Bob Stoops went on ESPN and was in rare form. He defended the Big 12, he took issue with Nick Saban’s “consolation” Sugar Bowl talk and generally was as feisty as in his best days.
Sooners loved it. So did Stoops’ staff.
“He’s the man,” said OU defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery. “He’s from Youngstown, Ohio. People have always doubted him. He played with a chip on his shoulder, he coached with a chip on his shoulder. He is who he is. And I love him for that.
“He’s sharp, now. You say something to him, he can bring it right back to you. Which is good. I love that, the kids love it. There’s a reason why when people doubt who we are and what we represent, there’s a reason why we show up.”
Stoops has been in a better PR mood since the Sugar Bowl. I guess beating Alabama will do that to a guy. But Stoops in recent months has been more like his early-OU days, more than his surlier self of recent years.
“Good for him,” Montgomery said. “Camp will be here and maybe that will change. But that’s him around us all the time. You guys may see him after a bad practice or whatever it may be, I don’t know. But how you saw him on TV, that’s how he is all the time. Very fun coach who when it’s time to go to work, we go to work.”
At ESPN on Wednesday, Stoops defended the Big 12’s lack of a championship game by saying the league’s nine-game conference schedule more than offset the lack of a title game, especially when compared to soft non-conference schedules in the SEC, which plays just eight league games. Stoops in particular ripped Texas A&M’s non-conference schedule of Rice, SMU, Lamar and Louisiana-Monroe.
Stoops also returned Saban’s serve from earlier in the week, when the Bama coach said he had a tough time getting his team motivated for a “consolation” bowl.
“They didn’t look like it was a consolation game on that first drive when they scored a touchdown and everyone thought they were going to rout us,” Stoops said. “I’ve been in plenty of those (non-national title games). We’ve played in a bunch of national championship games, right? … That’s a good one. So that means I’ve got a built-in excuse the next time we don’t play for a national championship?”