Ready To Move On Bob Stoops performed his postmortem on the Sugar Bowl the day after, and then moved on. Most of him moved on, anyway. He is still having 3 a.m. meetings with himself to go over the 21-14 loss to LSU, the one that cost him a second national championship in four seasons. "I didn't believe the last two years that we were quite good enough to win it," Stoops said Monday morning. "We were this year. That's what kind of gets you as a coach. You feel like you didn't do your job. I wake up at night frustrated. It wasn't like it was a dumb call we made. You do have peace of mind that you managed the game the right way. You still wake up and think, 'How did this happen?'" Stoops said several times that he would not make excuses, that a formidable opponent played well enough to beat the Sooners. "There are no reasons," he said. "Everybody has to have a reason. The bottom line is it's a play or two. The momentum changes, and the play is different." He could point to the two first-quarter turnovers forced by the Sooners and negated by the Sooners' penalties -- the offside penalty on the fumble that Donte Nicholson recovered on the Oklahoma 33 was a good call, Stoops said, but the holding on the interception that Brandon Everage returned to the LSU 21 "was nuts." He's got a few other plays that he has gone over in his head a few hundred times, the way that the losing coach does. The winning coach spends January accepting congratulations. When Stoops thinks about what prevented Oklahoma from winning, however, he focuses on the difficulty of managing the month of December, when bowl preparations must compete with recruiting and the ceremonies and banquets that have multiplied like mushrooms in the college football postseason. The Sooners had a December like Titanic had the Oscars, winning seven major awards -- the Heisman (quarterback Jason White), O'Brien (White), Nagurski (cornerback Derrick Strait), Thorpe (Strait), Lombardi (defensive tackle Tommie Harris), Butkus (linebacker Teddy Lehman) and Bednarik (Lehman). Stoops insisted in New Orleans that the distractions weren't a problem. He sounded sincere. He wasn't. "I couldn't talk about it then, but it's been a negative," Stoops said. "I'm not going to talk about a negative before we play ... Here's a part of it. It was all happening the week we were off (Dec. 8-12). We didn't miss practice. But we were setting it all up the week of the Big 12 Championship. You can say you're not going to talk about it until Sunday, but the players leave on Sunday. You just have to manage it. We managed it in 2000." Stoops takes solace in the fact that, as feeble as the Sooners were, they still had four snaps to tie the game from the LSU 12 in the final four minutes. That's not a blowout. "We played pretty damn average and we had a chance to win a couple or three times," Stoops said. "They had a lot to do with how we played average. We held them to two touchdowns. We missed a couple of tackles early. In 2000, when we won (the Orange Bowl over Florida State), 13-2, we got the big play, the fumble recovery from Chris Weinke that set up a touchdown, and on defense, we didn't miss the two tackles." Stoops said he won't be waking up in the middle of the night much longer. He won't talk about the Sugar Bowl again after signing day. It will be time for a new season, and the possibilities will again be endless. "We got a chance to be pretty good," he said.