Stoops Won't Retract "About Time" Statements

CHANDLER, Ariz. — The Sooner season was labeled as the "Chase For Eight" from the very beginning, from before fall camp.

At OU's annual Sooner Caravan in early August, head coach Bob Stoops publicly declared the Sooners' goal for the upcoming season to do just that, get the program's eighth national championship.

"We have high expectations, and I don't shy away from them...My feeling is it is about time. We need to win one," Stoops said.

As everyone now knows, that didn't happen for the Sooners.

They suffered a stunning defeat to 28-point underdog Texas Tech at home.

Then, starting running back Dominique Whaley broke his ankle and star slot receiver Ryan Broyles tore his ACL and OU fell to Baylor and Oklahoma State, dashing all hopes of not only a national championship but an eighth Big 12 Championship as well.

Still, given the situation back, Stoops wouldn't have tempered any of the expectations or taken the comments back.

"No, how are you gonna do that?" Stoops asked the media the morning after OU's 31-14 Insight Bowl victory over Iowa. "How are you gonna do that at Oklahoma? No, shoot, we can't win. Okay, and I sound like Lou Holtz."

See, at OU, winning national championships is expected.

It's not hoped for.

It's expected.

That's why Stoops won't retract his statement about it being "about time."

"Oh, that's a big [deal]?" Stoops asked. "It's the truth, right? That isn't [a big deal]. It's about time. That's a big, bold statement that we're gonna win it?"

Certainly, there's a pressure that comes with being the head coach at Oklahoma.

Ten-win seasons are expected. OU has 33 of those.

Conference titles are expected. OU has 43 of those.

National championships? Yeah, those are, too. OU has seven of those and is still searching for No. 8.

Don't understand the pressure?

"Well, you haven't been the coach at Oklahoma when they haven't won one in 10 years," Stoops said. "These guys, anyone that's been around here, knows. Right, I mean, we've won them like that, right. What, [Barry] Switzer was '73, '74, waited 11 years, '75, waited another 10 years, '85. That's what I was piecing together, right? So, we were on our 11th year, so it's about time. That's what everyone's thinking, and they're restless."

They'll be that way next year, too.

"I can say it next year, it's about time, because it is," Stoops said.

OU most recently had a crack at the national title when it lost to Florida back in the 2009 BCS National Championship game in Miami.

Before that, OU lost back-to-back decisions to LSU and USC in 2004 and 2005.

A victory in the BCS title would cure some of that pain in recent years and take some of the pressure off Stoops.

For now, though, they'll have to settle for an Insight Bowl win and look forward to next year and putting the pieces together for another run.

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