Stoops: No. 1 Ranking 'Doesn't Matter at All'

Sooner Nation was excited and many celebrated when it saw that its football team was named the No. 1 team in the BCS standings, but the players and coaches did not share those same feelings.

To the Sooners, the most recent ranking is just another ranking and a national title cannot be won in the middle of October.

"What's it matter?" asked head coach Bob Stoops during his weekly press conference. "I don't remember anybody talking about a goal that on October 15 we'd want to be No. 1 in the BCS. That doesn't matter at all."

After learning about the rankings, junior linebacker Travis Lewis addressed his teammates and told them to not let it go to their heads.

"Don't think about being No. 1," Lewis said. "I mean, play with a chip on our shoulder. When you're put at that No. 1, you know, teams tend to lose their edge. We're 80th and 90th in the country in defense, and we've got a lot to work on.

"So, don't mention it. Don't think about it. Don't make it an issue."

The Sooners are actually 71st in the NCAA in total defense, but regardless that's not the point.

The issue is keeping that edge on opponents.

And although everybody on the team has kept the No. 1 ranking in perspective, some of the younger players have never been a part of a top-ranked team, and running back Roy Finch admitted he was pretty excited when he first heard the news.

"I'm not going to lie, I was jumping up and down," the freshman said. "Me and [freshman cornerback] Aaron Colvin we jumping up and down and screaming."

But their excitement was soon grounded after talking to the coaching staff and some experienced players.

"Coach Stoops and Coach Wilson and a bunch of the guys came up and talked to the team and was like the No. 1 ranking doesn't matter," Finch said. "So many teams had a No. 1 record this year and fall off."

The top-ranked team has lost each of the past two weeks, with both losses coming during conference play with Alabama losing to South Carolina and Ohio State losing to Wisconsin.

Some players said they wish and do not feel they deserve No. 1, including Lewis.

"Not that I don't think we're one of the best in the country, I don't think we've deserved it yet," Lewis said. "I think we've played two good games. So, put someone deserving of it up there."

The only way for the Sooners to prove they deserve it is by winning out the rest of their schedule, and that starts on the road against No. 11 Missouri.

"All that matters is Missouri," Stoops said. "We've played two conference games, and our whole focus and attitude is on them [Missouri]."

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