It’s been, what, nearly five months since Bob Stoops took a shot at the SEC? Yeah, he was due.
As that old football chestnut goes, the Big 12 is a high-flying, offensive league while the conference that’s claimed the last seven BCS titles hangs its hat on defense. That, though, has shifted somewhat in 2013, at least early on.
Three players in the Top 10 in total offense — Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Georgia’s Aaron Murray and Missouri’s James Franklin — reside in the SEC, with just Baylor’s Bryce Petty representing the Big 12. Three SEC quarterbacks — Murray, Manziel and LSU’s Zach Mettenberger — are 4-5-6 in passing efficiency, with just Petty and Oklahoma’s Blake Bell, who didn’t even begin the season as the starter, falling inside the Top 25 from the Big 12. Conversely, Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas Tech all rank in the Top 10 in scoring defense, while Florida is the only SEC team that can make that claim.
With that as a backdrop, and knowing full well there are myriad factors involved in the “flip,” it was mentioned by a member of the media to Bob Stoops that UGA’s Murray has been very proficient passing the football this season. Why Murray’s name was mentioned is beyond me, but Stoops took the note and ran with it, nearly tearing a few ligaments in the process thanks to the sarcasm pooling up around him.
“How’s that happening? They’re playing all those 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.
“Oh, they got a quarterback. That’s right.”
That goes back to Stoops’ main point: Big 12 defenses looked bad when pro-level quarterbacks littered the league; now that the quarterback-iffy SEC has seen a rise in talent at the position, their defenses, at least in his eyes, are a far piece from their dominating reputations.
“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.
(It’s at this point where we give the obligatory “forget it. He’s rolling” quote from Animal House and move on.)
Back in May, Stoops lamented the “propaganda” that had the SEC widening the gap between itself and the rest of major conferences at the FBS level.
Here’s to hoping the Sooners find their way this year to a bowl game — or, better yet, the BCS title game — against a team from that conference. A couple of weeks worth of Stoops fielding SEC-related questions would be the grab-your-popcorn opportunity of a lifetime.