MIAMI, Fla. - While many Sooner faithful are enjoying the festivities surrounding the Orange Bowl, a pair of friends are preparing to see who can come up with the winning strategy for the game.
Brent Venables left the University of Oklahoma to become the defensive coordinator at Clemson after the 2011 season.
"There's no feud whatsoever. It kinda stinks to be honest with you," Venables said." I'm incredibly indebted to them, their family and, you know, other people as well. They've had a big influence on both my personal and professional life. We've shared a lot together and it's not about the logos, couldn't be further from the truth. Logos mean nothing when you talk about our relationship."
"We've had a great friendship our whole life, this isn't going to change. We will compete against each other Thursday night and we'll talk briefly before the game but we both got, you know, big jobs to do. You know, once the game starts, it doesn't matter who's on the field. It could be anybody. Our friendship is a lot stronger than this game, or being divisive in any way, I think we have too much respect for one another," Mike Stoops said.
Stoops says that he thinks of Venables like a brother.
"I miss coming back and him not being there more than anything," he said. "I think it's worked out well for both of us, and I couldn't be more happy for him and his family, and I think Dabo is a great guy to work for, too. It's hard to leave and change is difficult, but he's made a name for himself, and that's important."
The Orange Bowl will kick off in Sun Life Stadium at 3 p.m. on Dec. 31.
The game will be televised on ESPN.