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Bob Stoops' longtime friendship with Iowa coach changes tone of bowl

BY BERRY TRAMEL Published: December 29, 2011

That's an inside joke for someone from Youngstown, Ohio.

Stoops and Ferentz have spent the week swapping old stories.

Stoops told the story of Mary Ferentz wanting her husband to paint the house, but Ferentz really didn't know anything about painting a house. Stoops had painted houses for years, helping his father during the summers back in Youngstown, so he did the job.

“I knew what to do and how to do it,” Stoops said. “He was scared to get up to the peak. Needless to say, we had a good time after it was done.”

Stoops joked that no way could Ferentz afford Stoops now. “I cost too much,” Stoops said.

Ferentz was asked why he and Stoops, fairly straight-laced coaches, didn't mimic the flamboyant Fry.

“We are smart enough to know not to try to copy that guy,” Ferentz said. “Coach Fry is one of a kind. My guess is he has had that personality his whole life, just like I have had my bad one my whole life.”

And Ferentz also spoke extensively about OU receivers coach Jay Norvell, who played at Iowa in the 1980s.

“We have always had a tradition of great stories at Iowa,” Ferentz said. “We have to have great stories if we are going to have success. Norvell is one of those things. I think he played defensive back, linebacker, tight end and then back to defensive back. Four positions or four changes in five years and ends up being a captain.”

And now their teams meet in a bowl game that could help soothe disappointing seasons. The 9-3 Sooners were in national championship contention until losing two of their last three games. The 7-5 Hawkeyes have lost three of their last five.

“We will all compete as hard as we can Friday night against each other,” Ferentz said. “That's the nature of what we do. There is a million story lines here, and those are all good. That's really the fun part about what it is we're doing.”