Before the 2017 season started, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops made the surprising decision to retire, giving the program to new coach Lincoln Riley.
Stoops then visited some other programs around the country, stopping in Athens to talk with the Georgia Bulldogs and second-year head coach Kirby Smart.
Ironically, Smart’s Bulldogs are now set to play the Sooners in a College Football Playoff semifinal game on New Year’s Day.
Smart recalled that meeting with Stoops on Sunday during an appearance on ESPN, speaking with Rece Davis. He praised Stoops’ Oklahoma teams, but admitted that he does see the irony in the meeting (via 247Sports):
“Now I look back at the irony in that,” Smart said. “That he was talking to our team about staying focused throughout the year and now we’re up against Oklahoma, who I know has a tremendous program and I’ve (coached) in bowl games against those guys.”
New Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley joked that he hoped Stoops didn’t share too many of Oklahoma’s secrets with the Georgia coach:
“Hopefully, he did not give them too many of their secrets,” Riley said. “Bob told me that he went out there. We had a good laugh about that last night.”
Oklahoma and Georgia will meet up in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 with a spot in the national championship game on the line.