Mike Stoops vs. Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl: Remember the Gesture?by Anthony Gimino on Dec. 22, 2010, under Sports
It was Oct. 1, 2003, and Oklahoma co-defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was about a month away from becoming the head coach at Arizona.
The Sooners were undefeated, ranked No. 1, and had payback on their minds against Oklahoma State, which had upset its state rival in the Bedlam Series two years in a row. The Cowboys’ offensive coordinator was Mike Gundy, who would become OSU’s head coach a year later when Les Miles left for LSU.
Seven years later, Stoops and Gundy match football wits again, bringing their teams to San Antonio for the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl.
But those in Oklahoma can’t forget what happened on Oct. 1, 2003 … even if Stoops says he doesn’t remember.
The Sooners dominated that day, winning 52-9, and it will come as no surprise to anybody to learn that Stoops was animated on the sideline.
According to various stories in the Oklahoma media over the past several years, Stoops walked onto the field in the final moments of the rout, stared at the opposing sideline, and raised his arms, palms up.
The interpreted meaning of the gesture: “You want some more of this?”
“I don’t remember any of that,” Stoops said this week.
When told that several stories from Oklahoma have retold that story in recent weeks, Stoops added:
“I don’t pay much attention to that. A lot of it is emotional. That’s a big part of the game. We probably didn’t play very well the year before. I just remember playing awfully well in that game and our players were very well prepared.
“Hopefully, we can have a similar outcome in this game.”
Oklahoma State fans are hoping for a dissimilar outcome … and the Cowboys have the kind of offense (No. 1 nationally in total yardage) to put a whupping on the Wildcats if Arizona has the kind of postseason no-show it had last season against Nebraska.
Speaking for Oklahoma State fans, columnist Jenni Carlson of The Oklahoman wrote about how they feel about Stoops:
“They loathe him. They despise him. They see him as an enemy of State.
What could be better than a little comeuppance in the Alamo Bowl?
For his part, Stoops says he doesn’t really have any lingering feelings about the Bedlam Series, other than to, naturally, root for some old OU plans and his brother Bob, the head coach at Oklahoma.
“You kind of leave the past with the past,” Stoops said.
“All your feelings are really toward your new team and your new rivalries. But, obviously, I have close friends and my brother is at Oklahoma, so it’s a little different than being away from any other program, just because of the personal attachments.”
That said, Stoops, like most football coaches, tends to remember the losses more than the victories. In what The Oklahoman ranked as the No. 1 game in the now 105-game history of Bedlam, OSU derailed Oklahoma’s national championship hopes in 2001 with a 16-13 victory as Rashaun Woods caught a 14-yard pass from Josh Fields with 1:36 to play.
“One of our losses I do remember very well when Les Miles was there — the catch in the end zone,” Stoops said. “I still remember that. It’s amazing after all these years.”
And several years after “The Gesture,” Stoops and Gundy meet again to create some new memories.