OU cornerback Dominique Franks had some strong words for Florida and Gator quarterback Tim Tebow this morning.
Speaking with the media this morning, Franks said Tebow wasn't as good as the top signal callers from the Big 12. Last season's Heisman Trophy winner would have been the fourth-best quarterback in the Big 12 this year, according to Franks, falling behind Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy and Graham Harrell. ESPN.com's Chris Low says the OU defenders "grew increasingly agitated" as reporters peppered them with questions about the quality of their play this season, which may explain some of the fire behind Franks' comments.
Sooner fans--and coaches--are no doubt flashing back to OU's humiliating defeat in the 2005 Orange Bowl. Prior to that game, Oklahoma defensive end Larry Birdine disparaged USC and that season's Heisman winner, Matt Leinart, giving the Trojans ample bulletin board material. We all know how that turned out.
Even if Franks was goaded into his remarks, Homerism can't understand how a Sooner player could fall into this trap again after seeing what 55-19 feels like. Obviously this year's team doesn't have any holdovers from that 2004 squad, but did these guys not own televisions or read newspapers? More importantly, did OU coach Bob Stoops not school his players on how to conduct themselves during these media sessions?
As a sports fan, I'm all for athletes speaking their mind. Nothing in sports fandom is as patently uninteresting as listening to milquetoast interviews with guys like Bill Belichick and Alex Rodriguez, who either refuse to say anything of substance or take the greatest of pains to avoid offending anyone.
However, I just don't get why players continue to go all Charles Barkley when it comes to talking about an upcoming game or opponent. We've all seen how effectively teams have parlayed the supposed "disrespect" angle into motivation on the big stage, and it's not like you score any points for talking the best trash in the days before a game. For a program that has witnessed the downside of firing up a quality opponent so vividly, you would think the Sooners would have figured out that you'll have a chance to make your statement on the field.