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“You never know. We didn’t seem very close when we had a shot at it in 2000. You never know when it’s coming, and we’re going to work hard for it,” Stoops said. “We may try and make some improvements here through the winter and spring and hopefully have a chance to be better next year.”

He needed only to point to one of this year’s participants in the BCS championship game to show how early expectations can be deceiving.

“Year to year, you never know who progresses, who doesn’t. Obviously, Notre Dame was that story this year,” Stoops said. “They weren’t probably projected real high, did it right, had great team chemistry I’m sure, won some tight games and played well.”

One of those close calls came against Stoops‘ Sooners, who could find that same magical combination this season.

“In the end, we weren’t quite good enough to win 11, 12 or 13 games,” he said. “We were good enough to win 10 and have a part of a championship once again, for the second time in three years. So, that’s where we’re at.”