Any time there is a major job opening in college football the name of OU Head Coach Bob Stoops gets thrown into the fray. It is understandable that a number of college and pro teams would covet the best coach in college football, but what is not understandable is why they would feel they have a chance.
Once again, rumors are coming out of the Florida Gator camp that they are making a serious run at Coach Stoops. Or is it Urban Meyer? Anyway, the rumors are out there and today at the OU practice Coach Stoops addressed these issues, but first the media had a little fun with him.
The interview started off with George Schroeder of the Daily Oklahoman asking Stoops what he thought of going to Florida ... and then he paused.
During the pause Coach Stoops jumped in.
"Hey, listen. I am not talking about any rumors concerning me."
Then George was able to get the word 'State' in edgewise, "Bob, Florida State," which Bob gave him a surprise look.
At that time I said, "schedule, Bob…. you have scheduled Florida State." And at that moment everybody broke out laughing.
"Man, that is a new one me," Coach Stoops said as he broke into laughter along with the four member media group. "I thought, oh man what happened to Bobby Bowden today?
"I am not interested in any jobs. And that keeps coming up and I am not sure what is out there, but for the third time I am not interested in any job. That includes all these other jobs that are coming up, I am not interested in anything else. I am very fortunate to have the job I have, period."
So, what do you think of that future schedule with Florida State?
"It is great and exciting," said Stoops. "It will be two great programs with great tradition, and not just the 2000 National Championship game. We each have had a run at some National Championships recently. When the time comes it will be a great match."
The irony of talking about a game so far down the road is that you really don't know who the players are going to be or even who the coaches in the game will be. You would think that Coach Stoops would still be at OU, but could Bobby Bowden still be coaching in his 80's at that time.
"I don't know, but that is interesting to think about," said Stoops.
At this time George gets back to the pregnant pause and how he caught Coach Stoops thinking that he is going to get another question about his interest in other jobs.
"I hear all the time that I am going everywhere. And again, that is not happening," said Stoops.
At this moment Dallas Morning News writer Brian Davis asks what it is like for Coach Stoops to see his face all the time on ESPN linked to all these other jobs.
"I don't see what ESPN is saying about all these jobs to be honest with you," said Stoops. "Do you think I sit and watch ESPN all day? I am working on Colorado. And after all, we have been through I am not allowed to watch ESPN (laughter). People have a lot of opinions about me. And I have said this a lot, that they haven't proven and they don't know. They haven't been confirmed or even asked. Opinions are opinions and I don't deal with them. Plus, it surprises me that more of them don't understand how fortunate I am to be here at Oklahoma with such a great program, such a great tradition, working with such great players and administration. To me this is an elite program and once again I am fortunate to have this job."
Does it boggle your mind that so many people feel there are better jobs out there?
"I don't know really because people assume for different reasons, and that is fine," said Stoops. "That is all they are. They are opinions and we all know that they are not always correct."
Five head coaches lost their jobs in college football at the time we were taking to Coach Stoops, and you know that had to hurt no matter if the knew the coaches involved or not.
"Yeah, it is unfortunate. It surprises me that people don't have more patience in building something," said Stoops. "Not only circumstances and situations are the same and sometimes it takes a while and three years isn't a while. That is a short period of time when you are dealing with young guys and recruiting them. I don't know if that trend will ever stop. I imagine it will depend on the programs that they are working with and what kind of patients they have."
The media continued to play around with Coach Stoops as a question was posed if he thought strength of schedule would still be a factor by the time the Sooners played Florida State, because of course that would be a plus game for both programs.
"I don't know. Like I said, strength of schedule doesn't mean as much right now (again laughter breaks out), but it is still helping," said Stoops smiling. "You would if the other happens then it would have to be more of a factor. It will be interesting to see how much of a factor it does have at that time. I will say this about Florida State. They are not afraid to play anyone. I have always admired that about Coach Bowden and their whole program that is for sure."
Do you think the BCS process that we have today will still be in effect that far down the road.
"I think, yes, that we will have something similar," said Stoops. "Like Joe (Castiglione) always says, he likes to have a couple of marquee games on our schedule. Plus, you will always assume that strength of schedule will matter to some degree. So, those are good reasons, and I am kind of excited about the game as well. Hopefully, we will all still be winning then and it creates that kind of atmosphere."
The series is a home-and-home series, so what kind of atmosphere the Sooners will experience at Florida State? Remember, Coach Stoops played there as the Florida Defensive Coordinator.
"It is a great atmosphere, especially when you are Florida coming in," said Stoops as laughter breaks out again. "Yeah, it will be a great atmosphere."
It was cold, and with that the interview was over with Coach Stoops insisting that he is not interested in any other jobs and that he is not a candidate in any way for any other jobs. In fact, he is looking forward to the future at OU some six to seven years down the road.
With that, I don't think it matter how hard Florida or anybody else comes after Coach Stoops. He isn't going anywhere.
Stoops: "I am not interested in any jobs"
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