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Stoops says QB situation isn't an issue

by Berry Tramel Modified: June 24, 2007 at 9:49 am •  Published: June 24, 2007
Bob Stoops says he doesn't know who his quarterback will be and doesn't seem to care that he doesn't know.

That's the best thing about Stoops' leadership. No moaning, no groaning (the Oregon fiasco a notable exception). Just straight-ahead focus on the task at hand. When Stoops skims the scriptures, I'm betting he skips the Book of Lamentations.

Stoops never has been nor never will be mistaken for a redneck, but he's a kindred spirit of Larry the Cable Guy. Git 'er done.

For the third straight August, Oklahoma football faces a quarterback quandary. Rhett Bomar or Paul Thompson in 2005? Can Thompson return from flanker banishment in 2006? Let's make a deal in 2007. Door No. 1, 2 or 3? Joey Halzle, Sam Bradford or Kid Nichol?

No big deal, Stoops says. Comes with the territory.

"This isn't the NFL, where you have a guy for 12 years, Joe Montana,” Stoops said. "This is natural, it's college football. Guys come and guys go. It's always been that way and always will be.

"I don't look at it as an issue. It's not like we haven't had this issue in eight years. We've had it many times and we've managed it fairly well.”

Stoops is proud of his quarterback record at OU. His QB/championship ratio is impressive. In the last seven years, Stoops' Sooners have won four Big 12 titles with a different quarterback for each trophy.

Josh Heupel in 2000. Nate Hybl in 2002. Jason White in 2004. Paul Thompson in 2006.

That's more than just interesting. That's historic.

In college football history, here are the major-conference programs since World War II that have won at least four outright league titles in a seven-year span, with at least four championship quarterbacks.

Bud Wilkinson's Oklahoma. Bear Bryant's Alabama. John McKay's USC. Darrell Royal's Texas. Bobby Bowden's Florida State. Tom Osborne's Nebraska and Texas A&M under Jackie Sherrill and R.C. Slocum.

The Aggies don't really fit on that list, but the others wrote most of the college football history of the last 60 years.

If the Sooners win the Big 12 in 2007, it will be five titles under five quarterbacks in eight years, and that would be an even more exclusive club: Wilkinson's Sooners and the Bear's Bama.

"This isn't something that's different for us,” Stoops said of the quarterback search.

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by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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