The Norman Transcript

Sports

May 15, 2014

Playoff shouldn’t hamper Sooners

PLANO, Texas —  The Bowl Championship Series took many well-earned knocks, but there was no program that benefited from that system more than Oklahoma.

It reached the national championship game three times from 2000-08, and only once did it do so as an undefeated team. It also was awarded two at-large berths to BCS bowl games, including the 2003 national title game.

Yet, Sooner coach Bob Stoops doesn’t believe much will change when the College Football Playoff begins this coming season.

“At the end of the day, nothing changes with how we prepare and how we work for the season,” Stoops said during fan questions Tuesday night at the OU Caravan stop at Gleneagles Country Club.

The teams selected will be picked by a 13-person committee. Among the criteria coaches have said should be elevated is strength of schedule.

The Sooners became a BCS darling largely because of their willingness to play other teams from the five major conferences. Stoops said he and OU athletic director Joe Castiglione have been in lock-step on the Sooners’ scheduling philosophy. Other programs should follow suit.

“I think a lot of teams that haven’t been scheduling tough non-conference schedules may now start doing it. Joe Castiglione and I have been doing that for 15 years,” he said. “We play Tennessee next year. We just finished a four-year series with Notre Dame and Florida State. We were 3-1 in that series.

“It’s not many years that you get the chance to beat Notre Dame and Alabama in the same year. At the end of the day, we’ve always scheduled tough and that’s what we’ll keep doing. Other than that, everything stays the same.”

Favorable front seven: Stoops can’t resist chiding media members over a perceived slight. Since the 2013 season ended, it’s been about questions involving OU’s defensive line.

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