Hey Bob! How'd You Like the Rose Bowl?

While in Kansas City, Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops talked about the 2006 Rose Bowl and whether he was cheering for the Sooners' rival, Texas, or the team OU lost to in the 2004 National Championship Game.

KANSAS CITY -- Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has been more accustomed to being on the sideline during the BCS National Championship game these past five years than being in front of the TV watching it. So, how much did the eighth-year Sooner coach enjoy watching arch-rival Texas rally past USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl? And who was he for?

"I was kind of indifferent," Stoops said Wednesday at the Big 12 Football Media Conference in Kansas City. "In this position, it's not like you're a fan and rooting for people. So, you just watch, see a good football game and appreciate it, which I did. I was glad personally (about the outcome) because I believe Mack (Brown) has had a lot of unfair personal criticism, which I don't like to see as another coach in the same profession. I don't think it's appropriate or very fair. There's been too much of that so I was glad, personally, for him. Outside of that, I watch the game indifferently."

Brown reported that the first congratulatory correspondence he received upon returning to Austin was from Stoops. It was just a fax, ma'am, according to Stoops.

"I faxed him a note the next morning when I got back to the office that said 'Hey, congratulations.' I don't remember exactly how I worded it. But I respected what they did and, again, I was glad for him personally. As coaches, we all know the other side of it. The sarcasm and the personal jabs, I don't like to see that for anybody. I don't care who it is."

Brown was asked if the fax made him like Oklahoma people better.

"I used to work there so I've always liked Oklahoma people," Brown said, who served one year as Barry Switzer's offensive coordinator in 1984.

In fact, Switzer told Brown that there were plenty of Sooners cheering for Texas to end USC's 24-game winning streak last January 4 but for partisan reasons.

"Barry told me it was because OU fans didn't want to see the end of their 47-game winning streak (in the 1950s)," Brown said.

The Sooners are coming off an 8-4 season, capped by a Holiday Bowl win over then No. 6 Oregon. It represented a strong finish to a shaky start once RB Adrian Peterson began to regain his health and QB Rhett Bomar began to settle into the offense. But it was a down-year for a program that has been in the BCS title game three of the past six seasons and winning it all in 2000. The Horns, of course, have posted consecutive BCS Bowl wins and are expected to make it three straight even though the media covering the league picked Oklahoma to capture the Big 12 South. There is no doubt that these two programs will rule the Big 12 roost in 2006. But can it be said that Texas has now reached the level of success that Oklahoma enjoyed during the early part of this decade?

"In the end, each level is what you are that year," Stoops said. "We've got a lot of history and they've got a lot of history. Nebraska has a lot of history. So I don't think anybody is at any level. I don't ever look at it like that. Each year you fight to be as high as you can be."


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