Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops closes practice. No surprise there. A lot of coaches keep things secret.
I was in Norman last week and found out first hand. There are guards everywhere. Don't even try to peak through the shrubs planted just inside the iron fencing surrounding the field. I was parked on the top level of the garage adjacent to the stadium. As I was leaving, I asked a film person if I could glimpse the view during practice.
"No!" the guy said sternly.
Turns out there might be a reason for this high security. It was reported in an August blog that OU insiders believe that "friends of TCU" watched Oklahoma practices before the 2005 upset of the Sooners. Spying might be too strong a word. Scrimmages were open back then so what what was seen or communicated to Oklahoma, if anything, is anyone's guess.
Anyway, tempers have flared below the surface this week as the teams get ready to meet Saturday again in Norman. You can read about the latest back and forth here.
The difference this time is that Oklahoma in 2005 was still searching for a quarterback and was probably overrated. That team finished 8-4 with the second-worst record of an OU squad under Stoops. The team Gary Patterson will face is loaded and he knows it. I spoke with the TCU coach this week and he knows winning in Norman this time is going to take a monumental effort.
"Playing Oklahoma makes me get less sleep," Patterson said.
The Horned Frogs do take the nation's No. 1-ranked offense on the road. Whether that will be able to offset a team -- just guessing here -- riled up by spying accusations remains to be seen.
Harris poll voters have a chance to get it right. Whatever "right" is.
The other human half of the BCS standings debuts on Sunday with the 114 Harris voters putting forth their first poll of the year. This is what everyone wants -- starting the poll from scratch in the middle of the season. It will be interesting to see how close the Harris poll resembles the AP and coaches' polls. Usually, it resembles the other polls a lot.
This is truly a chance to start over after the USC. It's going to be a fashion show for the top spot with No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Georgia, No. 4 Florida and No. 5 LSU all in action. Heck, feel free Harrisites. If No. 12 Penn State blows out Illinois, why not? This is a chance for your poll freedom.
Why do I get the feeling the top five are going to be more or less the same in all three polls?