Smelling The Roses

Just one day after winning the Big 12 Championship, caught up with OU Head Coach Bob Stoops, who was on the recruiting trail in Texas, to talk about OU's Rose Bowl bid and Big 12 title

Bob Stoops hit the road recruiting today after winning the Big 12 Championship last night. The Sooners totally dominated Colorado 29-7 as Big 12 Championship while Quentin Griffin put on another spectacular show.

The win earned the Sooners a Rose Bowl berth against Jason Gesser and Washington State. I will go on a limb and take the Sooners early, because I don't think Washington State can run the ball well enough to keep the Sooners honest. The Sooner defensive staff will come up with a great game plan given this much time.

Earlier today, I had a chance to talk with Coach Stoops about the Rose Bowl and the Sooner victory over Colorado.

JH: What are you thoughts on earning a berth in the Rose Bowl?

BS: I think it is fantastic. We are all incredibly excited about it because it is just rare when this kind of opportunity comes around. This is the way the BCS has worked out and it is fantastic for us. Oklahoma has never been in a Rose Bowl and I don't know how many other opportunities we will have to be in one so it is really special. I know that our players are really excited about it and we are as coaches. The great history and tradition of the Rose Bowl is something that we all recognize and we are glad to be a part of it. This will be a really special time for us.

JH: You have played in the Rose Bowl, so can you give us a picture of what the pageantry is like?

BS: It is beautiful, and again, I am not slighting any other bowls, because they are all great. However, the setting at the Rose Bowl with the setting in the mountains and the pageantry of it is amazing and they do a great job of running the bowl. Playing in it was incredibly exciting. Still, it will be really exciting being involved in it and enjoying the experience of it.

JH: You have to be very pleased closing your regular season with a Big 12 Championship?

BS: Sure, we felt very positive about how we played in the Championship game, with everything from the whole season on the line. That is incredibly exciting to come out and play like we did and be physical and show the character and toughness of our team. I never questioned it. Again, I think back and we proved that we are a strong program and there wasn't anything fragile about us. We understood what we are capable of and our players fought hard to put that on the field Saturday and did it in a great way.

JH: Did you hear about the Rose Bowl berth on TV?

BS: Joe Castiglione called me right before I was going into my home visit and it was confirmed that we were all set.

JH: When will you practice again?

BS: We will be off until Thursday and then we will have a light practice and then we will practice through the recruiting weekend.

JH: Are you looking forward to getting ready for a pass-happy team like Washington State?

BS: We have played teams similar to Washington State and look forward to preparing for them. Washington State is an excellent program with a great quarterback. I have known Mike Price for quite a while and he is an excellent coach. They do a great job, however we don't know specifically what they do yet, but we will in time.

JH: Do you like the differencies in the bowls lineups that we see today?

BS: I think it is great that every once in a while you get a different conference in a different bowl and that is exciting. It is different, but it is exciting when I think of the rare opportunity that we have. Our players and coaches are very excitd about it. You just don't know if that kind of opportunity will come around again.

JH: Before you played in the Big12 championship game did you have a feeling that if you won you would be playing in the Rose Bowl?

BS: They didn't worry about until after the game, but we all kind of knew that the Rose Bowl wanted us."

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