Bob Stoops slams Nick Saban for Sugar Bowl ‘consolation game’ talk
There is absolutely no love lost between Oklahoma Sooners head coach and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The entire college football world (outside of the SEC footprint) has suffered from a a little “SEC-fatigue” over the last eight seasons, which resulted in seven SEC BCS Championships before the streak was broken in 2013 by Florida State. Stoops took an opportunity to take exception to some of the comments Saban made at last week’s SEC media days, in which Saban dismissed the Sugar Bowl loss to the Sooners (45-31) because of team expectation (via Brett McMurphy of ESPN.com)
“They didn’t look like it was a consolation game on that first drive when they scored a touchdown and everyone thought they were going to rout us,” the Oklahoma coach said. “I’ve been in plenty of those [non-national title games]. We’ve played in a bunch of national championship games, right? … That’s a good one.
“So that means I’ve got a built-in excuse the next time we don’t play for a national championship?”
The SEC-fatigue is fully felt by coaches from other conferences, who are frequently asked by the media as to why the SEC is so superior and, in particular, how they plan to stem the tide (no pun intended) of recruits headed to the 14-team super league. Stoops has been throwing barbs for a couple of seasons (via NBC Sports circa May 2013)
“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.”
It does feel like when the SEC loses games (just as Auburn did in the BCS Championship game, rendering the conference 0-2 in BCS games) there doesn’t seem to be the same media scrutiny as when a Big 10 team loses a BCS game (in which full analysis is provided as to why they are inferior). The records do speak for themselves over time, but it’s not like players from Wisconsin in 2010 have any bearing on the strength of teams now. Needless to say, if Stoops faces an SEC team in a bowl game (or the new playoffs), these quotes will be a centerpiece for media frenzy.
– David Whitlock
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