The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

August 1, 2013

Sooners can live with new underdog status

OKLAHOMA CITY — The offseason officially ended Wednesday for Oklahoma. Coach Bob Stoops met with fans twice. First, at the annual Citizens Advisory Board of Cleveland County Coaches Luncheon at Norman’s Journey Church. Then he capped the night at the Sooner Caravan stop at the Cox Convention Center.

Oh yeah, in between he had the first team meeting of the season in preparation for today’s first practice at 6 a.m.

All the practices are closed, but the $1 million question remains of who will be the Sooners starting quarterback? Blake Bell, Kendal Thompson and Trevor Knight resume the race they started in the spring today.

OU still isn’t in a hurry to answer the question. At least Stoops hasn’t grown tired of deflecting the queries.

“I’ll be asked a bunch more, too,” he said when asked how many times he’s fielded the question. “It’s what you guys are supposed to ask.”

He actually joked center Gabe Ikard would get the job. Of course that was after being the butt of a joke by Ikard and guard Bronson Irwin at the Sooner Caravan stop where Stoops’ postgame dancing skills were called into question.

It was the last day of relative calm before the heavy lifting begins.

One thing is for sure: the Sooners have fully embraced the idea of sliding under the national radar this season. The USA Today preseason coaches poll will be released today. The Sooners aren’t expected to be in the preseason top 10 for the first time in several years.

“We understand that they’re a little down on us, think we’re going to have a down year because of the quarterback situation and some of the things that happened last year,” Ikard said. “We completely understand. But those expectations don’t mean anything to us.”

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