Stoops quietly confident in realignment talk

NORMAN, Okla. — With Maryland of the ACC and Rutgers of the Big East announcing last week that they will be defecting from their respective conferences in order to join the Big Ten beginning in the 2014-15 athletic year, the conference realignment carousel appears to be up and running once more.

Both conferences have since acted to fill the pair of departures. On Tuesday, the Big East added Tulane in all sports and East Carolina as a football-only school. Today, the ACC replaced Maryland with current Big East member Louisville beginning in 2014 as well.

Long rumored as a potential Big 12 expansion target prior to the league adding Texas Christian and West Virginia in the last round of conference realignment, seeing the Cardinals off the board to the ACC comes as a blow to many Big 12 fans.

"Yeah, I see that," said Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops, indicating his awareness of Louisville's migration.

Asked if it worries him that the Big 12 might be vulnerable in the long-term scheme of things by standing pat while other conferences are expanding, Stoops remained confident in his league's future.

"Not really," Stoops said. "Not to this point. Sure the leaders that we have are very bright, good administrators. I'm sure they're aware of what we need to do and what the situation is."

He was also mum on which schools would interest him for the conference to potentially pick up in expansion.

"I don't have anybody right off hand," Stoops said. "I'll wait for President Boren and Joe C [Castiglione] to figure out who they want. Okay? I'm just trying to win another game this week."

Other Wednesday Stoops Notes:

  • Stoops was questioned earlier in the season about how most new head coaching hires are offensive-minded guys. His brother, Mark Stoops', hiring indicates that is not always the case: "Sure, and there's proof that people are still realizing that and seeing that. Will Muschamp just a couple years ago has done a great job. You know, I could go on and on and think through the years. There's been a lot of good coaches that have been defensive coaches."
  • Stoops on if offensive-minded coaches have a harder time letting go of offensive coordinating duties than defensive-minded coaches do surrendering defensive coordinating duties: "Not so much as you think in that defensive guys are still in the meetings and still set up the plan. So, it's still your thoughts, what you believe in coming out whether you have to call it or not. There isn't as many defensive calls as there are offensive calls. In the end, yes, but not really."
  • Stoops was asked if any of the other young defensive tackles besides Jordan Phillips have stood out: "They're all coming along. You know, that's not unusual when you've got three seniors. We're not gonna pull them out and put young guys in. We have this talk every year about a position, and you generally for the most part, there's always somebody ready to take it over and play when it's time to play. Right now, some of them it isn't there time yet."
  • Stoops was asked about how Trey Metoyer has seemed to avoid the frustration bug despite not playing as much down the stretch as he might have liked. Instead, he has been positive about learning from veterans Justin Brown and Kenny Stills: "Again, hopefully that is the case. He's young, he's still learning, and, those guys, they set a good example. He can be one of those guys in time. It's not the easiest things to be that polished right off the bat when you're seeing different defenses or different technique in man coverage. It takes a while to get used to all that."
  • Stoops sounded off on what has made the team so successful in game-on-the-line fourth-down situations the past two weeks: "I think a lot of it is your confidence does come from success. We've had a lot of it. Yeah, I think quarterback. In Landry's case, drives he's had and the fourth-down play at West Virginia. You have to credit his skill. He wasn't in the fourth down here. Blake, you gotta credit the success we've had in that formation, you know, has been pretty positive. We're not sitting here thinking, ‘Geez, this is a fifty-fifty chance.' We're over there thinking, ‘This is a ninety-ten chance.'"