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January 2, 2014

Sooners well prepared ahead of Sugar Bowl showdown

METAIRIE, La. —

Oklahoma’s last real practice of the 2013 season ended Tuesday afternoon. All that remains is today’s walkthrough before the 11th-ranked Sooners meet No. 3 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl Thursday night.

OU coach Bob Stoops has no complaints about his team’s preparation.

“It’s been really good. The players haven’t missed one thing. I don’t have one complaint. Everyone has done what we’ve asked them to do,” Stoops said following the workout at the New Orleans Saints practice facility. “They’ve practiced well and everyone has been on time, and everyone has been sharp at meetings. It’s been a positive experience.

“The people here have been amazing. All the accommodations here at the Saints facility couldn’t have been better. All the bowl people and the people at the hotel — it’s been a great experience.”

The Sooners need to get used to it. The BCS era ends Monday when No. 1 Florida State and No. 2 Auburn meet in the national championship game. The four-team playoff begins next season.

The Big 12 Conference will send its best team not involved in the playoff to New Orleans for the Champions Bowl beginning next year.

The city could very easily become the Sooners’ frequent postseason destination.

“I think it’s great. This is an amazing bowl game. The people here have been incredible. Great facilities, everything about it has been positive,” Stoops said.

However, Stoops joked he might not feel the same way if the Sooners have to play LSU in that game. Clearly, there’s still a bad taste from the 2003 national championship game when OU lost to the Tigers in New Orleans.

Take what it can get: Just from looking around New Orleans the last two days, there are more Alabama fans than Sooner fans in New Orleans.

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