Big 12 Teleconference: Bob Stoops Transcribed

Stoops got on the conference call Monday morning, and Sooners Illustrated brings you all the talk.

Q-Bob, looking at the standings right now, if you guys win your last two, you're at worst tri-champion and you will have beaten the two teams you had tied with as champion of the league. How big of a focus will that be for you these next couple weeks?

A-Oh, it's a major focus and it's a great focus. And we don't look at it--I mean, it's great motivation and it's just as you said, very true, and to be honest with you as the member of the whole drum beat leading up to the year was one true champion, right? Because we're all playing each other, we look at it as a chance to be the champion, and so that's great motivation and it could be a great year. So, that's how we look at it.

Q-Would you discuss trying to defend Robert Griffin and the difficulty he presents with his mobility and the way he can throw the ball down the field?

A-Yeah and, you know, they do an excellent job with the other skilled athletes. You're really stretched defending their run game that they present with their backs and the quarterback, and then it isolates you covering them. Then, he's become such a quality thrower, you know, throwing the football that he's very difficult to defend.

Q-You mentioned the Big 12 Title. But before the season, there was so much talk about the national title. What can you do to make sure that the motivation for the team is still there?

A-You know, the opportunity to have a chance to be Big 12 Champions once again. You know, that's a great year any time you're the champion of your league, and that's what we still have an opportunity to do. So, that's what we're [striving for]. That'll be great motivation right there.

Q-Would you categorize that as your main message to the team this week or what do you plan on categorizing as that?

A-Sure, it's one of them. There's other ones, but that's part of it. And to be honest with you, that's something I talk about from the beginning of the season, you know, to have just your one goal as only to win and be the national champion isn't always very realistic. And percentages of that for everybody are pretty difficult, so it's always pretty tough. So, you know, at the end that's always a main goal for us.

Q-What are a couple of the other messages you plan on kind of [emphasizing]?

A-Well, I'll leave that to myself and the team. I'm not much on broadcasting my messages to everybody.

Q-Two years back, I think the Big 12 had two teams in the top 7 of the BCS. This year, the SEC's up there. What are your thoughts on conferences being limited to three BCS reps?

A-I don't know what to say in that now that conferences are expanding, that's probably something that'll have to be looked at. But, you know, I don't know. I just haven't had. Usually, it works itself out where there are more than that that have an opportunity to be in the mix like that. I don't think it's been much of an issue to this point.

Q-Bob, I'm wondering if you could discuss Iowa State and their ability the last two or three years to rise up and beat highly ranked teams?

A-Well, it's not surprising to me for a number of reasons. I think Paul [Rhoads] does a great job coaching. And I know several members of their staff. They're excellent coaches, you know, smart guys, work hard. And then I know Iowa players in general, playing there at Iowa, being there for 10 years and the state of playing at Iowa, coaching there are being around the same type of players Iowa State has. They're just tough, hard-working guys that are always prepared well, play hard, are talented guys and they're always going to play that way. So, it doesn't really surprise me.

Q-Is that the mental attitude because from the outside it doesn't look like they have as much athletic ability as some of the teams they're beating?

A- I think anymore they do have excellent athletes and probably definitely are better than are given credit for. But also they are mentally tough in how they play.

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