Stoops says expectations keep rising at OU

Tuesday, April 24th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) _ Bob Stoops knows that football success at Oklahoma comes with a price.

``Oklahoma is very happy with 13-0,'' Stoops said Monday at Indian Hills Community College. ``But now they added an August game for us this season and will expect 14-0.''

Stoops, starting his third season as Oklahoma's coach, spoke at a $50-per-plate fund-raiser for the Indian Hills Foundation. A former Iowa defensive back, Stoops guided Oklahoma to a 13-0 record and the national championship last season.

``It's really great to be back in Iowa,'' he said. ``I've always had a love for this state. I was able to spend some time with a lot of old friends today.''

Many Iowa fans had hoped Stoops would become the Hawkeyes' coach after Hayden Fry retired in November of 1998. Oklahoma acted quickly to hire Stoops, however, and Kirk Ferentz became Iowa's coach.

The Hawkeyes have gone 1-10 and 3-9 under Ferentz.

``I think all my Iowa friends are getting used to seeing me in Oklahoma colors now,'' Stoops said. ``I'm very happy with my decision to come to Oklahoma. It's been a great fit.''

Stoops said he has followed the Iowa program closely and believes Ferentz has it headed in the right direction. The Hawkeyes won two of their final three games last season, including an overtime victory at Penn State, and many of their key players are returning.

``I'm really excited about the way Iowa finished this season. I've always been rooting for the Hawks and Kirk Ferentz,'' Stoops said. ``Iowa State had a great team this year, too. It was nice to avoid having that program on our schedule.''

Under the Big 12's schedule rotation, Iowa State and Oklahoma will not meet until 2002.

Stoops slipped into Iowa last winter to land one of the state's top high school players, linebacker Gabe Toomey of West Des Moines Valley. He said Toomey could play as a freshman.

``We are really excited about the recruiting class we have coming in this season,'' Stoops said. ``We do have a lot of ties here in Iowa, and I think we'll continue to work with those opportunities.''