Did you hear Oklahoma is playing Ohio State? No kidding. So many things involved in a matchup like this that go well beyond the field.
One of them is something we’ve discussed before but bears repeating how grueling of a weekend it’s going to be for head coach Bob Stoops.
With nearly 40 confirmed Scout 300 recruits from the 2017-18 classes set to be in Norman, Saturday night might be the easiest part of Stoops’ weekend.
That’s going a little too far, but you get the story. Long weekend ahead so sure is a good thing OU has 14 commits scheduled to be on hand with 12 of SoonerSquad17 taking official visits.
“No doubt,” Stoops said. “They are part of the recruiting group. It does help to have a good number of … in other words, that alleviates the stress of getting them around to see everything where some of them have been here three or four times. They can show people around. That does help, definitely.”
So we’ve got nearly 40 confirmed in the Scout 300 but that doesn’t take into account all of the four-star kids, three-star kids and 2018 recruits not quite evaluated yet.
It adds up fast, for sure. And if you think OU is going to allow some recruits who haven’t kept contact that often to get this sought after ticket, think again.
“We have a good recruiting database,” Stoops said. “You aren’t going to jump on here in the last couple of days. Not for this game.”
SoonerSquad17 has been faced with one challenge after another and keeps pushing through. Develop too early a class? Hasn’t been a problem. Lose a commit or two? Yep, but the train keeps coming. Lose opening game vs. Houston? Only strengthened the resolve.
Can’t fall short this weekend.
OU has had major recruiting weekends in the past, just think 2012 vs. Notre Dame and 2014 vs. Tennessee as some that immediately come to mind.
The difference this week is OU is not favored when Urban Meyer’s boys roll through Norman. The first time in 16 seasons so, again, the burden of Stoops.
He has to have the team ready to play Saturday night. It’s a playoff elimination game for the Sooners. No bones about that.
However, we know how vital the one-on-one time with recruits and that the lack of that time could sway a recruit one or another.
Stoops will have to get the team to be at its best, and then he knows it will be oh so important to be personable with the recruits on campus.
“It’s a lot to manage, a lot to work through, but we have a big staff and everybody contributes and you do the best you can with it,” Stoops said. “It’s a grind, there’s no doubt.”
A grind he would love to not have to deal with but knows there’s no alternative to it. And really, wouldn't have it any other way.
“It’s part of the job. This is a big attraction,” Stoops said. “Our fan base, this stadium, the games. Yeah, it would be easier not to have to deal with it, but also the experience of it, they want to be a part of it but you have to manage it that way.”