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DALLAS -- Oklahoma Head Coach Bob Stoops said he wants his team to maintain the momentum they earned in a win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl into next year.

Stoops kicked off the second day of Big 12 media days Tuesday. His team last took the field in a 45-31 win over the Crimson Tide.

'I think that really did give us a boost in the last week or two of recruiting,' Stoops said. 'I think, as much as anything, it inspired our players to really to build on it in the winter in the way we trained, the way we went into spring, and we had a fabulous summer. One of the best. I've never seen my strength coach, Coach Schmidt, so happy because he can be hard to please, and he's really elated at the way the guys have worked.'

Stoops is starting his 16th season at Oklahoma. During that time, he has become the winningest coach in Sooners' history with a record of 160 wins and 39 losses.

'I know our guys are really anxious to get back on the field here next week,' Stoops said.

The Sooners were one of the first programs to introduce a fast, up-tempo game -- an approach that has also been adopted by other teams in the Big 12. Now, trying to keep that edge within the conference has become tougher.

'I don't know that there's a whole lot that you can do to go much faster, to be honest with you,' Stoops said. 'You still have to be able to get lined up yourself and officials to get in place and still snap the ball. So I don't know that there's much more that can be done that way, really, quite honestly. But we'll keep looking for ways.'

Stoops also indicated that Blake Bell's days as a quarterback are over.

'That's funny, it keeps coming up,' Stoops said. 'Blake was recruited, definitely, as quarterback. But when you look at him now after three years, he is the pro type at tight end. He's got great hands, great size, 6-foot-6, he's almost 260 [pounds.] He can run. Natural spacing, as far as where to be in his routes. And I go back to even, it's in his genes. His dad was an NFL tight end for eight years. So he fits the bill perfectly and it's a position that we want to continue to make stronger. So I think he's really going to impact us in a great way at the tight end position.'

Oklahoma will host their season opener on Aug. 30 against Louisiana Tech.

E-mail griba@wfaa.com

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