Bob Stoops, what a sly dog. Let’s rewind the Oklahoma coach’s quotes yesterday during a conference call with reporters:
Question: “There is officially an opening now at Notre Dame, so you’re not going there?”
Stoops: “What, what I’m, what I’m saying is that I intend to be at Oklahoma, that’s, uh, the only place that right now, yes, that I’m looking to do. I will never confirm or deny whether I talk or not talk to anybody. Um…that’s…and I won’t be interviewing for any jobs.”
Of course he wouldn’t “interview” – he’s won a National title and been to four title games in the last decade!
Question: “I’m asking you, can you tell me right now that you will not go at Notre Dame?”
Stoops: “What I’m saying is that I’m going to be at Oklahoma next year, so I can’t be at two places at once.”
Not quite a denial!
Question: “Why can’t you just say no?”
Stoops: “Because I don’t like the way you worded it, so in the end I told you what I intend to do.”
There was laughter after this. Intend is soooo ambiguous!
A few hours after this, Sportscenter led with Stoops and the Irish, and in an odd moment, ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter – who, to our knowledge, has never attempted to break college football news – chimed in, saying that “Stoops to Notre Dame was all but a formality.” He tweeted as much.
So last night, Stoops was forced to again address the situation to mollify the masses, and said the following: “I stand by the comments that I made earlier today. I will be at Oklahoma. Any reporting to the contrary is completely unfounded.”
This morning, Stoops ripped Schefter to the Tulsa World.
“I don’t know where (Schefter) is getting his information, but it’s wrong,” Stoops said in a telephone interview. “It’s all been wrong.”
Quickly, Schefter has backed off his story. (But he couldn’t leave well enough alone and now claims the Irish aren’t interested in Cincinnati’s Brian Kelly, which would probably sadden his colleague Pat Forde, who thinks Kelly would be a perfect fit in South Bend.)
Question that remain unanswered: Has Notre Dame formally offered Stoops? (Nobody knows.) Will anything Stoops/Kelly/Meyer/Dungy et al have said this week/month prevent Notre Dame from approaching them? (Definitely shouldn’t. Aim high!)
Nobody knows anything, which is what’s making this so damn fun. Anywhere you turn, it is all speculation and rumor and for that, Swarbrick deserves props. He’s doing an outstanding job keeping a lid on things.