Before all is said and done, every SEC fan will hate Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops. This time the Bob Stoops SEC criticism comes in the form of the SEC defenses.
“Funny how people can’t play defense when they have pro-style quarterbacks over there, which we’ve had. They’re all playing in the NFL right now,” Stoops said.
The Big 12 has had quarterbacks move on to start in the NFL, including names like Sam Bradford, Brandon Weeden, Robert Griffin III and Geno Smith. Despite these players making it in the NFL, when they were in college, they still were strongly challenged by Big 12 defenses.
The SEC now has those kind of high caliber quarterbacks – names like Johnny Manziel, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger. Suddenly, the defenses in the SEC don’t look quite as dominating with actual offensive competition facing them. Outside of Cam Newton, this might be the most talented quarterbacks in the SEC since Matthew Stafford was in college.
Ryan Tannehill, the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins, played for the Texas A&M Aggies when they were in the Big 12. Manziel is putting up much bigger numbers than Tannehill did, and Stoops points out that he is doing it against the “amazing” SEC defenses.
“I still don’t know how (Texas) A&M was third in the country in total offense and scoring offense playing all those SEC defenses. I have no idea how that happened,” Stoops said. “Oh, they got a quarterback. That’s right.”
Of course, Stoops didn’t make many friends a couple of months back when he said that the SEC mystique was simple “propaganda.” What is interesting about all the hate Stoops got for those words was that he was right.
He admitted that the top teams in the DEC were some of the best in the nation, led by the back-to-back national champion Alabama Crimson Tide. But what Stoops was saying was that – as a conference from top to bottom – the SEC was not the best.
The bottom six teams in the SEC all had losing records last season and none of them beat any of the top teams in the SEC. There is no parity in the SEC – there is the great and the rest are pathetic.
However, in the Big 12, only two teams had losing records and most of the conference went to a bowl game. The Big 12 was much more competitive than the SEC, and if you look at the conferences as a whole – while the SEC had better teams at the top, the Big 12 was stronger from top to bottom.
No one in the SEC wants to hear that any more than they want to hear about their now suspect defenses.