KELLY: STOOPS' PROGRAM A MODEL FOR IRISH
Coach Brian Kelly is in his third year at Notre Dame; the former Cincinnati coach took over the once-proud program after it suffered 21 losses in the three preceeding seasons.
The Irish lost five games in each of Kelly's first two campaigns in South Bend, Ind., but Notre Dame is back in the national spotlight with a 7-0 record and No. 5 ranking entering Saturday's game at No. 8 Oklahoma.
Kelly said this week that Bob Stoops' OU program is “where we want to be.”
“It's a great program, a great tradition,” Kelly said. “Coach Stoops is looking to do what we want to do here, and that's build a program on consistency.”
He repeated the sentiment when asked about Stoops' 79-4 home record.
“We want that consistency,” Kelly said. “Year in and year out, you know Oklahoma is going to be part of the conversation. And that's where we want to get our football program.
“We're nowhere near that yet. We think we're moving in the right direction; we're trending the right way. But I think the hallmark of great programs is that consistency, the consistency that we saw here for a number of years that we haven't seen; we want to be able to bring that back.
“That takes time. And that takes a lot of winning. And that's why there's so much pride and tradition in their program as well.”
CRYSTAL BALL COMING TO NORMAN
The BCS national championship trophy didn't bring Oklahoma any good luck the last time it visited Norman — the Sooners' 2011 upset loss to Texas Tech — but the crystal ball is returning to town for this weekend's top-10 clash with Notre Dame.
Fans will have three chances to take pictures with the trophy this week. It will be at each of Norman's two Walmarts on Friday, and at the Sooner Fan Fest on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m.
From 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday, the trophy will be at Norman's east-side Walmart, at 601 12th Ave. NE.
Then it will move across town to the west-side Walmart, where it will stay from 4 to 6 p.m.
WHITE, OWENS SET FOR PREGAME APPEARANCE
Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winners Jason White and Steve Owens will appear at the “Sports Illustrated Heisman Tour Presented by Nissan,” Saturday in the hours before the No. 8 Sooners take on No. 5 Notre Dame on Owen Field.
Sports Illustrated and Nissan have organized a 10-stop national tour at marquee matchups this season; admission is free to the event, which will be just east of the stadium.
White will appear from 2:30 to 4 p.m., beginning with an “SI Chalk Talk” interview with Dan Patrick Show executive producer Paul Pabst for the first 30 minutes. The next hour, the 2003 Heisman winner will sign autographs.
Owens, who won the 1969 Heisman, will do the same from 4:30 to 6 p.m.
The Sooners and Fighting Irish kick off at 7 p.m. in game which will be nationally broadcast on ABC.
Senior defensive end R.J. Washington, when asked if reinstated tackle Stacy McGee maintained a good attitude during his suspension:
“Definitely. I mean, he had to. Otherwise he would've ended up in the gutter somewhere.”