The Norman Transcript

October 17, 2013

Stoops OK with panel

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — The College Football Playoff selection committee that will decide the four teams selected for 2014 were announced Wednesday. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said he was fine with every member of the 13-member panel.

“I’m not going to be concerned about it because it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I think you guys are all able to formulate your own opinions and express them yourself. In the end, I’ll go with whatever they say we’ve got to go with.”

The thing Stoops hopes the group stresses will be strength of schedule when considering the teams.

“I met with several other coaches that have said that. Obviously, I’m in favor of that when you look at who we’ve played through the years non-conference and when you look at our schedule moving forward,” Stoops said. “I’m hopeful that will be a strong component in rankings and the decisions.”

The panel is made up of four current athletic directors, two former coaches, a former superintendent of the United States Air Force Academy, a former NCAA vice president, a former Hall of Fame college quarterback and former sports writer.

The only member of the panel that has sparked any controversy is the addition of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Stoops didn’t have a problem with her being part of the group.

“She’s obviously a very experienced individual in all ways. I’m not going to sit here and oppose anybody,” he said.

Meeting McCay: OU will see one familiar face on the Kansas sidelines Saturday. Former Sooner receiver Justin McCay is now playing for the Jayhawks.

McKay was at OU for the 2010 and 2011 seasons. He transferred following the 2011 season and sat out last year due to NCAA transfer rules.

The oddity of his transfer was that OU allowed him to go to another Big 12 Conference school.

“Justin was a nice young man and things didn’t work out and he wanted to be closer to home,” Stoops said. “I wasn’t glad to see him go but I was glad to be helpful and allow it to happen.”

McKay is from Kansas City, Mo. Thus far, he hasn’t made much of an impact for the Jayhawks. He has one catch for 12 yards in the first five games.

Minimal impact: Through six games, OU still hasn’t used the tight end position as anything other than a blocker. Fullback Trey Millard lines up in the spot from time to time, but even he only has eight receptions this season.

“It’s just where we are,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “We want to have tight ends as a major part of what we’re doing — setting the edge. We’d like to have a guy that’s explosive as a vertical threat down the middle of the football field. It’s something that we’ve had here for a long time that we’ve missed here the last two years, just with some circumstances that happened inside of our program.”

Up for anything: One of OU’s few offensive bright spots against Texas was freshman running back Keith Ford. He rushed for team-best 34 yards on six carries. He’s also had OU’s special teams highlight with his hit on Texas punt returner Daje Johnson early in the fourth quarter.

“Every time you should go your hardest, regardless if it’s offense, defense or special teams. You’ve gotta go hard,” Ford said. “It’s one team. There’s no individuals out there. It’s not one-on-one, it’s 11 people. Just gotta work as a team.”