened by staying at resorts on the beach or in the desert.

“You mean this is out there? I didn't know this existed,” they will say.

Stafford, recruited to OU from St. Louis, said that certainly was his experience with three Orange Bowl trips and a Citrus Bowl trip.

“That was a huge factor for us,” said Stafford. “Once you have that experience of participating in a bowl game like that, guys got the sense not only of playing in a big ballgame, it was also a reward for a lot of hard work.”

Stoops said that being able to take his players to different parts of the country is “special. The bowls have to remain or we will cut through the heart of college football. So they have to be included.”

Barring catastrophe in D.C., they will be. The working plan is for two of the four major bowls – Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta – to serve as rotating semifinals every season.

“The bowls are, rightfully so, very concerned where this all goes,” said OU athletic director Joe Castiglione, who was part of the process to develop an expanded playoff. “They want to be part of it no matter which model is chosen.

“I do believe that in the end, people want to see the bowl system continue and be healthy.”

We can curse the bowls, and we can ridicule the bowls, and we can expose the bowls for fraud and mischief. But the bowls absolutely have been a reward for players. For that reason alone, they should survive.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at