NORMAN — In August, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said it was “about time” the Sooners won another national championship. On December's doorstep, even after a pair of surprising losses, Stoops didn't want a do-over on the phrase that elevated expectations for the 2011 team.
“I don't regret anything,” Stoops said Tuesday during his pre-Bedlam news conference.
Stoops made the comment just before preseason camp at the Oklahoma City Sooner Club function. He repeated it the following day at his golf outing, with boosters in attendance.
Not too long after, senior linebacker Travis Lewis labeled this a “national title or bust” season.
“You don't think our people thought it's about time we got one, another one? I know how they are,” Stoops said. “I didn't say what Travis said, that it's that or nothing – because I don't believe that.”
Stoops and the Sooners (9-2, 6-2) are pinning their hopes on what would be the school's eighth Big 12 title in his stay. That, though, requires a win this week at Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1)
“It will always be, anytime you win a championship, a great year,” Stoops said. “Now, is it the ultimate? No. That's understandable. But it's still a great year when you're a champion.”
Stoops was again asked about the possibility of a conference tri-champion. Should OU win, there would be a tie atop the Big 12 standings, along with OSU and Kansas State.
But the Sooners would have won head to head against both of those teams – on the road, to boot.
The Big 12 has said it might recognize all three teams, in some fashion. OU, though, would represent the league in the BCS, likely the Fiesta Bowl.
“Yeah, I don't get that,” Stoops said. “They can do what they want. Did you ask them what happened to their whole promotion of the 'one true champion'? You should have. That's all I heard for two days on the whole Big 12 coaches media circuit down there.
“I kind of took offense to it because we won seven of them. I thought they were all true ones. I thought they were changing it that this was going to be the one true one and I guess they reneged on that. That doesn't make much sense to me. I'll let them explain it.”
Oklahoma State's Mike Gundy said Monday that, hypothetically, he would prefer the “one true champion” logic hold if OU won.
“I figured Mike would,” Stoops said. “If you're playing each other, it's pretty simple. If you weren't, then I get that. Some of the Big Ten ones, they didn't have a championship game and two teams didn't play each other. That makes sense.”
Here's a look at what Stoops had to say about …