In the latest instance of (insert non-SEC coaches’ name here) criticizing what’s perceived to be the SEC’s cupcake-like non-conference schedules, Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops called out Texas A&M for its upcoming pastry slate of out-of-conference games.
Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin subsequently issued a public challenge to Stoops and OU: “if he wants to play us again we’ll take him up on that.” Stoops stated at his press conference today that he hasn’t picked up the phone, but also didn’t back down from his recent assault on the SEC.
When asked about A&M specifically and the SEC in general not taking kindly to the shots, a feisty Stoops fired back.
“Well, get over it,” the coach said bluntly. “And again, where am I lying?”
Of course, when it comes to A&M in 2014, he’s not lying in the least. A non-conference slate of FCS Lamar, Rice, SMU and Louisiana-Monroe screams “diabetic’s worst nightmare.” In his criticisms, though, Stoops is being disingenuous at best and cherry-picking at worst.
While this year’s slate features opponents slathered in icing, A&M also has future non-conference games scheduled against Arizona State (2015), UCLA (2016, 2017) and Oregon (2018, 2019). Hell, that might even match what OU has in the future: Ohio State (2016, 2017), UCLA (2018, 2019), Nebraska (2021, 2022). In fairness, the Sooners are also looking to rework a previously-scheduled home-and-home against LSU.
Another point Stoops, for obvious reasons, glosses over is A&M’s 2014 conference slate. At home, TAMU will tangle with LSU, Missouri and Ole Miss, while they will travel to South Carolina, Mississippi State, Alabama and Auburn. Four of those teams are in the preseason coaches’ poll Top 25; at various points in the season, some combination of the seven could see themselves in the Top 25. OU? Their non-conference schedule consists of Tennessee (not even remotely a Top 25 team), Louisiana Tech (4-8 last season) and Tulsa (3-9); in the Big 12, three of the Sooners’ opponents — at Baylor, at Kansas State, Texas — are currently ranked. Whether UT deserves it or not is debatable, while either Oklahoma State or Texas Tech — or both — could spend time in the rankings at some point.
In other words, and Stoops’ shots notwithstanding, things aren’t actually as they appear to be in the OU coach’s world.
Oh, and there’s also this: Aggies 41, Sooners 13 in the Cotton Bowl following the 2012 season. So, yeah, there’s that.