"There are factors when you also don't have your full team. We have four starters not in the game. That doesn't help you. And in the end, too, I think it's obvious you're playing another championship team and if you're not at your best, you're not going to fare well.”
Like he has before, Stoops tried to place the focus back on his 5-1 record in Big 12 title games.
"I think we've played pretty well at the end of the year when we played the No. 1 team in the country for the Big 12 Championship, winning in a strong way,” Stoops said.
"We've been in six Big 12 Championships and we won five of them. We are doing something right. We know how to win those games. We'll manage these others the best we can.”
Asked if Stoops catching heat was ridiculous, Texas coach Mack Brown agreed, reminding everyone of where OU was before Stoops arrived in 1999.
Still, the bowl losses continue to resonate with the fans, the media and, evidently, OU's players.
"We've been extremely deficient in the winning area of the postseason,” safety Nic Harris said.
"We haven't finished the past couple years, which is why we're taking a whole different mindset this year. There's no excuses. We've paid the price time and time again. Now we need to come out and make sure we win the last game.”
For that reason, the Sooners have a banner in the weight room with the letters WTLG, which stands for "win the last game.”
Until that happens, the questions will keep coming Stoops' way.
Fair or not.