NEW ORLEANS — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was a hot name around the country just a few years ago, when he seemingly could've had his pick of a number of NFL jobs or high-profile college jobs like Notre Dame and Florida.
That had somewhat died down in recent years, though, as the OU program declined a bit and the Sooners fell out of regular national contention. But after Thursday's 45-31 victory in the Sugar Bowl over preeminent college football powerhouse Alabama, could Stoops become attractive again to potential suitors?
Reports this week indicated Stoops was a candidate for the vacant Cleveland Browns head coaching position. Friday morning, when Stoops met with writers at the team hotel in New Orleans before returning to Norman, he declined to discuss any other jobs, but also didn't deny interest.
Asked specifically about the Browns' opening, the Youngstown, Ohio, native said, “You never know.”
When asked if the rumors are just speculation, Stoops responded, “There's a lot of that.”
So is that all it is?
“Sure,” Stoops said.
The Browns fired coach Rob Chudzinski after only one season. Stoops — who became Oklahoma's all-time winningest coach this season — was considered a candidate for the Browns' opening in early 2001, when Cleveland hired former Miami coach Butch Davis.