I usually fly out for road games on Fridays, but we decided to go a little earlier this week to try to share some of what's special about this Oklahoma program.
I arrived Wednesday in time to hear OU coach Bob Stoops' final press conference of the week. The big news around here was Oklahoma offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson's criticism of Heisman-candidate tailback Adrian Peterson.
Actually, it wasn't like Wilson trashed Peterson. He simply said he wanted Peterson to cut into the hole with more authority and to block better -- the exact same things UW coaches say about Louis Rankin -- but obviously this became a bigger story for the obvious reasons.
Anyway, Stoops predictably stood by his coach while also trying to play down what was actually said, while also thowing in an equally predictable blame-the-media implication.
Never miss a local story.
Which is a lot for a short single paragraph to accomplish.
"We're being honest, saying all guys can get better," Stoops said. "Let's face it, A.P. realizes it. He sees spots where he can get better. Everybody just likes to make major headlines about it. Adrian Peterson can get better? Sure he can. So could every other guy that's played here or every other guy that's won the Heisman. They can all do some things better."
Peterson ran for 139 yards and a touchdown against UAB.
Stoops also covered a few bases when asked if he believes the old coach's standby that teams improve most between Week 1 and Week 2.
"I didn't see it last year," he said. "I thought we made more improvement in maybe games four and five than we did in the first couple. It happens sometimes, but it's all relative, isn't it? If everyone across the country gets better in the second game, everybody's pretty much still the same."
It also was interesting hearing the local media's take on the Huskies. While driving to the campus I was listening to a local sports-talk station where the announcer cut through to what he saw as the bottom line: "The Washington defense is terrible," he said.
By the way, it is sticky and warm in Norman, but it doesn't seem that the Huskies' worst fears about blazing Oklahoma heat will be realized: The game day forecast calls for a high of 83. However, the lower temperatures may come at the cost of possible afternoon thunderstorms.