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Oklahoma football: Bob Stoops talks Sugar Bowl

by Berry Tramel Published: July 23, 2014
Bob Stoops takes a seat on the main stage of Big 12 Media Days on Tuesday in Dallas. (AP Photo)
Bob Stoops takes a seat on the main stage of Big 12 Media Days on Tuesday in Dallas. (AP Photo)

Bob Stoops sat down at his appointed post, in the corner of the ballroom in Dallas’ Omni Hotel on Tuesday, and accepted his 90-minute sentence with aplomb. Stoops was in a good mood, knew he would face some Dorial Green-Beckham questions, knew he would be asked about the college football playoff and Big 12 scheduling dozens of times, and knew he would be sitting there 90 minutes no matter. So he approached the assignment with a solid attitude.

Even made an excellent point when one of the early questions went this way: “Get tired of answering Sugar Bowl questions?”

Stoops had a great answer: “Why would you? I’m going to answer some questions, so there’s worse questions than that one. In the end, this is what this is for is to answer questions, so that’s OK. It’s part of it.”

The Sugar Bowl questions certainly remain dominant. OU’s 45-31 victory over Alabama was a stirring return for the Sooners to the national stage. And on a day when Bama coach Nick Saban said he had to try to motivate his squad to get ready for a “consolation bowl,” there were plenty of Sugar Bowl questions.

Here are all the questions Stoops received about the Sugar:

Do you sense an extra anticipation coming off the Sugar Bowl?

Stoops: “I don’t know, every year, this year is about the same. Guys are anxious to finally play again. They’ve been training. They’ve been lifting, running all winter, spring summer. They want to go as Summy likes to say, do what they do. Get on the field and play. They’re anxious for that but I think it’s about the same every year.”

Where do you rank that win?

Stoops: “There’s quite a few more significant in my eyes. So I’m not sure. It’s not time to rank anything, but in the end I’ve got several that are ahead of that one.”

Did beating Bama make things easier in terms of fundraising, uniforms, etc.?

Stoops: “I think the timing has been positive, in particular the stadium renovation. That was designed not for more seats but more for to improve amenities for our fans and make it a better experience for our fans and to improve the entire atmosphere that our players will work in on a daily basis. This is going to really do that. It is a great timing on that. I’ve got, fortunately some good timing in stadium projects. When we did the last one, it happened right after the 2000 national championship. We kicked off a campaign the night before we beat Nebraska in Norman in 2000, which in my eyes ranks ahead of the Sugar Bowl, if you were wondering, so that was good timing as well. That part of it’s really positive. The new uniforms is something that we’re not going to go overboard with that. That’s going to be a very occasional thing that we’ll do. It isn’t going to be weekly. We recognize we have a special brand. When people turn on the TV you recognize Oklahoma pretty quickly. We’re not going to mess with that. That’s something that will continue. Anyone that’s panicked out there, just relax. It won’t be something that’ll be too much.”

After the Sugar Bowl, should fans expect Trevor Knight to play like that every game?

Stoops: “Doesn’t matter whether they should expect it or not, they will. But he played at a pretty incredible level. But I believe you should expect to see a more consistent player along that caliber. He has that kind of talent, obviously. He showed it. You don’t just luck into that. No one prepares harder and works harder than he does. Naturally as you gain experience, generally you gain more consistency. He was a redshirt freshman a year ago. Now with all these snaps behind him from a year ago, the experience in the bowl game, all the practice time, spring through summer, we expect him to be a much more consistent player along those lines.

Have you heard anyone, every time Alabama loses a bowl game, it’s because they weren’t playing for a national championship. They immediately try to diminish that. Have you heard of any of that?

Stoops: “I don’t pay attention. But I know we’ve played for quite a few national championships, and when we don’t play for one, it never seems to be the mantra. Right? You can make all the excuses you want, or not. The bottom line is, it is what it is. And they sure looked good that first series, I tell you that.”


by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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