Oklahoma coach likes playing K-State right after Texas

Tuesday, October 10th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DALLAS (AP) _ Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops believes the timing is perfect for his eighth-ranked Sooners.

Stoops is glad to be playing at second-ranked Kansas State (6-0, 2-0 Big 12) right on the heels of an emotionally charged 63-14 victory over 25th-ranked Texas that embarrassed the rival Longhorns.

``It's perfect. I think it's very easy and the way you want it,'' Stoops insisted Monday. ``The players feel good about the way they are playing ... they have confidence, have momentum. And it's easy to see and realize that Kansas State is an excellent team and a bigger challenge.''

The Oklahoma coach even sees a possible advantage for the Sooners (5-0, 2-0) in the fact that Kansas State has won 25 straight home games, dating back to a 39-3 loss to Nebraska in Manhattan on Oct. 5, 1996.

``There is a good opportunity that eventually the odds change, or get so one-sided that it's due for something else to happen. Hopefully that's the case,'' Stoops said. ``I remember Florida-Florida State and the talk about how (FSU coach) Bobby Bowden had never been beaten in a bowl game.''

In that 1997 Sugar Bowl, Florida beat Florida State 52-20 to win the national championship.

The Kansas State game Saturday will mark the first return of Stoops and three of his assistant coaches to Manhattan, Kan., where each of the quartet coached for at least six seasons.

Bob Stoops was on coach Bill Snyder's staff at Kansas State as an assistant coach and defensive coordinator from 1988-95. He then went to Florida as defensive coordinator for three seasons before becoming Oklahoma's head coach after the 1998 season.

When Stoops put together his coaching staff at Oklahoma, he was only looking for the best coaches. Three of them _ offensive coordinator Mark Mangino and co-defensive coordinators Mike Stoops and Brent Venables _ just happened to come from Kansas State.

``I was hired here and paid good money. My job was to get the best coaches to coach with me if they wanted to,'' Stoops said. ``I don't see that there's a problem, coaches leave and go places every year.

``All of them left the place (Kansas State) better than when they got there. They put a lot of hard work in that program and had pride in it.''

Now they're returning Oklahoma to national prominence. And they face likely their toughest challenge to date against the Wildcats.

Snyder, whose team has had three straight 11-win seasons _ the latest a year after he lost the three assistants to Oklahoma _ insists there is no bad blood between the staffs.

``I think we have an excellent staff here, and I think Bob had an excellent staff there. They are good people,'' Snyder said. ``What everybody tries to acquire is the best coaching staff possible.''

Still, the perception exists among some fans that Stoops stole the three assistants from Kansas State.

``I don't really know how hard our fans have taken that,'' Snyder said. ``Is that one or two people who have expressed an opinion. It can be perceived to be a lot of people when it could be just one or two.''

Stoops is quick to point out that he also got coaches from other staffs as well, most notably receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr., the son of the Florida coach for whom he had worked for three seasons.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: ``The big thing, it encouraged us to cut things loose and not keep it so close to the vest as players. We had played not to lose and caught ourselves saying `here we go again' after things didn't go our way. This game, we just decided to play for 60 minutes and then look up at the scoreboard and see where we stand,'' Colorado coach Gary Barnett of his team's 26-19 victory at Texas A&M after an 0-4 start.

EXTRA POINTS: Oklahoma State senior quarterback Tony Lindsay will miss the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury. He missed six games last year because of a knee injury and has been limited this year by soreness in his right throwing shoulder. ``It stems from last year and got worse during one of scrimmages when he made a tackle,'' OSU coach Bob Simmons said. ``Since we made that tackle, he hasn't been the same.'' ... Baylor coach Kevin Steele indicated that there likely will be a change at quarterback after a 28-0 loss at Texas Tech. ``We're out of synch. That's not necessarily to say because of the bad play of the quarterback, but we have to get in a rhythm.'' Freshman Guy Tomcheck has been the starter since Greg Cicero was lost for the season with a broken collarbone in the second game. ... Iowa State coach Dan McCarney doesn't accept losing, but he knows there were some positives in last Saturday's 49-27 loss to Nebraska. ``Usually it's a four-quarter mismatch with Nebraska. This time it was only a one-quarter mismatch.'' The Cyclones (4-1) led at halftime and trailed just 21-20 early in the fourth quarter.