Stoops made headlines last summer and again during the 2013 season when he suggested that the Southeastern Conference isn't as dominant in football as many portray it to be.
Seven straight teams from the league have won the national championship, and Auburn can make it eight straight when it faces Florida State for this season's title.
Asked if he followed Stoops' comments, junior defensive end Geneo Grissom said, “I think I'm going to stay out of that one. … I'll just say this — I will agree with Coach's statements. That's all I'm giving you on that.”
Senior cornerback Aaron Colvin, on the Sooners being an underdog: “I feel like we've had a chip on our shoulder during the whole season. A lot of people have ruled us out of a lot of games. I feel the hunger from these guys. We had a lot of hunger last year, but the difference this year is we've been finishing ball games and we've been persevering through all that adversity.”
SABAN SHOWS A SOFT SIDE
Alabama coach Nick Saban has a taskmaster reputation, but Bama people say Saban doesn't burn the midnight oil. They say he demands hard work but it is so well organized, 16-hour days aren't necessary.
And since he's been in New Orleans, Saban even has espoused family time and Christmas.
“I think it's really important,” Saban said. “Christmas is a great holiday. The holiday season is something that brings together family and the opportunity for everybody to have gratitude and appreciation for the relationships that they have and the family they have.
“It's important for the players to go home and be with their family. I also think it's important for the players to get a couples days where they can have some family time, then come back and get refocused. We really took the 24th and 25th off and most of us worked (the 26th) or worked our way here (on the 27th) so we can get back into preparation.”
HANSEN WON'T PLAY IN UNDER ARMOUR GAME
Edmond Santa Fe quarterback Justice Hansen is still recovering from an ankle injury suffered midway through the season and is not expected participate in Thursday's Under Armour All-American Game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Hansen, who has verbally committed to Oklahoma and is expected to enroll at the university for the spring, suffered a high ankle sprain in October and did not return the rest of the season.
Edmond Santa Fe coach Lance Manning said Hansen's ankle is just not quite ready.