OU Head Coach Bob Stoops was grilled by the media on Friday about USC Rose Bowl win and how it effects Sunday's Sugar Bowl. Below is a transcript of select quotes from Stoops' on the BCS mess and Sunday's matchup with LSU in the Sugar Bowl.
On playing in the Sugar Bowl
"I'm excited to play for the national championship here in a couple of days. Again, it's a great environment, and the city of New Orleans has been great to us all week.
"I feel like we have prepared well, practiced well, and we're anxious to go out and compete with LSU to see who will win the BCS national championship.
On USC winning the Rose Bowl
"My compliments to USC for a well-played game, as well as Michigan. But for USC to come out and play well and win like they did, they are in excellent position to stay number one in AP poll. My compliments to coach (Pete) Carroll and his team. It was a well-played game."
On playing USC the week after the Sugar Bowl in the Rose Bowl
"I think we'd all drive there, because that would mean we would win this one, too. I'm sure LSU would do the same, and I'm sure coach Carroll feels the same way. You don't worry about winning the number of games we had and playing someone else. It would be great this year the way it is all set up, but would it be great in other years when one team may be the only undefeated team? I don't know if it would be totally fair.
"Think back to 2000 when we were the only undefeated team in the country. Would have it been fair to play the national championship and play one more, for us to have to win again? You guys always fail to realize that it's never going to be perfect. Some years, it sounds good, but in other years, it doesn't make sense and isn't fair. We have what we have, and it isn't that bad."
On the mood of the team
"They're excited. They realize the opportunity in front of them, and they're anxious to compete and see what they can to do."
On going to three BCS bowls in four years
"It's pretty exciting for our seniors. I was saying at our banquet the other day, I said that this group of guys here in the last four years, you look at, has been in an Orange Bowl for the national championship and won it, a Cotton Bowl, a Rose Bowl and now a Sugar Bowl national championship. That's a pretty special four-year run for that group of seniors. That's exciting."
On the AstroPlay surface at the Superdome
"It's great. We're going to wear the same shoes that we have worn all year, and we have a similar surface in our indoor practice facility. We have SafePlay in the indoor facility that is very similar to this, and we're very pleased with this."
On what it will take to win a game of this magnitude
"In games like this, you need to make plays when you get the opportunity, and when you lose one, that becomes very evident. When you see a couple or three plays that swing the game, you have to make them. They see other games, 12 of them, that we did make plays to give us that opportunity, and when you don't make them, you come up short."
On if he expects LSU to blitz
Of course. It's like the 13 other games.
On if the Sugar Bowl has lost its luster after USC winning the Rose Bowl
No one understands that it's not going to be perfect. In 2000, the big debate with all of you was who should be playing Oklahoma in the national championship game — it should have been Miami, not Florida State. Whenever there are more teams available than spots available, you'll always have a debate. It's okay to debate it. This is as good as it can be without doing a playoff or without having extra game, and that's what our administrators believe that these are college kids. This isn't the NFL, we don't have to appease you, and that's the best we can do.
"We do the best we can, and it has worked. It's worked sometimes. There are a good number of years that it's worked out really well, hasn't it? Once in a while, it's not going to be perfect when there are three teams for two spots. Let's face it, the BCS in strength of schedule has been great for non-conference games early in the year, because there are a lot better games than there used to be. We wouldn't have scheduled UCLA and Alabama together. Remember, when we scheduled Alabama, they were 10-3 the year before when we went to Alabama. You don't do that without thinking that this is going to put you in a better position to win a championship as opposed to playing a bunch of cream puffs going through your season.
"Also, is it fair that some teams play championship games and some teams don't? We all crown our champions different. If we (the Big 12) crown our champion like some of those, there's nothing to talk about. You'd talk about who the other one was supposed to be. It isn't going to be perfect and that's okay."
On if he's okay with a split national championship
"Sure. We agreed to these rules before the season started, all of us, and said okay, let's go play. Now if they change them next year, we'll say alright, here's the rules this year and we're going to play ball. That's all you can do."
On if he'd show up for a game with USC next week
"I'm sure all of us would. Can you get it worked out?
"The other part is that it always sounds good, but is it fair to these guys? These are kids that go to college and don't' get a chance to see their family much. These guys will go home and get literally one week to see their parents and family and then have to go back to school. My point is that we're not going to take them and train them again for another full week. They're not professionals, and that's what we have to keep in mind.
"It's a big difference to be scrimmaging for 45 minutes or an hour in front of nobody than training for another huge game. They have to be back at school on Monday, January 12."
On if he thinks the Coaches will vote USC No. 1
"They won't. We vote for two through 25, because the winner of this game will be national champion in the BCS poll. You guys, as much as your opinion, I think that's what frustrates you guys, you can't control it. I know one thing, LSU or Oklahoma will leave with that crystal ball and be crowned national champions. That's the way it works. You guys, again, can control what people want to read, but you can't control how coaches and administrators and the way we conduct college football."
Stoops answers questions about the BCS mess
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