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December 3, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Jake Trotter

Jake Trotter
  (4:02 PM)

Lots to get to today... let's get rolling.

Kyle (NYC)

What are the chances that the Sooners are without Tyrus (swinging punches in the game) or Jalen for the bowl game?

Jake Trotter
  (4:03 PM)

Pretty good. Not sure what will happen with Thompson, but Stoops' history for transgressions like the one Saunders committed is at least a one-game suspension.

Shane (Chelsea)

Does the winner of the Cotton Bowl earn Justin Manning's signature on Signing Day?

Jake Trotter
  (4:03 PM)

Depends on who wins the Cotton Bowl, I guess... but it's coming down to OU and A&M.

Jason (Okmulgee)

As an OU alum, I was actually pretty ticked off to see us with the team pic, hats and shirts after the TCU game. Stoops has changed, he'd have never been a double talk guy 6 years ago. See any reasoning behind it? Too comfortable?

Jake Trotter
  (4:05 PM)

First of all, you can't blame any of the players for this. By Big 12 rules, they won a Big 12 title, and there's nothing wrong with them celebrating it. But for Stoops to say one thing last year, then say the exact opposite this year comes off as pretty hypocritical.

Jake Trotter
  (4:05 PM)

Curious to see how other OU fans feel about this, as well.

Nate (Philadelphia)

Sure, OU got shafted by the BCS set-up, but they have very little to complain about given that the 4 teams ranked ahead of them in the standings also won't go to a BCS bowl. And its not like Oklahoma is better than LSU, SC, TAMU, or Georgia either.

Jake Trotter
  (4:06 PM)

Not so sure OU isn't better than some of those teams. That said, it's hard to justify a Wisconsin or Louisville in the BCS in place of a Georgia, which came a few seconds away from reaching the national title. I get the conference equality outlook of the BCS... but not all conferences are created equal.

Michael (Washington)

Despite all the angst about the BCS and the Sooners' exclusion, isn't this about where they should be? Two OL starters don't play a down; the team lacks anything resembling a dominating All-American, and the defense seemed to spend the year in transition. All in all, 10-2, a No. 11 ranking and a sold-out Cotton Bowl seems pretty good.

Jake Trotter
  (4:08 PM)

Not a bad season at all. Obviously the ultimate goal in Norman is a national title. But the Sooners are far better off than they were last year.

Ryan (Norman)

Jake, how is Kendal Thompson coming along? Alex Ross too? Can you see any big things from them in the future?

Jake Trotter
  (4:10 PM)

Gonna be interesting to see what happens with Kendal and Trevor Knight. Knight has really impressed as the scout team QB this season. Thompson has one of the best work ethics on the team. The '13 job is Blake Bell's to lose. But the battle to be his backup will be intriguing. Based on what I've heard, I'd give the nod to Knight right now.Ross almost avoided redshirt this year despite a crowded backfield. He'll have a chance to be the No. 3 RB next year, which would put him in line to start in '14.

Michael (Washington)

Stoops' reaction to the "Big 12 Championship" should have been "if you say so," then quietly moving along

The Sower (South Oval)

A&M in the Cotton Bowl is a big deal and a great opportunity for OU to claim further bragging rights in Texas. It could be huge in recruiting and have an impact that could last for years. Sooner Fans need to realize this and get pumped up and get the team pumped up for this challenging match up. It is the only CFB game on National TV on a Friday night, and the last Big bowl game before the title match. We reap what we sow, so...Let's Go Sooner Fans, get fired up! Thoughts, Jake ?

Jake Trotter
  (4:11 PM)

Bottom line, it's the third-best bowl game out there behind the Fiesta and title game. OU will get plenty of exposure from the Cotton.

Alex (Claremore)

There were shared championships in the Big 8 all of the time. When OSU "claimed" a share of it two years ago, we still had a league championship game. Does the fact we don't have a championship game not count as a good enough reason for us to feel justified as co-champions?

Jake Trotter
  (4:12 PM)

OU is perfectly justified claiming the title according to Big 12 rules. But when your coach says that there's no such thing as co-champs one year, then the next is touting his co-championship... doesn't look good.

Dillon (Norman)

Will Bob Stoops start Cody Thomas next year? he does tend to want a QB for all four years

Jake Trotter
  (4:13 PM)

No chance. Well, .10 percent chance.

Jeremy (Norman)

As an OU student, I think Stoops has to advocate for his players. While it does seem hypocritical in light of his comments last year, the alternative is for Stoops and the program to actively deny his players the chance to host the trophy. I don't think he has a choice here, while you may disagree.

Jake Trotter
  (4:13 PM)

Fair point.

Derrin (Plano, TX)

Do you think the Sooners will land Toby Johnson and/or Quincy Russell from the JUCO ranks to help tighten up the interior of defensive line next season?

Jake Trotter
  (4:15 PM)

Hard to say. Russell really likes Nebraska. And with Johnson, why sign a JUCO that will have to redshirt because of injury? The point of bringing in a JUCO is to get an instant impact at a position of need. Best-case scenario for this class would be Manning, Bain and Russell or I guess Johnson. But if the Sooners miss out on Manning this week, not sure where they go next.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

When do the Cotton Bowl tickets go on sale?

Jake Trotter
  (4:15 PM)

Already sold out.

Benjamin Walker (Washington)

The inevitable first question. Saunders will be suspended for the bowl right? I'm guessing so. Unless Bob wants to continue his trend of changing his mind (celebrating shared titles).Second question. Are Torrea Peterson and Jordan Phillips really not ready to step up next year? Does OU have anyone on that front that could develop into a difference maker?Third question. Shipp and Patton have been unlucky these past couple of years with recruits not panning out or just having freak issues that cause them to give up football entirely. Is this an alarming trend or aberration? (How can I guy who got Tommie Harris and Gerald McCoy whiff so badly?)

Jake Trotter
  (4:17 PM)

I think Saunders will miss the Cotton Bowl. What have you seen from Peterson that makes you think he's ready to start? Phillips is the only returning DT that's even shown a glimpse. It's an aberration. Daniel Noble, Ben Habern and Tyler Evans would have all helped this team.

Jeff (Thornton,CO)

Happy Hoildays Jake to you and your family!!! Enough sucking up to the host...buddy of mine told me Saturday watching the game that an insider told him Bob & Mike not getting along..might see Mike head to Kentucky with Mark??? Any rumors of that???

Jake Trotter
  (4:17 PM)

Have not heard that one. Going from the DC at OU to the DC at UK is a significant step down. He would have to really not be getting along with Bob to make that move.

Harrison (Norman)

Jake, I was talking with some co-workers about OU's season and it got me thinking. Do you think, at times, OU over-achieved in some ways? For example it's been about 5 years since I've seen them come from behind in the 4th quarter and win a game, against WVU. The Bedlam game is another example, just some food for thought; these last three games were just a nice surprise.

Jake Trotter
  (4:19 PM)

I wouldn't say this team overachieved. But they definitely won more close games and came back more than any OU team in awhile. Some teams are more clutch than others. This team didn't overachieve. But it definitely was clutch late in the season.

Nick (Moore, OK)

Assuming Saunders won't play, how do you think Neal & Shep will do at flanker against the aggies? Is it possible we'll see Still move back inside?

Jake Trotter
  (4:20 PM)

Actually addressing this in a story later today. They basically have two options. Insert Neal or Metoyer in, or play Millard more similar to what they did against Texas Tech. If they go with the 4-wide, they'll have to move Stills inside, because Metoyer and Neal are outside WRs.

Jake Trotter
  (4:22 PM)

Just turned in my Heisman vote...

Lance (Totem, AZ)

I don't blame Stoops for changing his tune on the Title sharing thing, Last year was a hypothetical before the game, this year was reality after the game while the Big 12 is handing him a trophy. Two different situations to react to, what the heck is he supposed to do?

Jake Trotter
  (4:22 PM)

He actually said these things before the TCU game, too.

Jeff (Thornton,CO)

A month to get Shepard in for Saunders Jake??? How does that all play out??

Jake Trotter
  (4:23 PM)

Shepard already starting. Someone else would have to replace Saunders in the 4-side set.

Michael (Long Beach, CA)

Who do you see as opening as the favorite according to the betting line? OU or A&M?

Jake Trotter
  (4:23 PM)

A&M by maybe 1 or 2.

SouthBeachSid (I just said)

Any chance David King copies Torrance Marshal from the 01 Title game and tells A&M at the coin toss that he is there to get his boy's trophy back?

Jake Trotter
  (4:24 PM)

Who is his boy? Manti Te'o?

AK (St. Louis, MO)

What's up with Oklahoma's recruiting class? And the Big 12 more generally? Has OU historically been ok with under-recruiting?

Jake Trotter
  (4:24 PM)

OU needs to snag roughly 10 more players. Long way to go in this class. OU usually closes strong, but they have work to do.

Soonerfandave84 (OK)

Jake, Justin Manning still committing on Friday?

Jake Trotter
  (4:25 PM)

Thursday.

Tavon (Morgantown)

Thanks for the vote, Jake.

Jake Trotter
  (4:25 PM)

Haha

TeRRoR (Morgantown)

Any word on Mike Stoops possibly taking any of the vacant coaching jobs? Maybe even a possibility of one opening in the same conference?

Jake Trotter
  (4:25 PM)

Haven't heard his name connected to a single opening yet.

Jason (Joplin, MO)

Jake, not to look too far ahead, but what does next year's O-Line starters look like? I know we get T. Evans and Nila back, what ever happened with Will Latu? First time write in, enjoy reading each week! Lastly, is it a positive or a negetive we are playing a former coach in Sumlin, or does it really matter? Thanks

Jake Trotter
  (4:28 PM)

Probably: LT: Williams, LG: Shead, C: Irwin, RG: Irwin, RT: Thompson; with Evans, NIla, Darlington and Farniok all coming off the bench. Should be a deep, deep group, especially on the interior. Latu signed with Arky St, but don't know what happened after that. Not sure it really matters with Sumlin.

Duane (Norman)

Who do you give the early advantage to in the Cotton Bowl?

Jake Trotter
  (4:28 PM)

Landry Jones and the OU passing game was redhot to end the season; A&M's entire team was redhot.

Eli (Texas)

Jake,thank you once again for having these chats. I just wanted to get your opinion on this. Should OU win it's bowl game, would you consider this season a success? I think I would, especially with some of the defensive flaws.

Jake Trotter
  (4:29 PM)

11-2, Big 12 Co-Champs, Cotton Bowl win over top 10 team -- I'd call it a success.

Jim (OKC)

Jake, do you agree with David Ubben's comments when he said it was "silly" for OU to celebrate their earned share of the Big 12 Title? Would like to hear your thoughts on that.

Jake Trotter
  (4:30 PM)

Not sure that's how Ubben framed it... I don't think it's silly for OU to celebrate its shared title. I do think that Stoops was being hypocritical.

Merv (Norman)

Who is the next OU assistant to take a HC job in your opinion?

Jake Trotter
  (4:31 PM)

Good question. Jay Norvell is a possibility. Remember, Sumlin was the WR coach when he took over in Houston. Norvell would impress in interviews. Mike Stoops obviously is the most likely, but he will probably wait 'til his stock is a little higher.

Tony (Richmond, CA)

Which defensive coordinator would you say faired better in Year 1 at their new job, Brent Venables or Mike Stoops?

Jake Trotter
  (4:31 PM)

Niether had great years.

Soonerfandave84 (OK)

The real difference in the Cotton Bowl will be OUs ability to run the football. O/U on the Sooners hitting 125 yards?

Jake Trotter
  (4:32 PM)

Under

OUhound (Illinois)

Stoops' reaction to winning a share of the Big 12 title should have been... "Keep it."

Schmidty (Norman)

Your non-binding guess on Justin Manning's choice?

Jake Trotter
  (4:32 PM)

Honestly have no idea. Some people I talk to think it's A&M; Some, OU. Could go either way.

Jeff (Thornton,CO)

You mean Gabe Ilkard at center correct??? Irwin at RG???

Jake Trotter
  (4:33 PM)

Yes, meant ikard at center.

Satan (North Pole)

Will your book on OU/Texas fit in a stocking or will I need to wrap it?

Jake Trotter
  (4:33 PM)

No, it'll fit in a stocking.

DoTheGundy (Tulsa)

Your thoughts on Stoops' dance moves, I thought they were pretty sweet. He had no choice with the players chanting his name.

Jake Trotter
  (4:34 PM)

So disappointed i missed it before they took it down. Was driving back from Fort Worth.

Cooper (Norman)

In a previous post you left out Ikard as a starter on the O-Line. Has he made plans to graduate and get his degree?

Jake Trotter
  (4:35 PM)

No, that was a typo. Ikard is back. He is pre-med and has plans to take his mcats next year even though he'll be prepping for the NFL Draft. Very bright guy.

Eli (Texas)

Jake, thank you for answering my question. I appreciate the chat, and while I realize you are a reporter, and not a fan of ou football, I hope you have come to enjoy watching the team grow and the legacy continue. To good things in the bowl and a continued success nationally!

Jake Trotter
  (4:35 PM)

I definitely enjoy covering OU football. Something special about writing about a program with so much tradition and history.

Soonerfandave84 (OK)

TJ going or staying?

Jake Trotter
  (4:36 PM)

If I had to bet, I'd say he leaves. But will depend on his film evaluation. Not sure how he justifies leaving if he's not a top 3 round pick. I think he is. But we'll see.

Brent (Sidney, IA)

Here is the solution to everyone complaining about sharing the title...find two more teams to come into the Big XII and bring back the championship game. This argument wouldn't be happening with the OU/KSU Rematch. Argument would have been settled on the field Saturday night. Are there any grumblings of teams entering the Big XII?

Jake Trotter
  (4:38 PM)

The only team out there that the Big 12 vetted was Louisville, and they're in the ACC now. The Big 12 is only going back to 12 if it's worthwhile economically. No one out there right now that fits the bill.

Jeremy (Norman)

Interesting point: some lines are up at A&M by 6. This marks the first time OU will not be favored this year

Jake Trotter
  (4:38 PM)

Figured A&M would be favored. 6 seems a little high though.

SoonerPsycho (everywehre)

Here is the gif of Stoops' dance. http://soonerpsycho.com/spfarksandpics/stoops.gif

Jake Trotter
  (4:39 PM)

Haha, terrific.

francisco (socal)

won/lost prediction for next years team? strengths and weaknesses?

Jake Trotter
  (4:39 PM)

10-2. Schedule is brutal.

Brent (Sidney, IA)

You said on Twitter Satrurday that Kenny Stills intends to enter the NFL Draft early...is this true?

Jake Trotter
  (4:39 PM)

That wasn't me. Maybe you have me confused with someone else.

chris (kansas)

what about jaz or franks

Jake Trotter
  (4:40 PM)

Both still on the team.

Dillon (Norman)

Is there any assisstant sticking on the staff hoping to steal the HC job after Stoops? Heupel has been here a while.

Jake Trotter
  (4:40 PM)

Heupel or Mike would make sense as candidates. They might have to wait a few years, though.

Dillon (Norman)

How much does Mike Stoops help recruiting this year?

Jake Trotter
  (4:41 PM)

We're about to find out. Big recruiting month.

Ryan (Norman)

Excluding the quarterback, who will have the biggest impact on the offense in 2013? Also, can you see Blake Bell being "the man"? What are his weaknesses that would not help him earn the starting position?

Jake Trotter
  (4:42 PM)

Of guys that aren't playing now? I could see Jaz Reynolds coming back and contributing. The big question with Bell is his accuracy and ability to run the base offense. Not saying he can't. But we haven't seen it yet.

Office Krupke (The down Beat)

If Saudners sits for the bowl...game, who gets the reps, Bester and Metoyer? Can the fill that void to a degree?

Jake Trotter
  (4:43 PM)

That a Westside Story or Curb Your Enthusiasm reference? Not sure what they'll do. Metoyer and Neal probably are the favorites to get Saunders' time, unless of course OU goes back to the 3 WR set.

Boones (Houston)

Do you think playing Durron Neal this year was a mistake? He didn't contribute much, loses a year of eligibility, but the practice time could make him that much better in '13. And shared conference titles will continue to happen without a Big XII Championship Game. If the conference recognizes it, then it's ours. We play by the rules we are presented with.

Jake Trotter
  (4:44 PM)

The idea behind playing him this year is that he'll be further along in 2013 and 2014 when he'll fill a bigger role. OU has done that with RBs (Brandon Williams, Calhoun, Miller) and o-linemen, too, in the past.

Charles (YOUR BOOK) (Savannah, GA)

Any way to send your book to you in order to get it autographed? Thanks. It was a great read by the way!

Jake Trotter
  (4:45 PM)

Sure. Email me at trotterjake@gmail and we can figure something out. Glad you enjoyed it.

Matthew Taylor (Minnesota)

Jake, OU didn't really use the TE at all this season. Do you expect this to be a trend going forward? Will we just recruit heavy WR and abandon the TE?

Jake Trotter
  (4:46 PM)

Landing Beau Sandland would help. But there's no point in playing tight ends when you're weak there, and strong at WR. Could be the same scenario next year.

The Boz (Harelywood)

Any idea on how this defense slows Johnny Heisman down? What did LSU do?

Jake Trotter
  (4:47 PM)

Think they hit him really hard.

Kevin (Reno, NV)

Is Kyle Hicks switching from UT to TCU a sign that some of the luster has worn off Mack Brown and his program? How critical will next season be for the Horns?

Jake Trotter
  (4:48 PM)

The luster has been wearing off for awhile now, regardless of Hicks' decision. Next season is very critical for Mack. Not sure he survives another 6-7 win season that includes a blowout loss to OU.

oz (norman)

what will OU be ranked preseason next year? Will an undefeated season get a national championship berth?

Jake Trotter
  (4:48 PM)

5-10. Yes.

Nic (Norman, OK)

Do you think the OU offense will change the way it's run to accommodate Bell, or do you think Bell will have to make the adjustments to run the traditional OU offense?

Jake Trotter
  (4:49 PM)

Somewhere in the middle. They say they're not going to chance the offense at all, but they're going to have to chance it some to fit Bell's skill-set.

Kyle (NYC)

What's up with the Big 12s reluctance to expand? Can't stay at 10 forever... Had really hoped Big 12 would make a move at Louisville, but seems that window has closed.

Jake Trotter
  (4:49 PM)

Not going to add anyone that takes more out of the pie than they bring in.

Brent (Iowa)

My bad...I think it was some guy that commented on one of your tweets. I apologize for the Stills comment.

Jake Trotter
  (4:49 PM)

No problem.

Eli (Texas)

From a personality standpoint(I check the forum and very good evaluations for a talent standpoint on espn-insider), are there any particular charismatic recruits committed to OU a la The Cali trio?

Jake Trotter
  (4:50 PM)

Agreed. The Insider group does a fabulous job evaluating prospects objectively. That would be a question for Bob P. He is the one talking to them on a weekly basis.

Tyler (Miamisburg, OH [via mobile]

With the conference realignments going on, is there a chamce Oklahoma may leave the Big 12?

Jake Trotter
  (4:51 PM)

Not with its granting of TV rights committed to the Big 12 for the next decade. Big 12 would have to implode first.

Kyle (NYC)

If Tyrus is suspended and Darryl is still hurt does that leave us playing Farniok all game against A&M... Now that could be scary!

Jake Trotter
  (4:51 PM)

That is a possibility.

Matthew (Minnesota)

How did you get such an awesome job?

Jake Trotter
  (4:52 PM)

Had to work some crappy jobs at first, including initially writing obituaries for a newspaper. Didn't happen overnight.

Jason (Joplin, MO)

You mentioned a big recruiting month and we need about 10 more recruits, currently with 10 more that would put us with a class or 24 is that about right, or do we have more than that available?

Jake Trotter
  (4:52 PM)

Give or take, yes.

lil' Gerald McCoy (Tampa Bay, FL)

Are Tom Wort and Corey Nelson happy? It seems like they don't really fit Mike Stoops' system. I'm surprised they aren't a little bitter...

Jake Trotter
  (4:53 PM)

Been a huge adjustment for them. Can tell they both miss Venables' scheme.

Carry (Norman, OK)

Is there any chance that Blake Bell could make himself a Heisman candidate next season. We know he can put up the rushing TD numbers!

Jake Trotter
  (4:53 PM)

As the QB for OU, you automatically have a chance.

oz (norman)

How big would a cotton bowl victory be for recruiting, especially if its by a wide margin? A third time playing in the dallas metro can't hurt right?

Jake Trotter
  (4:54 PM)

The latter matters more than the former. Recruits almost never make decisions based on one game.

Max (Norman)

I remember there were comments by the coaches last week that they had played around too much with the defensive schemes and that some of the fault was theirs. Do you see Mike over-tweaking the defense again in an attempt to try to contain Manziel?

Jake Trotter
  (4:54 PM)

The defense you saw against TCU is the one they ought to use against Texas A&M, but we'll see.

Sean (Wallis)

Does Manning having a former OU lineman as a brother sway his choice at all?

Jake Trotter
  (4:54 PM)

Doesn't hurt OU's chances.

Danny Fart (Norman, OK)

Better interview: Barry Switzer or Mike Stoops?

Jake Trotter
  (4:55 PM)

Switzer in a landslide.

T-Jeff (Norman)

What are the odds I knock Johnny Football out of the game?

Jake Trotter
  (4:55 PM)

Slim, then again you almost knocked out Everett Golson.

Walk (Yukon)

Offensively we look good next year (Long as Bell can throw it) but defense wise we have alot of quetions.. How do you see the defense next year. Like the defensive line and linbackers.. Will Jefferson Leave?

Jake Trotter
  (4:57 PM)

Agreed. Plenty of offensive firepower back, but the D has a bunch of question marks. Don't see how the d-line doesn't take a step back. Stoops isn't using LBs enough for them to have a huge impact. And both safeties, the heart of the Mike Stoops defense, could be gone.

Mark (Tulsa)

After OU loses to A&M 42-38 because their defense can't get off the field, will OU fans still blame Landry Jones even after he throws for 350 yards and 4 TDs?

Jake Trotter
  (4:57 PM)

Probably.

Dave (TX exile)

OU always has trouble with mobile QBs. What are the chances that OU keeps Johnny Football from tearing our D to shreds?

Jake Trotter
  (4:57 PM)

Not great.

Shane (Chelsea)

Feels a lil unreal that this is Landry Jones's last game as a Sooner. If he was to go out and win this game for OU, where do you think it would rank in his list of best career wins?

Jake Trotter
  (4:58 PM)

In the top 5 along with OSU '10, Nebraska '10, Florida State '11 and WV/OSU '12

Jeremy (Norman)

What does OU have to do to take down Texas A&M this bowl season?

Jake Trotter
  (4:59 PM)

Wrapping up Johnny Football would be a nice start.

Michael (Long Beach, CA)

I understand the BCS rule and NIU getting the BCS bid, but what I don't get is how beating Kent State bumps you up that many spots in the polls. Makes no sense to me.

Jake Trotter
  (5:00 PM)

When teams in front of you give up 70 points, that helps.

Everybody (Everywhere)

That is all the time we have for you this week Jake, Thanks!

Jake Trotter
  (5:00 PM)

Haha, you're correct. Thanks for all the questions guys. We'll do it again next Monday, same time, same place. Until then, have a great week.