Oklahoma football: Bob Stoops, former assistant Kevin Sumlin to match wits in Cotton Bowl

Oklahoma's upcoming Cotton Bowl clash with Texas A&M marks the 18th time for Bob Stoops and one of his former assistants to match wits, and the first such battle with Kevin Sumlin.
by Jason Kersey Published: December 23, 2012

photo - In this July 17, 2012, file photo, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin smiles during a news conference at the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference media day in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)
In this July 17, 2012, file photo, Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin smiles during a news conference at the NCAA college football Southeastern Conference media day in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill, File)

NORMAN — Oklahoma's upcoming Cotton Bowl clash with Texas A&M marks the 18th time for Bob Stoops and one of his former assistants to match wits, and the first such battle with Kevin Sumlin.

“It's really not different,” Stoops said when asked about games against his former assistants. “Kevin and I are great friends. ... In the end, once you get to playing, you're playing.

“It's something you've got to go do.”

It's something Stoops has done in all but two of his 14 seasons that he's been Oklahoma's coach; he only went through 1999, his first season, and 2011 without meeting an opposing head coach who was once on his OU staff.

The Jan. 4 Cotton Bowl will be a little different, though, as it is the first time Stoops and a former assistant face off in a nonconference game.

Ten of the 17 prior meetings with former assistants came in Oklahoma's annual Big 12 South game against Texas Tech, led from 2000-09 by Mike Leach, Stoops' first offensive coordinator. Stoops was 7-3 against Leach's Red Raiders.

Mark Mangino left Oklahoma to become Kansas' head coach in 2002, and went 0-4 against his former boss.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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