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The Main Event: Most major schools use the opener as a tuneup

Berry Tramel Modified: August 16, 2009 at 10:55 pm •  Published: August 16, 2009
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/articleid/3393382/1/pictures/651363">Photo - <b>Left:</b> OU QB Bob Warmack vs. Notre Dame, 1968; <b>Right: </b>OSU vs. UCLA, 2004 (Oklahoman archive photos)
Left: OU QB Bob Warmack vs. Notre Dame, 1968; Right: OSU vs. UCLA, 2004 (Oklahoman archive photos)

Stoops said he doesn't see much difference in August.

"You're working as hard as you can as fast as you can to progress and be as good as you can," Stoops said.

Game week, or maybe the week before that, turns different, Stoops said. "You really start looking forward to the challenge."

The one caveat? Suspensions. Players can run afoul of team rules in the winter, spring and summer, often resulting in one-game suspensions. No big deal if the opener is Chattanooga or Missouri State. Big deal if it's Georgia or BYU.

Recently, OSU has played solid openers. Washington State in 2008, Georgia in 2007, UCLA in 2004, Nebraska in 2003, Louisiana Tech in 2002, Southern Miss in 2001. None were in Stillwater, and the Cowboys won just two of those games.

Now comes 13th-ranked Georgia.

"When we took that on, we thought we could bring them here and our football program would be better, and it would be a big game and grab national attention," Gundy said.

"I'm not sure in the long haul that you want to schedule a bunch of teams like that in the opener."


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