OU's Heupel not paying attention to Texas Tech's ranking
NORMAN, Okla. - Josh Heupel played the role of coach really well Tuesday afternoon.
He told everyone who was listening his team was focused on the next day, the next game, getting better. You know, the kind of stuff coaches say all the time and then talk themselves into believing.
But that doesn't mean the rest of us have to.
Heupel, the Oklahoma offensive coordinator, said he didn't know Texas Tech, the Sooners' opponent Saturday, was ranked. Said he had no idea. No word if Heupel knew if the Red Raiders were undefeated or still played their home games in Lubbock, Texas, either.
Coaches spend their days breaking down film, personnel, doomsday scenarios and likely outcomes to every conceivable situation, so when they offer up a nugget like not knowing anything about a ranking, it's a bit hard to swallow.
"I have no idea," Heupel said. "I heard someone say they were ranked 10th. I found that out today."
OK, so Heupel may have just found out (yeah, right), but you already knew what the Red Raiders have done this season - 7–0 overall and 4-0 in the Big 12 Conference.
But here's something you might not know:
No team stands to gain more in the next two games than Oklahoma. With Saturday's game against No. 10 Tech and then the Nov. 7 game against Baylor, the Sooners, with a pair of wins, could jump into the top five of the BCS standings.
Of the teams in the top 15 in the BCS, only Oregon plays two teams in the next two games ranked in the top 15. Texas Tech is No. 10 in the BCS. Baylor is No. 8.
And you think the Sooner coaches don't know that?
"I think our kids understand the opportunities that are out there," Heupel said. "But at the end of the day, you really do have to just focus on one day at a time. You're only as good as your last performance. What happened last week has no bearing on what will happen this week."
What's happened the last three weeks certainly don't lead anyone to believe the Sooners will be able to beat both Tech and then high-powered Baylor. However, Baylor has played just two games against teams with winning records at the time of the game (Louisiana-Monroe, West Virginia). None of Baylor's six opponents currently have a winning record.
Texas Tech has played just one team with a winning record – Texas State. Of the seven teams Tech has played only Texas State (4-3) has a winning record.
Meanwhile, OU is 3-0 at home under coach Bob Stoops against conference teams who have come in with a 5-0 mark or better. Stoops is also 19-1 in first meetings against opposing Big 12 coaches, winning by an average margin of 43-15.
Things are set up well for OU this weekend.
"The only thing we can control is going out and getting better," quarterback Blake Bell said.
Actually, the Sooners can control a lot in the BCS situation. Back-to-back wins against back-to-back undefeated teams would go a long ways. While getting back into the national title picture is not likely and barely possible, OU could find itself very easily back at the top of the Big 12 race.
"We've just got to find ways to win," co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said. "We've got to find ways to protect the ball. We've done that at times and then there's times where we've been inconsistent."
Of course, the coaches know that. Just don't ask them to tell you about record and rankings.
Follow Andrew Gilman on Twitter: @andrewgilmanOK