With many fans clamoring for a bigger stadium, Coach Stoops surprisingly said that he just wants a bigger press box.
“I think it will make it a bigger stadium and they need to go end zone-to-end zone kind of like Nebraska did theirs, said Stoops. I’m not saying that out of turn either because I know that our administration wants to get the dorm piece done first but I do know that the press box has been in the talks. When you look at how great the east side of the stadium is, I just think they need to do something equal or better for you guys (the media) and add more boxes underneath the press box.”
Many in the media and especially the ones that cover Oklahoma asked Bob the question that if he thought that he and the rest of his Sooner team caught a little bit of bad luck as it was scripted that OU would play Florida in the Sugar Bowl but instead the Sooners were forced into the Cotton Bowl to face Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel and the A&M high powered offense.
“Are you kidding me, I am the luckiest guy in the world,” said Stoops. “Na, I mean why should I even think about it? What is it going to do because in the end, we didn’t get that draw and Northern Illinois did.”
With more emphasis being put in strength of schedule in the coming years, Coach Stoops said that he was glad to hear that it was headed that way and that scheduling tough opponents should always play into the equation.
“I think that it needs to happen; no question,” said Stoops. “To me, Northern Illinois, and I am not at all complaining because its way after the fact but they have their place in that they beat Iowa. When Boise State went to Georgia at the beginning of the year and beat Georgia, they showed that they were willing to go wherever and play whoever. I don’t agree with what happened this year simply because Iowa had a difficult year and they go on and lose a bunch of games so to me, it’s not valuing the strength of schedule enough so that is where this argument is going, not where we should have been. In the end, it shouldn’t matter because earlier when I gave you guys those statistics on what we have done over the last 4-5 years, we have probably played a tougher schedule than any other Big XII team has or most teams in the country. Next year, 11 or our 12 opponents were bowl teams so it doesn’t get any easier for us does it?
When Coach Stoops was asked if he was trying to temper the fans expectations for next year, the OU boss laughed and asked, “Do you think that is possible? I mean I am not going to tell our fans what to think or say but I know that my expectations are what they always are and that is to do everything we can to improve and compete for the Big XII and National Title and that is what we try and do every year.”
For the first time in Coach Stoops’ tenure, OU canceled their “Junior Day” festivities. Stoops said that with all the spring dates still open, he didn’t see it to be that big of an issue.
“We knew that we still had a bunch of dates open especially in February so why push it and not make it (Junior Day) as good as it should be? I think we as a staff have been and have always been knocking on more doors so to speak and looking into how committed some of these kids are to other schools because things constantly change. During the recruiting period, you are always sort of reassessing things and even for the other team. I mean it’s like what is this kid going to think when they just signed this kid? I think everybody is playing that game.”
Stoops shrugged off the question regarding the “softness” of the program.
“I used to walk up hill 5 miles to school so tell them that,” said Stoops. “We do things the same as we have for a long long time but again, when you are dealing with injuries you can only do so much. I have heard that Coach Schmidt has been too hard on the guys and let me ask you this, one minute we are too soft and the next we are too hard so which is it? Ask the former guys that are playing in the NFL that come back and train with Schmitty of he is too hard! Call AD (Adrian Peterson) up and ask him if Schmitty was too hard on him. I think the soft ones think he is too hard and that is probably correct. Guys like Davin Jospeh and Jammal Brown are where they are because of him (Coach Schmidt).”
Speaking of Adrian Peterson, Coach Stoops said that he was at the “Beef Bowl” at Lowery’s Steak House and he didn’t get to see all of what AD accomplished that night.
“You know what, I have a weak bladder and I was up running back and forth to the bathroom all night. Na, I am just kidding, I drank a lot of iced tea and it was late in the 4th quarter and I had to keep running to the bathroom but they had a TV in the bar area and I kept running up there trying to see where he was as to where the record stood. I was proud of him; he did all he could.
“You know, I love it when our former guys are around and I always want to put them in front of our current guys. Its like Demarco (Murray), he is one of our greatest workout guys that we had and it seems to be working out well for him too. He actually came by one day at practice so on our breaks I was able to get with him a couple of times and we talked. I am really proud of him as well.”