Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bob Stoops to Notre Dame Rumors Pick Up Steam

Oklahoma Sooners ended their regular season (7-5) Saturday shuting out No. 12 Oklahoma State, 27-0, in Norman. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and OU defense forced Oklahoma State's first shutout since 2005.

Shortly, following Oklahoma's Bedlam win, silly season rumors ratched up with rumors of Stoops flying to South Bend to meet with Irish officials on Sunday, to rumors of, Notre Dame officials were in Norman to observe Saturday's game.

Speculation was fueled when Tony Barnhart, CBS Sports analyst, cited unnamed sources saying Stoops would fly to Notre Dame "as early as tomorrow" to have a sit-down with school officials.

However, late Saturday, the rumor of Stoops and Irish holding conversations about the replacement of current ND head coach Charlie Weis was dismissed by Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame Athletics Director.

"Any version of anything you hear in the contact with a coach are absolutely false," Swarbrick said before Saturday night's Notre Dame-Stanford game. "We haven't talked to anybody. We haven't authorized anybody to talk to anybody. It's simply not true.

"We'll engage in the evaluation in earnest following this game, then we'll go from there."

ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit said on ABC's Saturday night football telecast of ND-Stanford, he spoke with Stoops following Saturday's Bedlam game. Stoops assured Herbstreit, he or his agent hasn't spoke with Notre Dame officials.

In addition, Stoops explicitly denied the CBS report in a text message to Tulsa World. According to Tulsa World, Stoops replied in a text that, "On the record, I'm not interviewing. This is the first I've hear of this (rumor)."

On Friday, there was a published report that Stoops was atop Notre Dame's coaching wishlist. The Chicago Sun-Times, citing an unnamed source, reported "A university source has Oklahoma's Bob Stoops at the very top of ND athletic director Jack Swarbrick's wish list."

Among the coaches, who are thought, to be on ND's wishlist are Brian Kelly, Gary Patterson, Bob Stoops and Urban Meyer.

Notre Dame lost to Stanford 45-38, in likely Weis' last game as Notre Dame's head coach.

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