DALLAS — The OU fan at a table in the back of the Sooner Caravan dinner discovered he was sitting with a couple of Oklahoman writers and wanted to know which one was going to ask the tough question. The BCS question. The when-will-the-Sooners-win-a-big-bowl question.
"If we don’t get one this year, I want my $200 donation back,” the guy said. "I’m joking. Kind of.”
OK, we know. Bob Stoops has a bowl problem. He doesn’t have a popularity problem. The OU crowd of 450 at the Frontiers of Flight Museum obviously remains enamored with its football coach, and none more so than Billy Krisher.
Some of you will remember the name. A 1956 and 1957 all-American Sooner guard from Midwest City.
Krisher pulled out the heavy artillery in praising Stoops: a comparison to Bud Wilkinson. Krisher thought of the similarities while Stoops spoke.
"I’m so impressed,” said Krisher, who lives in the Metroplex. "He’s enthusiastic. Doesn’t make excuses. I think he represents what I like to see represented from the university.
"I would put him up there with Bud.”
Stoops, basketball coaches Jeff Capel and Sherri Coale, and a player from each of those three sports — DeMarco Murray, Willie Warren and Whitney Hand — were at the caravan, and Krisher watched Stoops hug Murray.
Krisher said Stoops seems to relate to his players the same way Wilkinson related to his players. Fifty years later, ex-Sooners still speak reverently about the coach for whom they played.
"A couple of months ago, I found letters from Bud I never knew I had,” Krisher said.
The Dallas stop kicked off a busy year for the Sooners in Big D. OU plays Brigham Young in Arlington on Sept. 5, comes back for Texas in the Cotton Bowl on Oct. 17 and hopes to return to Arlington on Dec. 5 for the Big 12 title game. Stoops and Co. will attempt to avoid a January trip, the Cotton Bowl Classic.
"We’re going to start the season in Dallas,” OU athletic director Joe Castiglione told the crowd, "come back in mid-season to beat the Texas Longhorns, then finish the regular season by competing for and winning the Big 12 championship.