ARLINGTON, Texas — The absence of Stacy McGee will be felt in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic. The Oklahoma defensive lineman was kicked off the team, after being charged with misdemeanor for driving under the influence last week.
McGee was a backup to seniors Casey Walker and Jamarkus McFarland. Both will start against Texas A&M on Friday, but defensive end David King indicated at the event’s media day Sunday that he would also be playing a lot at the defensive tackle spot.
“I was playing tackle and working inside once we started practicing for the bowl,” King said. “That was before what happened with Stacy.”
King started the season at defensive tackle, but that was mostly due to numbers. McGee missed the first six games due to a suspension. King played defensive end most of the season but occasionally slid inside in obvious passing situation.
Walker doesn’t believe depth will be an issue against the Aggies.
“Me and Jamarkus are prepared to play the whole game like we’ve been doing,” he said. “It’s our last game and we have to go out with a bang.”
Allen unsure: Junior quarterback Drew Allen admitted on Sunday that he hasn’t decided if the Cotton Bowl will be his final game in an OU uniform or not. Blake Bell is the No. 2 quarterback. Although there will be a spring competition for the starting job, that will also include redshirt freshman Kendal Thompson and true freshman Trevor Knight.
“I’m here right now,” Allen said. “I haven’t decided anything yet, but I know I’m graduating in May, so I’m really excited about that and just focusing on the Cotton Bowl right now just like any other game.”
The NCAA allows players who’ve graduated but still have eligibility remaining to transfer for a final year without penalty. Allen said he wants to play next season, but the San Antonio, Texas native has roots at OU he doesn’t want to cut.
“That’s the thing. Sooner Nation, or whatever you want to call it, everybody has been very supportive and very behind me in everything that’s been going on,” Allen said. “The way I like to handle myself is to have a positive attitude and to be good for the team. These guys are my buddies. I’ve been with these guys for four years and they count on me to be a leader no matter where I am on the depth chart. Whether I’m first, second or third, I always like to have a vocal role. It’s something I’ve been a part of for four years. It’s definitely good to have support.”
Lots of rivals: OU coach Bob Stoops was asked about renewing the rivalry with Texas A&M on Sunday. He couldn’t resist bringing up how many “rivals” the Sooners have acquired over the years.
“It’s funny; we seem to have all kinds of rivals: Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Texas, Kansas State, Texas A&M. For whatever reason, we seem to be a lot of people’s rival,” he said.
However, this will be the first meeting between a current Big 12 school and the Aggies, Missouri, Nebraska or Colorado. Those teams all left the conference between 2010 and 2011.
“It is sad to see anyone leave. However, we are all businessmen, we are all big boys. We are doing fine, too,” Stoops said. “If that is what needs to happen, that is what needs to happen. I say it a lot; very few things in this world stay the same forever. You just have to keep evolving with it.”
A plea for inclusion: Next season is the final one for the current BCS system. Beginning in 2014, there will be a four-team playoff and Cowboys Stadium could be one of the sites for either semi-final games or the national championship game.
Stoops would love to see it as one of the sites.
“I think this is the perfect location. It is easy for people to travel in and out of,” he said. “The way everyone here manages this game, it is much like a BCS bowl in everything that you do. From facilities to practice to gifts for the players, they are all set up for it.”