IRVING, Texas — The friendship between Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and Texas A&M coach Kevin Sumlin is long and deep. The two chatted with each other for 10 minutes before they met with reporters — together — on Wednesday.
However, the two don’t seem to have a problem competing with each other. They’ll do it Friday night in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic at Cowboys Stadium. They’ll go at it even harder when they hit the recruiting trail next week.
“I don’t know about Kevin, but business is business. I mean, we’re friends, but you have to do your job,” Stoops said. “As long as we’re not doing anything unethical. We understand that it’s just the competitive world that we live in.”
Sumlin served as an assistant on Stoops’ staff from 2003-07. The two have a relationship that goes back to the early 1990s when Stoops was an assistant at Kansas State and Sumlin was at Minnesota.
“As long as you’re not doing anything unethical, you’re friends,” Sumlin said. “It’s like playing golf: sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. You might get a little upset, but you come back and do it again; that’s just the way it is.”
However, Sumlin admitted it isn’t a regular-season game he’d like to add to his schedule.
“Do you want to play? We don’t make the schedule,” he added.
Minimize the distraction: Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy earlier this month. After winning the award, he spent another 10 days traveling around the country, doing publicity and receiving other awards.
Stoops has coached two Heisman Trophy winners — Sam Bradford (2008) and Jason White (2003) — during his tenure. He believes playing so late in the bowl season helps get a Heisman winner back on track.