Bob Stoops: The SEC gap isn’t as wide as perceived


It’s May, and the SEC bias train is continually rolling to where it will hit hyper or warp speed come August. January’s championship and February’s signing day only silenced the deafening noise for a short time.

One of the SEC’s most spectacular performances in January came not only when Alabama throttled Notre Dame on the country’s biggest stage, but also when Texas A&M electrified Jerry World with a 41-13 romp over Big Game Bob and his Sooners.

While on a Sooner Caravan stop in Tulsa, Stoops eluded to fans that the ever-widening gap of the SEC and everybody else is really just a myth that trumps reality, via Tulsa World. After all, the SEC is made out of a house of cards, right?

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

Stoops was quick to point out the SEC’s ‘bottom feeders’ in an attempt to take a shot at the strength of the conference from top to bottom, which is a fair argument.

“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.

“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.

“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?

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

Stoops failed to mention the way his team folded against Texas A&M in the Cotton Bowl after reeling off five straight wins, nor did he mention Notre Dame throttling him at home 30-13, after which they turned right around and looked like a high school team against Alabama.

To be this dominant in a time of so much parity around college football is truly impressive. It takes luck, and it takes playing your best game on the nation’s biggest stage.

But that’s something Oklahoma and Stoops just can’t seem to figure out how to do.

This is just another entertaining attempt to point out the SEC is overrated.

Photo Credit: Richard Rowe-USA TODAY Sports



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  • I am unaware is Bob Stoops’ background? Has he ever coached in the SEC? Has he ever coached a team that plays the SEC at least 10 out of a 12 game season? I think he may see an SEC team 1-2 games a year.

    • He was the defensive coordinator for the Gators under Spurrier before taking the Oklahoma job. But that era of the SEC is very different than this era.

      • In what ways, Jon? I think Steve Spurrier & UF’s dominance in the 1990’s actually started what you’re witnessing in the SEC today.

        • Spurrier’s success attributed to the SEC dominance, sure. But when Spurrier left the league he returned to a very different league that was much more defensive. He had to adjust his game to more of a ground and pound, not his fun and gun. Just a mere observation from the late 90s to where we are now.

  • As a Georgia fan living in Oklahoma, trust me when I say that ALL everyone talks about around her is Sooner Football and how they got screwed if they loose. I personally cannot stand Overrated University and almost all their fans are a bunch of idiots. They think the SEC doesn’t play anyone so that is how the SEC is always ranked in the polls.

  • I think what it boils down to is that coaches, fans, and players of schools outside of the SEC know the SEC is the best conference in college football right now but they don’t want to admit because they have too much pride in their programs and conferences.

  • Year after year, we hear about how the SEC is over rated from other teams that while good are unable to beat the SEC’s better teams.Sure, Vandy, UT and UK have struggled in recent years among really strong competition. But when you look at Bama (hate those guys), LSU, UF , UGA (my DAWGS), USC, and now TA&M, these teams fight to rule in the strongest conference in the country, team for team. And make no mistake, it’s about money. The SEC schools spend an enormous amount of money on football. The coaches, maybe even some assistant coaches, make more money than do the deans of the institution. It’s not hard to argue their value to the school either when you consider the money they bring in. And it’s not necessarily right either. The are supposed to be there primarily to get an education but the players are there to prep for the NFL. Take away the athletic scholarships and give only academic scholarships and allow the kids to participate in the teams earnings via a trust fund payable upon graduation and you’ll see change. For now, the SEC and its top tier teams are dominant and it promises to stay that way for some time to come. Stoops is blowing smoke to justify his position in the hierarchy of elite football schools. The Okies usually field an above -average team, but it will only be an average team compared to the SEC.

  • In my humble opinion, every conference has their top tier teams and their bottom tier teams. Mr Stoops, I think what it really boils down to, the SEC top tier teams are better than any other conferences top tier teams. Notre Dame didn’t even have a conference championship, but Alabama outplayed them in almost every aspect of the game. SEC best Team > Any other conference. It’s hard to argue with consecutive National Championships. Obviously, Roll Tide.

  • How about Bob Stoops just scheduling the bottom feeders of the SEC and let’s see how that pans out.

  • As a Sooner fan, and lifelong Oklahoman, this is so embarrassing. I’m not sure what Stoops is thinking when he opens his mouth sometimes.

    Since the Switzer era, OU has gone above and beyond in its obsessiveness of political correctness. Never will you hear an OU coach say anything negative about the big 12, when clearly the big 12 is a sinking ship! I don’t know why this is so hard to see!

    The additions of TCU and WVU are just placeholders until this conference totally folds. It was bad enough when Colorado and Nebraska bolted, but the league was still viable with the remaining 10 teams and a dominant presence in Texas. But when Mizzou and A&M packed up, the fate of the conference was sealed.

    Now the state of Texas is split between SEC and Big 12 loyalty. And after A&M’s breakout season and domination of OU in the Cotton Bowl, it’s clear that Texas is going the way of the SEC. And who can blame them? The SEC is clearly the dominant league in college football. The fan bases are the most passionate, the money is the biggest, the draft picks are the highest and the TV contracts are the most lucrative.

    OU recruiting has taken a huge hit by staying in the big 12 as well. When OU won the title in 2000, the roster (especially on D) was filled with athletes from Texas, Florida and Louisiana. The D-Line was Alabama/LSU-like. Now, OU is more concerned with getting 4584985767486749476793933 snaps per game than playing physical, hard-nosed, winning football. And I’m afraid the talent level will only continue to deteriorate as A&M continues upwards and other SEC schools make further in roads into Texas.

    OU could have a big piece of this SEC momentum if they would have gone with A&M, because I know the SEC would rather have OU than Mizzou! OU-Texas will always be special and I’m all for keeping it (ala Florida-FSU, Clemson-USC). OU-OSU has been a lot of fun in recent years and I would hate to see it go. But in my opinion, I’d rather be in the best league in America with trips to Fayetteville, Baton Rouge, Oxford, etc. etc. etc. than monotonous, non-passionate, and frankly BORING trips to the football hotbeds known as Ames, Lawrence and Ft. Worth.

    So ultimately, I apologize for Stoops comments. There are plenty of level-headed football fans in this state who are beginning to see the light that we missed a HUGE opportunity by staying in the sinking big 12 when we could have gone right next door to the most exciting, hard-hitting, lucrative, passionate college football league known to man.

    • Well said Okie. I’ve thought about this from time to time myself.

      As a TAMU fan, and a Southeast Texas native, I spent years defending the value of the BIG 12, even while living well within the shadow of SEC country. After all, we had two of the best rivalries in college football, many of our teams had great pedigree, and it was home to some of the best offenses in the NCAA. Still, even before the first exodus a few years ago, I think we all knew in the back of our minds that it was, and obviously still is, a house of cards conference, built from the ashes of the SWC, run mostly by TU. I often wondered why OU never felt that way… Multiple conference title blindness perhaps?

      Still, during the first split with CO and Nebraska, OU, OSU, and TAMU had opportunities to split, and didn’t. To my knowledge (and if this is untrue, someone please correct me here) TAMU chose to maintain the rivalry with Texas, who obviously had no reason to leave, and OSU said they were staying with OU, who also had no real reason to leave a conference they more or less dominated. Then a year later, the Longhorn Network happened…

      I just find it hard to believe during the first split that TAMU (who apparently was approached by Texas early on about LHN as a partnership deal) didn’t have issue with the network then, and that OU didn’t at least know it was coming. It’s hard not to feel like OU had a completely different interpretation of the college landscape and where they fit in it, or perhaps they didn’t expect TAMU and MIZZOU to actually leave.

      Either way, IMHO, it seems like they missed an opportunity to be part of a three/four team shift that would have been hard for the SEC to say no to.