Quotes from Coach Stoops' Sunday afternoon press conference.
NORMAN, Okla. --
Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops met with the media Sunday afternoon to discuss Sunday afternoon's announcement that OU will play Missouri in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 6. Big 12 Championship Central
The Sooners earned the No. 2 slot in the all-important BCS standings to break a three-way tie in the Big 12 South. OU, Texas and Texas Tech finished with identical 7-1 records, with each team losing to one of the other two. The Big 12 Conference tiebreaker was the BCS standings and Oklahoma's strength of schedule and body of work throughout the season moved the Sooners past Texas for the coveted No. 2 slot.
Oklahoma and Missouri will meet for the second straight year in the Dr. Pepper Big 12 Championship Game, which will be played at Kansas City's Arrowhead Stadium. The game will kick off at 7 p.m. before a national television audience on ABC.
Big 12 Championship Tickets
are on sale through the OU Athletics Ticket Office. Official travel packages
are also available through Sooner Sports Travel.
Quotes from Sunday's press conference are available below, courtesy of OU Athletics Media Relations.
|| Head Coach Bob Stoops
“Obviously, we’re excited to be representing the [Big 12] South at the Big 12 Championship this weekend against an excellent Missouri team. Again, it was an unusual situation winning last night at Oklahoma State, a really good football team. My compliments again to Mike Gundy and his team; they really are a good football team and everyone knows that. They’re ranked 11th in country and to be able to go in there and win like we did, I was just really pleased. I thought our guys really played well. But the odd thing was after the game, everyone was excited, but had to wait until today to find out what we’ve really accomplished. I think the way our guys have played the last couple of games, beating the No. 2 team in the country by 44 points and then going on the road and beating the No. 11 ranked team that hasn’t been beaten at home all year long by 20 points made the difference fortunately. Our players, coaches and everyone, the way they’ve worked has put us in that position.
“Last night’s game, I thought Sam Bradford again was just amazing, the way how he played. He actually tore ligaments in his non-throwing hand [left hand] in the third series. In all likelihood, he’ll have surgery on it after the Big 12 Championship game. But we’ll still be able to support him with some kind of soft cast so he’ll be able to take snaps. That’s why we dropped a couple of snaps and that’s why we were in the shotgun the entire second half because of the dislocation there in his finger. But he still fought through it and he was amazing the way he played
“Jermaine Gresham had another incredible day; DeMarco Murray, Chris Brown, those guys were just exceptional. Again, offensive line, same thing. Just overall a well-played game. Defensively, I thought Zac Robinson made a lot of really good plays. We watched the film and we were close to sacking him. He just made so many different third-down plays evading the rush and finding a way to get away, even when he’s being sacked throwing the ball. But overall we still came through with some big plays in the fourth quarter. Jeremy Beal made some huge plays on the two-point conversion and the sack at the end of the game that caused a fumble, and then Keenan Clayton with a big sack at the end of the fourth quarter too. I thought our kicking game was really solid and worked well.
“Again, the unusual circumstances that everybody is talking about the entire week, glad to be over with. We all are. I know Texas Tech and I’m sure Texas are disappointed. All three of us have Big 12 South co-champion, tri-champion, whatever you want to call it trophies. Each of us have identical records in the conference and one of us has to go. None of us put the system together and that’s the way it is. But again, the entire week everyone that wants to talk about head-to-head competition, then Texas Tech is every bit as disappointed as Texas is. Texas Tech just a couple of weeks ago head-to-head beat Texas, then a couple of weeks later, we beat them by 44 points. So they have as a legitimate a beef as anyone else does. Or, if you’re going to discount them for being in the game because of how we beat them, then you’ve just said something there as well. If they’re out of the conversation because of how we beat them, then you’ve said a lot by taking them out of the conversation. So in the end, that’s where it’s at. Again, we’re excited to be in the situation. And again I can understand with the way Tech and Texas feel, can’t be good. But in the end it’s your whole body of work through the year and how you’ve played down the stretch. I feel the way we have played down the stretch has been pretty incredible. We had over 60 points for four straight games, and three of those games I don’t think Sam Bradford has played more than maybe a series during the fourth quarter. So we’ve played well and put ourselves in this position.
“I think also the strength of schedule, Cincinnati, the Big East Champion, we played pretty well here, along with TCU. The schedule probably overall made a difference as well. As everyone knows, I have argued that for a long time that strength of schedule should make a difference. It seems to, to the media in the first two, three or four weeks of the year and then everyone forgets about it by the end of the year. But maybe it mattered in this case, and we feel glad that we did play those tough teams. Believe me, there are a heck of a lot more teams I’d rather play than Cincinnati and TCU in non-conference and we went out to Washington. When you scheduled Washington five or six years ago, you didn’t know that they’d be in the situation they were this year.
“So again, excited about the opportunity. I’m proud of our team. We really are very focused on what a good team Missouri is and how well we’ll have to play to go out there and have a chance to win.”
On finding out Sunday afternoon that OU will play in the Big 12 Championship Game:
“We were just down in the locker room with the players. Not all of them, just whoever wanted to come and we had it on in the locker room. A lot of them were finishing up treatments. So there was probably just 25 percent of us. They’re excited. Absolutely. They were fired up and excited about it. Again, we’re looking at it as another challenge.
“I was optimistic last night. I do know that that road win against the No. 11 ranked team in the country would make a huge difference, or should anyway. And you look at the way Cincinnati and TCU finished. Heck, even Nebraska and KU probably made a difference to some degree. Those are reasons, but overall I thought winning by 20 there would be enough.”
On strength of schedule being an important factor:
“I think obviously it does (play a factor). I have been sour that it hasn’t been as strong as an influence as it used to. I guess in situations where all things being equal, what do you go to? In the end, I can’t equate to what transpired and how much of an influence it had, but it had an influence. Again, I think people that continue to want to play out-of-conference games, and people want to watch and go to and be excited about it, there has to be an incentive to do it. Otherwise, heck, just schedule four wins and move on down the road and you could almost schedule a bowl game by then.”
On if defeating Texas Tech by a large margin discounted the Red Raiders:
“It’s a three-way tie. That’s exactly what happened. And again, you are making a huge statement. You’re saying that Texas Tech in the next-to-last week of the year, who is one of the few teams that’s undefeated and just beat Texas, right? Now they’ve got the same record as the rest of us in the lead. Now, if all of a sudden they’re removed from the conversation because of what we do, then that says something because they beat Texas just a couple of weeks before and that was just a little over a week ago that we did that to them by 44 points.
“I think they came in as hot as anybody and played as well. They don’t get that ranking and undefeated for not doing anything, they had done it. But we played pretty well and when we beat them that soundly, I think it says something. And again, we’re not talking six weeks ago, it was just the next to the last week of the year.”
On handling the BCS-talk chaos:
“Again, I hoped it wouldn’t come back to haunt us. I just feel that there’s some place that’s appropriate and then there isn’t. I hope I hung around the appropriate area and didn’t overdo anything. When asked a question, I stated it, just trying to do it the right way and have some principle in what we’re doing. And I’m not saying anyone else didn’t, that’s how I tried to do it. I just think that as a program, you have to have your standards. And again, I am not comparing us. I’m just saying that I feel comfortable with the way we did it and what we had to say, when we had to say it and that we didn’t overdo it.”
On how he felt today after last night’s win:
“Very strange. I had to remind myself that we won last night against a rival team, ranked 11th in the country at their place and we won by 20. You wake up and have a knot in your stomach, and I said ‘oh yeah, we did win last night,’ the sun is out today and let’s go see what’s about to happen. I went in, watched the Missouri-Kansas game in the morning, went to church and turned my phone off. Came back and had a sandwich, my family came over and all the circus started with trying to pay attention to where things were going.”