NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops wasn't in the mood Tuesday to politick on behalf of his Sooners in the Bowl Championship Series debate. It's not time yet, he said. Maybe there won't even be a time for it in 2011.
“I don't think we have to,” Stoops said. “We'll see. I wasn't much on lobbying much the last time we were in that situation, and it worked pretty good.”
Stoops is referring, of course, to the 2008 season in which OU lost early in the season to Texas but rallied late with an important victory against Texas Tech. He made a soft play for OU immediately after the 65-21 rout of the Red Raiders, but then backed off to neutrality by his news conference the following week.
Stoops is not yet ready to wade into the muck of arguing which one-loss team — the Sooners, Alabama or Oregon — would merit a title shot should they all continue to win.
The hypotheticals are perhaps too great this stage, considering three games – including the all-important Bedlam game – remain for Oklahoma.
He said the team was told Monday in a meeting about the meaning and opportunities related to the three-game stretch run. Then it moved on to Baylor (6-3, 3-3 Big 12).
Really, though, Stoops will not be able to fully immerse himself into the week's opponent – because the BCS questions aren't going anywhere, so long as the Sooners (8-1, 5-1) continue to win.
Stoops said he does not watch the BCS unveiling each week on ESPN. After initially claiming he didn't even know what OU is ranked – it's currently fifth - he backtracked a bit.
“I might accidentally glance and find a paper or somebody might accidentally tell me,” he said. “I'm not totally naïve or out of it.”
OU, idle this past weekend, moved up from sixth to fifth as a result of losses by previous No. 4 Stanford and previous No. 5 Boise State. The Sooners didn't zip to fourth, though, because Oregon defeated Stanford and went from seventh to No. 4.
Pundits and fans of anyone other than OU continue to point out that the loss to Texas Tech was so ghastly that it should prevent the Sooners from national championship consideration. Proponents of OU, though, argue that the Sooners have the best wins of any of the suitors. That sentiment would only gain steam, too, if OU defeated OSU – currently No. 2 in the BCS – in Stillwater. It would be the biggest final statement any of those teams could make.
Oregon will likely face a lightweight, Arizona State or UCLA, the night before in the Pac-12's first-ever championship game. Alabama's loss to LSU knocked it from the SEC title game, presuming the Tigers keep winning.
There's also the potential that, in the end, voters could be against a rematch, again pitting either Oregon or Alabama against LSU.
Come on, who's really right and who's really wrong at this juncture? That's why Stoops generally abstained Tuesday from the lobbying game.
“Everybody has their own opinion,” Stoops said. “Let's face it. Everybody has their own opinion, agenda, whatever it might be. Sometimes it's, ‘Well, let's look at who's hot at the time.' Or someone else, ‘Oh, but they lost to this team.'
“At the end of the day, everyone has a different take on it. It's fair to say why they have a different take. Anyone that has a loss, you can turn it around any way you want and make it look the way you want, to write your story or make your comment.”
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