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Bob Stoops is Confused about the SEC

Bob Stoops is Confused about the SEC

Photo Courtesy: Matt Barnard, Tulsa World

The Southeastern Conference is again under attack.

(And yes, I am going to refer to it as the Southeastern Conference from here until my dying days. If you like professional football, you would have noticed by now that it is ALWAYS referred to by its full name when being talked about by former players and analysts. And National Football League scouts are on record as saying that there are only three conferences in football that matter: The AFC, NFC, and the SEC)

This time the attempted sucker punch comes from Oklahoma coach Big Game Bob Stoops. During the Oklahoma caravan tour where he travels the Midwest selling his program, Stoops was asked his opinion on the widening gap between the Southeastern Conference and the rest of the country and was dumbfounded by the question.

To be fair, I am assuming that the gap the reporters were referring to would involve the seven straight national championships, the record-breaking 63 NFL draft picks (more than twice of any other conference), or the revolutionary TV deal the conference signed with ESPN.

However, for the sake of argument, let’s take a look at what Coach Stoops had to say.

All quotes are courtesy of this embarrassingly bad write-up in the Tulsa World by John Hoover.

 “Well, it depends on what gap you’re talking about,” Stoops said. “What are the bottom six doing?”

Funny you asked Bobby. The bottom six of the SEC this season: Kentucky, Auburn, Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri, and Ole Miss.

Ole Miss finished with a winning season thanks to a 21-point bowl win over Pittsburgh, and you may have seen them land a couple of big-time recruits on their way to a top class. Auburn is only two seasons removed from a national championship and had the highest turnout of any program in the country for a spring game. The Arkansas season came apart at the seams with Petrino’s motorcycle wreck last April after leading the Hogs to a top-five season. This off-season  they arguably hired away a top-3 Big 10 coach (or whatever the hell they call it these days). Not bad for a bottom team in a conference.

Tennessee had four National Football League draft picks including a first round selection this past season. Tennessee has won a BCS national championship and was a premier program for much of the past thirty seasons. Never mind that Tennessee hired the Big East Coach of the Year away from Cincinnati and are currently ranked number three in recruiting rankings for the 2014 class. And let’s not focus on the fact that Tommy Tuberville left Texas Tech to go to Cincinnati. Do you think any coaches in the Southeastern Conference would leave their jobs to go to the Big East? Would any coaches leave to go to any other conference? I am seriously asking that question because I cannot think of a recent example besides the weird Urban Meyer thing.

Kentucky… well OK, Bob. You may have gotten me with Kentucky. But hey, they did draw 50,000 for their spring game which is higher than any school in the Big 12 and over twenty-thousand more people that showed up to watch your spring game. Besides, if Kentucky is still at the bottom in a couple of years, we can all just blame it on the fact that he is a Stoops and that the family may not be able to hack it in the Southeastern Conference

And it is funny that Big 12 supporters want to point out that a mid-tier team like Texas A&M can come to the SEC and “dominate” -with two losses, but hey why let facts ruin a good story, yet they do not mention how a Missouri team can come in and get manhandled? It has only been a year, guys. I have not forgotten that QB James Franklin went from being arguably the best Big 12 quarterback to one of the worst in the Southeastern Conference.

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So, to recap:

The bottom six has two national championships in the past fifteen seasons, had a bowl win in 2012, has finished ranked in the top-five in the nation twice in the past three years, and displayed more off-season fan support than any team in the Big 12.

“So they’ve had the best team in college football,” Stoops said. “They haven’t had the whole conference. Because, again, half of ’em haven’t done much at all. I’m just asking you. You tell me.”

Will you, the kind audience, allow me to take this opportunity to explain to Coach Stoops how math works? See, in (American) football there are winners and losers. Therefore, it is impossible for the entire conference to have a good record because, yanno, someone has to lose. Funny how that works, huh?  You just asked, so I am just trying to help you out.

“It depends on who you want to listen to,” Stoops said. “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.”

Translation: Look, I know that they have won 7 straight championships. And I know that I have been a victim twice (once in 03 before “the streak” started), but that 16.3 margin of victory in championship games barely means anything! Who do you guys REAAALLLLLY think would win in a four-team playoff between Kansas, Iowa State, Kentucky, and Auburn?! Yeah I bet you would pick Iowa State. And just who would you give the edge to on a neutral field between TCU and Ole Miss? Yeah, I already know the answer to that!

“So you’re listening to a lot of propaganda that gets fed out to you,” he said. “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? “

Translation: Come play at Oklahoma and in the Big 12 where we may not be good enough to be elite, but we will match up well against the mid-level teams in power conferences!

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And would you look at this beauty?

“What’d we (the Big 12) have, eight of 10 teams in bowl games this year? Again, you figure it all out.”

My favorite part is the condescending, “you figure it all out.” Well, Bobby, your wish is my command. Your statement is factually correct. Yes, nine of your teams did make bowl games.

Never mind the fact that only four of those  were on New Year’s Eve or later, the “primetime” portion of the bowl schedule compared to the Southeastern Conference getting all nine of theirs into that slot.

The good

Texas beat Oregon State 31-27
Oklahoma State beat up on poor Purdue 58-14
Baylor beat UCLA 49-26
Texas Tech beat Minnesota 34-31

The bad

West Virginia lost to powerhouse Syracuse 38-14.
TCU dropped a heartbreaker to Michigan State 17-16.
Iowa State defeated by Tusla 31-17.
And your conference champion Kansas State got rolled by Oregon 35-17.

The ugly

The Bob Stoops-led Oklahoma Sooners 13- Texas A&M 41. This is not surprising considering Bob Stoops’ inability to come up in big games or his losing record against the Southeastern Conference, but I think we all at least expected Oklahoma not to have gotten blown off of the field. In Stoops’ defense, I’m sure he would have dominated Ole Miss or Mississippi State.

Big 12:

4-5 bowl record
3 teams ranked in the AP Top 25

SEC:

6-3 bowl record
7 teams ranked in the AP Top 25 (five ahead of the highest ranking Big 12 team, six ahead of Oklahoma)

When asked about Stoops’ comments, former Texas Defensive Coordinator and current Florida Gator Coach Will Muschamp laughed while saying,

“I’d be saying the same thing if I were in the Big 12,” he joked. “I said it for three years.”

It was Nick Saban, however, with the mic-drop when he fired off,

“I have more important things to do than sit around and read what Bob Stoops has to say about anything.”

Well….. I mean they do have a point.

Bob Stoops was right about one thing. I am smart enough to figure it out. Unfortunately, the Alabama coach hit the nail on the head.

(Full Disclaimer: I am NOT someone that wears the cape of the Southeastern Conference. You can read my reasoning here. However, Stoops’ stupidity even angered me.)

Listen to my buddy and AVY curator John Cave Osborne and his partner in crime, Brad Fullington, on the BeRad and JCO Radio show on Tennessee Sports Radio tomorrow (and every Saturday) from noon to 1 PM.

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