Oklahoma football notebook: Bob Stoops on Alabama, 'You can make all the excuses you want'

Nick Saban, in an appearance on ESPN’s College Football Live on Tuesday, said he had to convince his team “to try to play in a consolation game” after losing to Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
by Ryan Aber and Jason Kersey Published: July 22, 2014


photo - Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops speaks to reporters at the Big 12 Conference NCAA college football media days in Dallas, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (AP Photo)
Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops speaks to reporters at the Big 12 Conference NCAA college football media days in Dallas, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (AP Photo)

Alabama coach Nick Saban continued the talk, started by Baylor’s Shawn Oakman a day earlier, that the Crimson Tide was unmotivated when facing Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.

Saban, in an appearance on ESPN’s College Football Live on Tuesday, said he had to convince his team “to try to play in a consolation game” after losing to Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

Sooners coach Bob Stoops wasn’t buying it Tuesday when he made his appearance at Big 12 Media Days, eventually working up to the point that Alabama jumped out to a 7-0 lead less than two minutes into the game the Sooners eventually won 45-31.

“I don’t pay attention,” Stoops said. “We’ve played for quite a few national championships and when we don’t play for one it never seems to be the mantra but anyway 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’ll tell you that.”

STOOPS HAS TIME LEFT IN HIM

In 2009, Stoops said he didn’t want to coach into his 70s, like Joe Paterno or Bobby Bowden or now Bill Snyder from Kansas State.

Tuesday, the 53-year-old said he was far from reaching an end.

“I’m a long way from where those boys were,” Stoops said referring to Paterno and Bowden.

Stoops wouldn’t close the door on coaching elsewhere before his career ended.

“No because I’m young enough,” he said. “I’ve still got quite a few years. Mid-60s isn’t bad. You don’t retire until you’re 65. Coach (Steve) Spurrier is 67. He’s a young 67 so I don’t know.”

Stoops said he hadn’t wavered from his stance.

“That won’t happen,” Stoops said of coaching as long as the 74-year-old Snyder. “Retirement age might be pretty good.”

SUGAR BOWL DOWN THE LEDGER

The Orange Bowl win that gave the Sooners the 2000 BCS National Championship was certainly Stoops’ most memorable win, but there’s been plenty of discussion about the rank of wins after that.

In Stoops’ mind, the Sugar Bowl win isn’t anywhere near the top of the list.

“There’s quite a few more significant in my eyes,” Stoops said. “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.”

He later said the 2000 win over Nebraska was one of the games ahead of the win over Alabama on the list but wouldn’t elaborate on which other games were ahead of it.

“I’ll maybe have a pamphlet or a book someday when I’m retired and then I can say it,” Stoops said. “I might have a handbook. A book might take up too much of my golf time.”

OU-OREGON GAME COMES UP AGAIN

To start the day, Big 12 director of officiating Walt Anderson gave a talk to the assembled media on rule changes for the upcoming season.

The first play Anderson showed was the infamous ending to the 2006 Oklahoma-Oregon game.

The game-deciding onside kick recovery that cost the Sooners the win would now be reviewable.

“See if you guys can’t go back and chalk that up to our record back then, and mine,” Stoops said. “It should’ve happened then too. You see our guy walking off the field holding the ball in the air, you could’ve bent the rules maybe a little bit?”

Stoops was told the play was showed in slow motion.

“I’ve seen it in slow motion,” Stoops said. “In my nightmares too, yeah.”

BEDLAM QBs TEAM UP FOR TALKS

Oklahoma quarterback Trevor Knight and Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh spoke together at a church in Yukon last week, and have developed a friendship over the past couple years, Knight said Tuesday.

“We had Sooner fans and Cowboys fans all come together for the glory of God,” Knight said. “It was pretty cool.”

The two met through Austin Hays, an OSU wide receiver who was Knight’s teammate and close friend at San Antonio’s Ronald Reagan High.

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by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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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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