NORMAN — Saturday, about 45 minutes after Texas had finished beating Oklahoma 36-20 inside the Cotton Bowl, Sooner offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said he didn’t consider going with Trevor Knight, even as a change of pace, against the Longhorns.
Monday, Bob Stoops said making a move at the quarterback position wasn’t under consideration at the Cotton Bowl, nor is it under consideration heading into Saturday’s game at Kansas. However, tepidly, at least, he offered that could always change if things aren’t going well on the field.
“Sure,” Stoops said, “that can happen.”
It is more than he said a year ago after Landry Jones came up so short against Kansas State. After that, Stoops said he couldn’t foresee any scenario in which he’d have to move away from Jones. And, in retrospect, it looks like he was right about that.
Just look at the offense Jones generated last season against conference opponents and look at the offense Bell has generated this season against conference opponents.
Like night and day.
Still, there is something to think about:
If Bell can’t be counted upon to deliver in the passing game — and in two conference starts he’s completed 32 of 57 for 285 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions — then what case, exactly, would he have to remain OU’s starting quarterback.
It’s not like anybody’s under the impression that Bell’s a better runner than Trevor Knight (or Kendal Thompson).
Actually, Stoops addressed that, too, Monday, when asked about his propensity to stick with a single quarterback through the years.
“I don’t have any philosophy other than, generally, the guys we have stayed with have done well,” he said.
Stoops mentioned Nate Hybl, who was maligned before coming on to win a conference title before being named MVP of the Rose Bowl; as well as Paul Thompson, who, upon Rhett Bomar’s dismissal, returned from wide receiver to lead the Sooners to another conference title.
The point’s pretty clear.
The Sooners have confidence in Bell, still believe he’s the guy and think he offers the best chance to win week to week to week. And Stoops has a track record of good choices.
And still it’s worth noting, if the Sooners don’t get their aerial game worked out, Blake Bell might only be the third best quarterback on the roster.
And another thing …
· It’s a fairly spectacular sports week around here and while much of it is clearly football, much of it is not.
Getting away from the gridiron, Norman North is playing host to the Mid-State Conference cross country meet today at what’s generally considered Norman High’s course, behind Irving Middle School. Expect the North girls to win and all the Tigers and T-Wolves to perform well. Additionally, it’s an advance of the Class 5A/6A regional meet that will be taking place on the same course a week from Saturday.
Meanwhile, it’s OSSAA state tournament week for both big school volleyball and fast-pitch softball, and while no Tigers nor T-Wolves are on hand, Moore and Southmoore are on a championship-game collision course beginning Thursday in softball’s Class 6A draw.
Also, Southmoore heads to Bixby Friday to face Edmond North in volleyball’s first round.
· Back to the grid, how’s this for a couple of games: Norman North at Edmond North, Friday at Wantland Stadium, on Central Oklahoma’s campus, and Jenks at unbeaten Westmoore?
Of course, if NHS wants to get back in the playoff hunt in a big way, the Tigers can make it happen by upsetting Southmoore Friday at Harve Collins Field.
And, if you want an early start, there are even three Transcript area Thursday games on tap: Yukon at Moore, Bridge Creek at Little Axe and Washington at Comanche.
· Just wondering, but do the football polls mean anything any longer? Better than it has done anything else, the BCS, with a two-team playoff, the coming four-team playoff and whatever may come after that has threatened to end the relevancy of the coaches’ and Associated Press Top 25s.
The old, old, old system, which could have No. 1 Michigan playing 7-4 Washington at the Rose Bowl, was beyond horrible as a system to determine a national champion.
But the polls were everything.
Now, it’s all about “the committee.” And you thought the folks that put together the basketball brackets were under a lot of pressure.
· Yes, it’s hard to watch baseball. And still, fill the stadium, make every pitch count, let the calendar turn to October and its easy to go back in time, when the diamond was king.
· Nobody wants to hear it, but if the Sooners run the table, they probably win another conference crown. And if they run the table it will still be much more than anybody had a right to expect from this team just a few short weeks ago.
Follow me @clayhorning