OU and USC return to glory days

Friday, December 31st 2004, 6:24 am
By: News On 6

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) _ Southern California coach Pete Carroll and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops have helped restore integrity to their tradition-rich programs.

U-S-C and Oklahoma had fallen on hard times. The Trojans were 26-and-22 in the four years before Carroll was hired. The Sooners were 17-27-and-1 in the four seasons before Stoops' arrival.

Both struggled in their first years as coach: U-S-C was 6-and-6 in 2001; Oklahoma was 7-and-5 in 1999. And both have been exceptional since: The Trojans are 35-and-3 in the last three years; the Sooners are 60-and-6 the past five.

The top-ranked Trojans and Number Two Sooners bring college football's premier programs into Tuesday night's Orange Bowl. Carroll and Stoops are both in search of a second national championship.

...Meanwhile, top-ranked Southern California and Number Two Oklahoma are practicing in South Florida for Tuesday's B-C-S title game.

But U-S-C will be without receiver Fred Davis in the Orange Bowl. The freshman didn't make it back from Christmas break in time for the team's trip to Florida.

U-S-C coach Pete Carroll made the announcement after the Trojans' first practice since arriving for the national championship game.

The Trojans were given Christmas weekend off before reporting back to practice Monday in Los Angeles. They flew to Florida on Tuesday.

Davis is a six-foot-four, 215-pounder from Toledo, Ohio. He played in four games this season, catching four passes for 30 yards.