Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has always felt the need to compare the Big 12 conference to the SEC. Most people consider the SEC to be the best conference in college football, but Stoops has made arguments for the Big 12 in the past. He was back at it again on Wednesday, this time criticizing the SEC for the lack of defense within the conference this season.
Teams like Alabama and LSU have given the SEC a reputation for having tremendous defenses in the past. However, that has not been the case this year with quarterbacks emerging as the big story. Shootouts have become a common theme, as Stoops gladly pointed out.
“Just a few years ago, we had all the quarterbacks,” Stoops said, per Jason Kersey of The Oklahoman. “And now, all of a sudden, we can play a little better defense and some other people can’t play defense.
“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.”
Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden all played in the Big 12 two years ago. Stoops is arguing that when those NFL-caliber quarterbacks played in his conference teams were criticized for not being able to play defense. Now that future NFL quarterbacks like AJ McCarron, Johnny Manziel, Aaron Murray and Zach Mettenberger are lighting up the scoreboard in the SEC, no one is really saying the conference isn’t playing defense.
“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 added. “Oh, they got a quarterback. That’s right.”
You get the point. Stoops feels that high scoring was viewed as a weakness when it was happening in the Big 12 but is seen as a strength in the SEC. Does it really matter? Stoops seems to think so.