Sooners play No. 1 Missouri on Saturday at Alamodome on ABC.
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) -- When Jon Cooper made the move
from high school to college, he decided to wear the
same No. 50 jersey his father wore. He didn't choose
the same school.
Cooper's dad, Tom, was a defensive lineman for Missouri
from 1972-75 but will find his alma mater playing the
biggest game in school history Saturday against his
son's Oklahoma team.
"Definitely he's not cheering for them this week," said
Jon Cooper, a starting center for the Sooners. "We
talk about how we'll have battles and when I'm done,
he'll go back to black and gold, but right now he's
pulling for us all the way."
The younger Cooper took a couple of unofficial visits
to Missouri, but felt more comfortable at Oklahoma
and decided to go to school in Norman instead. He said
his father was never determined to encourage him to
play for the Tigers.
"We kind of talked about it and when we were talking
about it, he would give the pros and cons of every
school, including Missouri," Jon Cooper said. "He didn't
try push it one bit over other schools. He probably
pushed other schools more than he did Missouri."
Entering this week's game against the No. 9 Sooners,
the Tigers find themselves ranked No. 1 for the first
time since 1960 -- even before Cooper's father attended
"It's been a while, so it doesn't really mean that
much. He doesn't make a big deal out of it and neither
do I," Cooper said.
So far, at least, there hasn't been any trash talk
between father and son about who's going to win the
"Maybe after the game he will," Cooper said. "We
might give each other a little bit of grief. Nothing
- - - - - -
Sooners coach Bob Stoops had just
got done touting freshman quarterback Sam Bradford's
statistics as comparable to 2003 Heisman Trophy winner
Jason White and other top quarterbacks when he was
asked who would get his vote for the Heisman this season.
His first response? Missouri quarterback Chase Daniel.
"It's fair to say I think Chase and I like the guy
at Arkansas, (Darren) McFadden," Stoops said after
pausing for a moment.
Stoops said he also liked California's dynamic receiver
and kick returner DeSean Jackson, who has been slowed
by thumb and leg injuries after a strong start that
helped the Bears reach the No. 2 ranking.
"I just thought the games I saw of him last year
and early this year he was pretty special," Stoops
Still, Stoops said he thought Bradford deserved
some consideration since he was the nation's top-rated
passer. He's completed 70 percent of his passes for
2,670 yards and 32 touchdowns with only seven interceptions,
and on Thursday was named one of 10 finalists for the
Manning Award. One of Oklahoma's two losses came after
Bradford went out with a concussion in the first quarter
at Texas Tech.
"I'd vote for Sam too. I've got three votes," Stoops
said. "I don't think it's fair to talk about any one
So why hasn't Bradford received as much Heisman
hype as Daniel, McFadden or Florida quarterback Tim
"No one coming in expected much of him, and then
outside of that I don't know why else because the guy's
numbers speak for himself and he's really done it in
11 games, not 12," Stoops said.
- - - - - -
DOME SWEET DOME
The Sooners have spent some chilly
nights in Arrowhead Stadium since Stoops started leading
them to Big 12 championship games, but don't count
him among those who think that's enough of a reason
to play the game in a dome every year.
This year's game will be held in San Antonio's Alamodome
at the end of what's supposed to be a 75-degree day.
"The games we have had in Kansas City have been
fabulous. I just think the environment has been great,
it's a great stadium, the people in Kansas City are
first-class in everything that we've done up there," Stoops
said. "So I have no complaints, other than yeah, it's
"Fortunately it had snowed the night before or freezing
rained the night before (last year's game), as opposed
to the day of the game. If that happens on the day
of the game, it's not going to be the best, of course."
Other than the Alamodome, the Big 12 title game
has also been played in St. Louis at what's now called
the Edward Jones Dome and at Houston's Reliant Stadium,
which has a retractable roof.
"I think it gets down to, like most things, finances.
What are they bidding for it? If they know they're
getting it every year, they don't have to bid a lot," Stoops
said. "Same thing if it's between St. Louis and San
Antonio. Well, you get it one year, we get it the next.
No sense in bidding on it."