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Saturday, August 9, 2008
Big 12 links: Sooner paranoia closing Oklahoma's practices

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

Times are changing around Oklahoma, where Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has opened up some practices this summer while Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has thrown up a "Crimson and Cream" curtain around his preseason work this fall.

Tulsa World columnist Dave Sittler has as good of a handle on the inner workings of the Sooner program as anybody around. He said that some Oklahoma insiders are telling him that Stoops is closing his practices because he's still miffed from 2005.

It seems that Stoops believes that some "friends of the TCU program" tipped off the Horned Frogs with secrets they had learned by watching the Sooners' open scrimmages. The result was a 17-10 upset victory for TCU.

Sittler also said that former Oklahoma State coach Pat Jones, now a radio talk show in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, was turned down to watch the Oklahoma scrimmage because he's now considered a member of the media.

I'm sure the Sooners would be pretty vanilla in those scrimmages if they knew that we prying minds -- or even fans -- were watching.

Because you never know what those "friends" might be saying to your upcoming opponents.

Particularly when Oklahoma's first game will be against that vaunted defense of the Chattanooga Moccasins, which ranked 102nd in rushing defense, 75th in pass efficiency defense, 84th in total defense and 93rd in scoring defense in the Football Championship Subdivision last year.

Until then, we'll have to wait to hear what the players and coaches have to say after their scrimmage today at Owen Field. Because Stoops has made sure that nobody else will be watching.

And if Oklahoma-area fans really have to watch football today, they can drive up to watch Oklahoma State's open scrimmage this afternoon.

Sure, Gundy might scream at reporters when's he not happy. But he still knows that he needs us to help sell a bunch of seats for the Cowboys' home opener on Sept. 6 against Houston.

Until then, here a few other links to whet your appetite this weekend.