By Bryan Stauffer
In early October, Oklahoma Sooners head football coach Bob Stoops was asked about the current state of the Big 12 conference.
Instead of answering the question, Stoops tip-toed around it and decided to talk about the state of another conference: the SEC.
“A few years ago we [the Big 12] had all the quarterbacks and now all of a sudden we can play a little better defense and some other people can’t play defense,” said Stoops. “Funny how people can’t play defense when there’s pro-style quarterbacks over there.”
He also does not understand how Texas A&M was third in total offense and scoring offense in 2012, something uncharacteristic for a team that has to play the nation’s top defenses week in and week out (Hey, Bob, meet Johnny Football).
Has anyone showed Stoops a list of the top total defenses in the nation this year?
Alabama, Florida, Louisiana State and South Carolina all rank within the top 10 while the Big 12’s leading defense, Texas Christian University, comes in at No. 16.
So, according to Stoops, this is the Big 12 playing a little better defensively while some “other people” cannot play defense.
To Stoops’ credit, the SEC does have a heap of pro-style quarterbacks with top-notch talent.
LSU’s Zach Mettenberger, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, and South Carolina’s Connor Shaw all rank within the national top ten in quarterback efficiency. Baylor’s Bryce Petty ranks first, so there’s the Big 12’s lone bright spot in that regard.
It turns out the SEC not only has the toughest defenses, but they also have the best starting quarterbacks in terms of overall efficiency. The ACC is a close second with three of its own quarterbacks ranked in the aforementioned top 10.
It is irrational for Stoops to assume that the SEC cannot play defense just because they have several elite quarterbacks, especially for a conference that prides itself on obtaining the best recruits on both sides of the ball, and the statistics can attest to that.
Personally, I think Stoops is just upset that the Big 12 does not nearly receive the same amount of recognition as it once did and much of that can be attributed to what is going on in the SEC every week.
Whatever helps you sleep at night, coach.
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