Following the announcement of Oklahoma being No. 4 in the college football playoff and playing No. 1-ranked Clemson in the Capital One Orange Bowl, the two head coaches held a conference call. Here are the key points to what OU coach Bob Stoops had to say.
Orange Bowl: vs. No. 1 Clemson
Take 1: Ranking not important
The only drama of the afternoon was whether or not OU would stay at No. 3 or drop to No. 4 because of Michigan State’s win. It was the latter. And you know what? Stoops doesn’t care, and the team sure didn’t act like it was a big deal, either.
“But no, I could care less about 3 or 4,” Stoops said. “If you want to win, you’re gonna have to play the next-best team that won the next game. So, you’re not avoiding anybody once you get in this situation. So in the end, this is fine the way it’s ended up.”
If the matchups had stayed as they were entering weekend, OU would have played Alabama in the Cotton Bowl. But the whole OU vs. the SEC thing is played, if you ask Stoops.
“I haven’t been outspoken about the SEC,” he said. “I was asked a question — it’s getting boring now; been about three years ago — and I had a legit answer. And we’ve played several SEC teams since. So when does that ever go away? I don’t know.”
Take 2: Playoff gives OU hope
Let’s face it. If this was the BCS, OU would stand no chance at all for championship No. 8. It would be Clemson vs. Alabama and everybody would have to accept that.
The playoff, the four-team playoff, allowed OU to have one misstep but still be allowed to accomplish all of its goals.
“I think it’s the right thing,” Stoops said. “You got a great point there. There’d be all kinds of debate about who should be in and who shouldn’t. So, again, we’re heading in a positive direction.”
Stoops was leery of expanding the playoff to eight teams because he doesn’t want it to take away from the bowl system that has so much tradition throughout the years.
Take 3: No one thing has led to winning streak
People love trying to point toward one thing as to why the Sooners won their final seven games and earned the Big 12 championship.
It’s just not the case, and Stoops said it was a number of things. The key, though, was how quickly it all came together after the loss to Texas.
No sulking, no finger pointing. It was back to work in a major way.
“Made a lot of good improvement and in a week’s time,” Stoops said. “Because no one else has gone to Kansas State, and Kansas State’s had a good year, and to win 55-0 at their place the week after shows you that the players had a really tough mindset and really took to heart the improvement, as did assistant coaches and myself.”