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.
“Obviously on the field, we’re competitors,” Knight said. “We both want to win.
“But I’ve gotten to know J.W. a little bit. We text every once in a while. We’re good buddies.”
AH YOU, TETTLETON JOIN STAFF
Former Oklahoma standouts C.J. Ah You and Austin Woods have joined Stoops’ staff, along with recently graduated Ohio quarterback and former Norman North standout Tyler Tettleton.
Ah You is serving as a kicking game quality control assistant while Tettleton is an offensive quality control assistant.
Stoops said Ah You had wanted to get into coaching for a couple of years.
“We want to work C.J. at some point where he’s on the field,” Stoops said. “He’s going to be a good coach.”
Tettleton’s father Mickey played at Oklahoma State.
“He’s a young guy but he’s sharp,” Stoops said of the younger Tettleton. “He’s going to be good.”
STOOPS HEADS TO BRISTOL
After finishing up his day at Big 12 Media Days, Stoops and the other four Big 12 coaches in attendance Tuesday hopped on a plane together and headed to Bristol, Conn., for ESPN’s “car wash” Wednesday.
The trip includes appearances on SportsCenter, College Football Live, SportsNation, First Take and E:60 as well as other ESPN programs. The coaches will also make radio appearances.
Stoops said he’d find a cards partner on the plane.
“Whoever will play gin,” Stoops said. “Whenever I’m on a plane and have a chance to play gin rummy, whoever wants to challenge, I’m up for it.
“It makes the time go pretty good when you have a good gin game.”
‘JUST RELAX’ ON UNIFORMS
Stoops and athletic director Joe Castiglione said as much in a release when the announcement was made, but Stoops once again made a point to calm fans worried that OU’s uniforms would take a drastic step away from what it has traditionally worn.
“(It’s) something that we’re not going to go overboard with that,” Stoops said. “That’s going to be a very occasional thing we’ll do.
“Anyone that’s panicked out there, just relax. It won’t be something that’ll be too much.”
Stoops was then asked if the determination had been made how many times the uniforms will be worn this year, in which games and how that will be determined.
“No, no and don’t know,” Stoops said.
GRISSOM LIKES PLAYING OLB
Oklahoma senior Geneo Grissom said defensive coordinator Mike Stoops approached him before the Sugar Bowl and told him they planned to eventually move him from defensive end to linebacker.
“I thought he was kidding so I kinda brushed it off,” Grissom said. “Going into the spring, they said, ‘No, we’re really moving you.’
“It was a good surprise. It’s been a lot of fun learning a new position.”
Grissom, who recorded 40 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season, said he’s excited to have more pass-coverage responsibilities.
“Most D-linemen, all they’re doing is rushing the edge,” Grissom said. “Now I can rush the edge and drop into coverage a little bit.
“I’m sure those NFL scouts are looking for guys with versatility. I’ve been all over the field, so I’m just looking to make plays.”
TOM FARNIOK PROUD OF BROTHER
Iowa State senior offensive lineman Tom Farniok represented the Cyclones at Big 12 Media Days, and spoke some about his brother, OU junior Derek Farniok.
Farniok started the Sooners’ 33-24 Bedlam upset of Oklahoma State after starting tackle Tyrus Thompson was injured the week before.
“He played well,” Tom Farniok said. “He had one holding call that was just a horrific call, and he had one other one where he just got beat and had to grab onto the guy. I think he gave up one pressure. I mean, for your first start in a big-time game like that, that’s a solid game.
“Then you look at the final drive when it was go-time, and he was on. He made the blocks he needed to. That says you can lean on him when it’s a high-pressure time.”
Derek Farniok came to OU a big and strong — but very raw — talent. The Farnioks are from Sioux Falls, S.D.
“I think it was an eye-opener,” Tom Farniok said. “He was used to being the biggest, strongest guy, but he was very, very raw. I talked to Stoops a little bit today; he said he’s doing well and coming into his own.”