The Norman Transcript

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January 12, 2013

Stoops won’t shy away from expectations

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s expectations are not going to shrink. Bob Stoops made that clear when he spoke to reporters Friday afternoon.

“People get bored with just winning the Big 12 championship. They want more,” he said. “You’ve gotta win the national championship.”

That’s been the deafening roar since OU’s season ended with a 41-13 loss to Texas A&M in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The loss, which dropped it to 10-3 for the second straight season, was seen by some as a marker of how the program has slipped the last several seasons.

Despite winning the Big 12 championship in 2010 and sharing the title with Kansas State this season — Stoops’ eighth conference title since 2000 — it has been four years since OU played in the national championship game and 13 since it hung a national championship banner.

“I hate it,” Stoops said. “We’ve been pretty used to it. I helped create that, and to me, it’s the pulse here. I don’t like it, but that’s me.”

But how does OU get back to that level?

All three of its losses were to teams that finished 12th or higher in the final AP Top 25 — No. 4 Notre Dame, No. 5 Texas A&M and No. 12 Kansas State.

The Sooners have been planning to move on without Landry Jones at quarterback for years. The defense, which snapped late in the season after games against Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M, could return as few as three starters next season.

Stoops said he still doesn’t know if cornerback Aaron Colvin will return to school when the spring semester begins on Monday. Underclassmen have until Tuesday to make themselves eligible for the NFL Draft, which safety Tony Jefferson and wide receiver Kenny Stills have already done.

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