OU's Bob Stoops: Big non-conference games 'high risk, low reward'
University of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops talked with the media Monday morning in a Big 12 coaches' teleconference. The Sooners' coach said his team is focused on getting better more than it is Utah State.
NORMAN — Since the BCS standings place little weight on strength of schedule, Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops is starting to join the camp that the reward of playing nonconference games against prestigious programs is small. The risk might be too great.
Videoview all videos
Photoview all photos
"It's only good if you win and you don't get your quarterback hurt," Stoops said during Monday's Big 12 teleconference. "If you lose and get your quarterback hurt like we did a year ago with Sam Bradford, then it isn't any good. In the end, that's the bottom line. It's high risk. Anymore it's fairly low reward."
Players, though, are united. They prefer playing big-name programs.
Days before the Sooners open the season against Utah State, defensive players available after Monday's practice said they prefer playing Florida State, Cincinnati and Air Force this season, playing Miami and BYU last season.
"That's why you come here," said defensive tackle Adrian Taylor. "You come here or come to Florida State or Florida so you can play the top teams. Some people are along for the ride at some schools. You come to Oklahoma because you want to play tough teams. You want to be challenged."
OU next season plays at Florida State. The Sooners have a home-and-home series with Notre Dame in 2012-13.
"The risky nonconference schedule, that's what you want," said safety Jonathan Nelson. "Why else would you be playing football? You don't play football to be walking on eggshells."
Stoops used to feel the same way.
"I don't know how much it helps you," Stoops said earlier this month. "It all gets down to if you lose one game by a point to one of those teams, and someone else plays four teams that are easy, and at the end of the year you have one more loss than they do, they're going to be ranked ahead of you."
The Sooners are a 31-point favorite against Utah State. Players said they won't look past the Aggies, but high-profile, nonconference games are one reason they signed with OU.
News Photo Galleriesview all
- 39102Oklahoma tornadoes: The 'Big Dog,' the little boy and the hug that triumphs over tragedy
- 15291Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis, Ed Helms drink in success of 'Hangover' series
- 9778Hobby Lobby argues case before federal judges
- 9437Oklahoma tornadoes: Woman meets the military officer who shared the clothes off his back
- 9040Oklahoma tornadoes: Thunder reverses the role, takes a turn at cheering on the community
- 7843Blake Shelton's "Healing the Heartland" televised tornado benefit set for Wednesday at Chesapeake Energy Arena
- 7624Story behind the photo: Family members describe desperate search for one another after EF5 twister