Oklahoma, Florida to decide BCS

Published 3:02 am Thursday, January 8, 2009

Bob Stoops posed next to the crystal football and played along with a wave of photographers.

They asked him to look to the left, he did. They asked him to smile, he did. Any shot they wanted Wednesday inside a hotel ballroom, he gave them.

Then a shutterbug shouted to the Oklahoma coach, telling him to hold up his finger, showing who’s No. 1. Stoops tilted his head, stared at the guy and kept his hands still.

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‘‘Too soon,’’ he said.

First, there’s a game to play. The hurry-up Sooners and speedy Florida meet Thursday night for the BCS championship, a matchup that includes a pair of Heisman Trophy winners, an SEC vs. Big 12 debate and more than its share of trash talk.

Besides, enough teams already are claiming the top spot. Southern California, Utah and Texas hope their bowl wins impressed enough voters in The Associated Press poll, which will be released in the wee hours Friday.

Heck, how about New Hampshire? The Wildcats beat Army, which beat Louisiana Tech, which beat Mississippi State, which beat Vanderbilt, which beat Mississippi, which handed the No. 1 Gators their only loss.

No wonder college fans from President-elect Barack Obama on down want to see a playoff system.

‘‘I think at some point in time it might happen,’’ Florida coach Urban Meyer said Wednesday. ‘‘I didn’t believe that a few years ago, but I feel now the discussion is out of control. I can’t imagine any guy that enjoys football not discussing that wherever he’s at. So I imagine at some point that might happen now.’’

As to whether it should be a tournament for four, eight or 16 teams, that’s someone else’s department.

‘‘It’s not my job to figure that out,’’ Meyer said. ‘‘I think it would be hard. I don’t know how you do it.’’