Stoops denial feels different

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“To end the speculation that is ongoing, I want to make it clear that I have no interest in the position that is currently available there. It is a privilege to be the head coach at Oklahoma and I am fully concentrating on having the best season we can have, and in building the strongest program we can build.”

If I were an Oklahoma fan, I’d feel good about the statements made by Sooner head coach Bob Stoops.

Looking back, they probably did.

That’s because Stoops said them in October of 2004, when he faced speculation he’d flee Oklahoma for Florida.

Yesterday, Stoops once again tried to stifle the rumors that he was interested in coming to Notre Dame, producing the necessary quotes to make it seem as if there wasn’t any interest in leaving Norman to come to South Bend.

Here are the quotes that made Sooner fans give a sigh of relief:

“I fully intend to be at Oklahoma, and hopefully for a good while. You never know what the good Lord brings you, but in the end I
couldn’t be more excited about — even through a tough year — the
good, quality kids we’re working with, the great people that I
work with daily in our administration. I can’t help what’s said,
but in the end, again, I couldn’t be more excited and pleased about
what we’re doing here and what the future holds.”

Here are the quotes that should make Sooner fans squirm:

“I’m not favoring anything over anything else. What I’m saying is I couldn’t be more happy and pleased with what we’re doing here. And
again, I’m not confirming or denying anything about Notre Dame or any
other job. My point is this is what I love doing right now.”

Stoops certainly denied interest in the job, but it was with nowhere near the gusto he had in 2004. While the quotes ran along the scroll of ESPN and were originally reported by people like me, I still feel like there are a few more twists and turns in this road.

Earlier today, message boards were going nuclear upon the news that Stoops had already turned down Notre Dame’s $3 million per season offer, choosing to stay in Norman, most likely because of a cheapskate offer from ND brass.

After listening to Jack Swarbrick yesterday, we can only assume that those reports are unfounded (or that Jack’s a really good high-stakes gambler). Yet some of the chief information men in football still think there’s a good chance Stoops is on the move.  

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported before yesterday’s Monday Night Football game on Twitter:

Going outside
comfort zone here, but credible people saying today they believe Bob
Stoops will wind up coaching at Notre Dame next season.”

I’m no expert on deception or voice analytics — I don’t even watch Lie To Me on Fox — but if you’re a Notre Dame fan hoping Bob Stoops is coming to South Bend, I wouldn’t give up hope quite yet.

For those of you who still curious, give a listen to yesterday’s teleconference and judge for yourselves.