Say what you will about Jefferson falling on his sword — refreshing or unnecessary or something in between — but it's an outward sign of an internal standard. These Sooners are taking accountability for their actions, and that is a result of internal policing by the players.
“Their expectations have been what we're used to having around here,” Stoops said of his seniors but expressing a sentiment that could extend to all of the team leaders regardless of class. “They've done a good job of setting an example of how to do it and influencing other guys to do it right.”
Miss a class, arrive late to a meeting or do anything else that could earn a suspension, and you'll hear about it.
“The leaders of this team ... they're gonna come up to you and say, ‘Why'd you do that? That's stupid. We need you for this game,'” King said.
I don't know if you've seen King talk, but he's a deep-voiced, steel-jawed dude. He looks serious. He sounds serious.
Heck, he is serious.
I'd listen if he told me to cut it out.
King knows that better discipline has had a tangible effect on this team. For starters, having everyone at practice Monday through Thursday makes for a more prepared team on Saturday. And in the Big 12 where there are so many good teams, preparation is vital.
“You can't miss a day a practice ... and think you're going to come out on Saturday and play your best,” King said. “That's just not the way it happens. You need a full four days of practice to be prepared.”
That the Sooners have a chance to win Big 12 title again this season is no coincidence.
“You never hear about guys at Alabama getting in trouble or being suspended,” Stills said of the program that's become the gold standard in college football.
“We're trying to take away the off-the-field distractions. That way we can just take care of business on the field.”
Less bad stuff off the field.
More good stuff on it.