Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops might be as gifted in sidestepping difficult questions as he is in producing championship teams.
The Sooners have two of the top Heisman Trophy contenders in quarterback Jason White and running back Adrian Peterson. But don't expect Stoops to commit to one over the other as more deserving.
"You're not going to get me to decide," Stoops says with a contented chuckle. "That's for other people to decide."
And it's not an easy decision. If Peterson and White finish among the top four in Heisman voting, it would mark only the third time in the past 21 years that one team has earned that distinction.
Their teammates certainly are aware of the historical ramifications of their accomplishments.
"This is something I can tell my children one day," OU tackle Jammal Brown said. "I can talk about playing with Jason White, who might end up winning two Heismans. And I can tell them about playing with Adrian Peterson, who could end up as one of the greatest running backs in history and have two or three of his own."
Primarily because they have two of the nation's premier offensive weapons, the Sooners have streaked to their third undefeated regular season in five years. Their Big 12 championship game appearance Saturday against Colorado will present White and Peterson a final opportunity to influence the 923 Heisman voters before ballots are due next week.
White won the Heisman last year, but his stature was diminished by bad performances in season-ending losses to Kansas State, in the Big 12 title game, and to LSU, in the Sugar Bowl.
But White has rebounded with numbers almost as good as last year, and he's in contention to become only the second two-time Heisman winner. The senior has passed for 2,707 yards and 30 touchdowns with four interceptions — and has a current streak of 183 passes without an interception.
"His efficiency has been higher than it was a year ago," Stoops said. "He is just as accurate with the deep ball and anyone who has watched us play knows he can throw it downfield, and he does it often. He's not just back there with a bunch of short throws."
White's season has been helped by the presence of Peterson, who's bidding to become the first freshman to win the Heisman. Peterson has broken an NCAA freshman record with nine consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
Balance with Peterson has kept defenses from teeing off on White, who has been sacked only seven times.
Peterson has rushed for 1,671 yards, the fourth-best mark in OU history. He has two games to break the school record of 1,896, set in 1978 by Billy Sims.
"I'm not thinking about it," Peterson says. "I've been focused on winning the Big 12, just winning the championship. (Being a Heisman finalist) would be cool, but it's not what's ahead of us now."
White, who as a former Heisman winner has a ballot, plans to vote for Peterson.
"It would be cool to see Adrian win this year," White said. "It's a great honor to win the Heisman, but it's extra, though."
Their prime challenger figures to be Southern California quarterback Matt Leinart, who also finishes his regular season Saturday against UCLA after a huge game last week against Notre Dame. Leinart blistered the Irish for 400 yards and a school-record five TD passes.
The Heisman race among those three could be one of the closest in years. Randy Holtz, a Denver sportswriter whose Heisman poll in the Rocky Mountain News accurately has predicted 16 of the past 18 winners, recorded a dead heat this week between Leinart and White.
"I've never seen anything like it, where it is so close and all of the major contenders will have one chance on the final day to show what they can do," said Holtz, who each week surveys 10 voters divided into regions. "It's quite remarkable it's ended up this way."
But both Sooners say they are more interested in winning a national championship than college football's top individual award.
"We can't get wrapped up in the Heisman," White said. "Both of us want to win two more games, and that's where our focus is right now."