Someone may want to tell Bob Stoops to tread lightly before leaving Norman, Okla., as the Sooners travel to Tennessee this weekend. The Oklahoma coach may very well have just provided some extra ammo for a rowdy crowd already out for blood.
"I have a hard time understanding these questions about going to a stadium. We go to stadiums every week and generally when we show up, it isn't half empty. It's always full so no, we don't do anything different," Stoops said during his Monday press conference.
While Stoops and his team may not be doing anything unique to prepare for this game, Tennessee fans certainly are. Saturday night will be the second time Vol fans will checkerboard the stadium in what has become one of the coolest new traditions in all of college football.
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With the excitement of the Checkerboard Neyland campaign, the first home game of the season and the offseason momentum gained following a bowl win and another top five recruiting class for Tennessee, expect the atmosphere to be electric on Rocky Top. Not exactly the best move to downplay the crowd or the size of the stadium by Stoops leading up to the game.
Tennessee's coach is taking a different approach, building up the Sooners and their status among the elite of college football.
"We all also understand that the team we are about to face here in less than a week, I believe is a top 5 football team and a top 5 football program," Butch Jones said Monday. "I have a lot of respect for Bob (Stoops). They're a great football team. I think they're one of the most underrated football teams in the country and you can tell they have a quiet confidence about themselves. They're very very skilled, they're physical, they're tough. And they're a complete football team in all three phases. So it's going to take anything and everything that we have to be able to compete with them on Saturday."
We'll know by Sunday which approach worked, but right now it appears Tennessee won Monday over Oklahoma.