The Norman Transcript

October 25, 2012

Bob isn’t feeling Mack’s pain

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — If Texas coach Mack Brown was looking for sympathy when he complained about the time commitment and access he has to give to the Longhorn Network, he won’t receive any from Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops.

“I’ll promise you this: I have not watched 30 seconds of it before their game or after. Nobody in my building has watched it, at least not my coaches,” Stoops said following Wednesday’s practice. “Other than that, I guess it’s a deal of be careful what you wish for; it’s one of my favorite sayings.

“In the end, we didn’t find any need to watch it, and I still wouldn’t even know where to go to look for it.”

Brown complained on Monday that having to do three shows a week for the ESPN-owned network is time-consuming and having the first 30 minutes of each practice airing live on the network puts Texas at a disadvantage.

OU has it’s own television deal — Sooner Sports TV Powered by Fox Sports — that launched last month. It differs from the Longhorn Network in that it isn’t a 24-hour channel devoted to all things Oklahoma. OU provides Fox Sports with 1,000 hours of programming a year and it is spread over several Fox Sports channels.

Stoops said his workload hasn’t increased due to the deal. The only difference is his Monday press conference and Tuesday radio show are now televised as well.

“Actually, they’ve made my coaches show shorter,” he said. “I don’t have to wait through all the commercials, so it’s about 15 minutes less.”

Stoops hasn’t complained about the Longhorn Network since it began in 2011. He joined all the Big 12 Conference’s coaches in objecting to it being able to show high school games. That issue was resolved last year.

Stoops even saw something positive with the network. It had to show repeats of the Sooners’ 62-21 victory over Texas throughout the week.

“I guess that’s good for us,” he said.

Recruiting boost: When Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly was asked about OU safety Tony Jefferson on Tuesday. His response was a recruiting pitch for the Sooners.

“If you’re out there, and I hate to give any recruiting advantages, you want to play safety at Oklahoma because those guys are free to play,” he said. “You know, they play a lot of man coverage. So the safeties are free to come down and support the run. It’s part of what their defensive philosophy is. So he’s all over the place. He’s got some freedom in the passing game, but primarily he’s in there to be a run-fit player, and he does a very good job at it.”

Moving around: With the emergence of freshman Sterling Shepard and junior Jalen Saunders at slot receiver, Kenny Stills has been able to play more as an outside receiver. Stills, who moved to the slot receiver for the final four games of the 2011 season and the early part of this season, has no problem with moving back outside.

“It’s fine. I’ve always said I just want to be where the ball was, whether it’s inside or outside,” he said.

History matters: Most of OU’s players were barely in elementary school the last time OU and Notre Dame played. The only meeting in their lifetime was in 1999. They’ve gotten a history lesson about the classic meetings that started back in the 1950s. Some have taken it to heart.

“It’s like 1-8, I think,” fullback Trey Millard said about the Sooners’ record against the Fighting Irish. “We know that they are a good team and certainly it fuels you up a little more. They are a team that’s gotten us more than we’ve gotten them. It may not be that recent, but we know there’s tradition behind it. There’s tradition behind both programs.”

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