Bob Stoops stirred up some controversy earlier this week when he had this to say about the SEC.
“It depends on who you want to listen to. Listen, they’ve had the best team in college football, meaning they’ve won the national championship. That doesn’t mean everything else is always the best.
“So you’re listening to a lot of propaganda that gets fed out to you. You’re more than smart enough to figure it out. Again, you can look at the top two, three, four, five, six teams, and you can look at the bottom six, seven, eight, whatever they are. How well are they all doing?
“What’d we (the Big 12) have, eight of 10 teams in bowl games this year? Again, you figure it all out.”
As much as the SEC lovers hate to admit it, Stoops does have a point. The bottom of the SEC is horrible while the bottom of the Big 12 isn’t nearly as bad. Sure there is Kansas but other than that, every other team in the Big 12 can at least be looked at as a formidable opponent. You cannot say that about the SEC now-a-days. If you think that playing Auburn, Tennessee and Kentucky (in recent years) are formidable opponents, than well you are just insane.
I agree with Stoops that the SEC has had the best team in recent years. In fact, I believe that the SEC has the best players top to bottom. But having the best talent doesn’t always lead to the best product on the field. Look at the 2013 Sugar Bowl, Florida without a doubt had more talent on their roster than Louisville. But playing as a team and with more heart willed the Cards to victory. This is proven across all sports as well i.e. the Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Now, for what its worth I have no doubt that Oklahoma would be a middle of the pack team in the SEC if they were to somehow play that conference schedule. Oklahoma got beat by a vastly overrated Notre Dame team who Alabama dismantled in the National Championship game. This would have been better suited coming from a Chip Kelly or Urban Meyer.
All in all, this really isn’t a big deal in the grand scheme of things. What was Stoops supposed to say? That the SEC is better than the Big 12? Sure Stoops got on a bit of a rant and took things to a point where they didn’t need to be taken. But I guarantee you that if you ask any coach how their conference compares to the SEC, they will say that it is either equal or better.
Here are some reactions from coaches around the SEC on Stoops comments:
Will Muschamp (Florida) – “I’d be saying the same thing if I were in the Big 12, I said it for three years.”
Nick Saban (Alabama) - “I didn’t even know he said it, so you’re going to have to tell me what he said. I’ve got more important things to do than sit around and read what Bob Stoops has to say about anything. But I like Bob Stoops, and I respect him as a coach, but I’m really trying to manage our business.
“Well, we don’t play everybody in the Big 12 or whatever it is, so I really don’t know much about their league. We have a lot of respect for what they do at Oklahoma, and I really don’t think that people that don’t play in our league really understand the quality of our league from top to bottom.
“I think there’s probably a lot of animosity out there because of the success that we have in our league, but I think that kind of goes with the territory. I understand that. But we certainly respect the great program that they have at Oklahoma and the other good programs that they have in the Big 12.”