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Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

Head Coaches News Conference -- Oklahoma Coach Bob Stoops (Transcripts)

Opening remarks: “I want to compliment all of you, Tommy Bain, Rick Baker, and all those associated with the AT&T Cotton Bowl. You all do things in a first class manner and it has been a fabulous week in all ways. Whether it has been practicing in Cowboys Stadium or staying at the Gaylord Texan, a fabulous hotel, everything has been fantastic. The players have enjoyed it and we appreciate all your hard work. Our players have handled themselves well this week among meetings and practice. We understand the challenge ahead of us in facing Texas A&M. Kevin has done a great job there and I want to congratulate him on a great year this year. I know our fans are excited about this game considering it sold out on the first day and our players are as well. We are looking forward to Friday and can’t wait for the challenge.”

On recruiting battles vs. Kevin Sumlin: “Business is business. We are still friends, but you have to do your job. As long as we aren’t doing anything unethical, we understand that it is the competitive world we live in.”

On the extra time given for bowl preparations: “Anytime you are playing you can add a wrinkle or two. I think everyone does when you have this amount of time. Even though on a weekly basis you can add a wrinkle or two as to what fits and what you are doing. For instance, early on moving forward you work on some things that you plan on doing next year with some younger players. That is what we did with some of our quarterbacks that may be able to run the ball a bit more.”

On becoming the winningest head coach at Oklahoma: “I never had imagined doing that. I’m not the type of person that operates in that way. I have high expectations, but I don’t sit there envisioning things like that. I’m more of a day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month trying to get better type of guy. In our business, you can’t look to see what might happen in fifteen years, but more so day to day. I don’t think about all of that; right now I am thinking about Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M here in a few days.”

On Kevin Sumlin as a Head Coach: “You see it in what he is doing now; he is an incredibly bright coach, I knew that. He is competitive, great worker, and I think what Kevin brings to Texas A&M is the way he relates with his players and how those players want to play for him. He has a way to bring attitude to his team. I thought the same thing when he was with us. He brought attitude and relationships with the players. That is what you need to be successful and compete at a high level.”

On the long-term success at Oklahoma: “It is difficult. There are ebbs and flows to all programs. You look over the last fourteen or fifteen years, we have been fortunate to maintain a strong level of championships and bowl games. I credit a great administration. We have a great President in David Boren, a great Athletic Director in Joe Castiglione, who has given us great support. I’ve had great assistant coaches like Kevin Sumlin. We have had good solid players. Fortunately, I believe we have done it the right way.”

On the added distractions of having players with accolades such as a Heisman Trophy Winner: “As Kevin said, when you play a later game it is beneficial to that player. It is a distraction early in December, but then that fades away coming into bowl preparations. I’m sure Kevin has done the same thing; you manage those couple of weeks as to what his obligations are. You go ahead and start to minimize those so that he can concentrate on playing ball. There probably is a bit more made of it than it actually does affect the guy. Again, I think if there was an earlier bowl game it may be a bit more problematic.”

On Kevin Sumlin having to hire a new offensive coordinator: “For Kevin, he has already done a great job hiring those guys. You want someone that is going fit your style of players. Their offense obviously has been very successful. I bragged a lot about how he has played an entire SEC schedule and they’re third in the nation in total and scoring offense against all those defenses. I’m sure he will find somebody. We have always tried to find somebody that fit our players and the way we want to play. I’m sure Kevin has his ideas.”

On being comfortable in getting into a shootout: “Well we have been in a bunch of them. Our players have played in some tight situations in the last several weeks and have responded well. They have competed all the way to the end of those games. You never know how it is going to go.”

On the importance of beating an SEC team: “I don’t look at it that way. It all is propaganda and what the media does. We need to win for other reasons. I’m not worried about the media war. I am sure they have lost some of those games already, so I don’t get into that stuff.”

On the AT&T ‘Hello’ commercial: “They approached me about it and it was going to be during one of our off weeks. If it would have conflicted with our practice or work schedule I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it. It was on a Thursday during an off week. I went up to Putnam City and I was there from 11PM till about 1:30AM for the “Hello.” That is how bad I am. It took two and a half hours for that one take. Overall, I felt recruiting exposure and putting the program in front of people never hurts.”

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