By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript
All Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has to do is mention the SEC and it becomes national news. It happened again Wednesday night.
It started with a question about OU carrying the banner for the Big 12 Conference with its victory over Notre Dame last weekend and the perception of the league being down.
Stoops took that as a cue to mention there were a lot of points begin scored in the SEC lately.
“I think it’s fair to say everything’s cyclical. A few years ago we 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. Funny how people can’t play defense when there’s pro-style quarterbacks over there. You can name them all. I don’t need to go through, but they’re all playing in the NFL right now. I think things can be cyclical.”
Stoops’ response was followed with a question about how two top 10 SEC teams — Georgia and LSU — were some of the country’s best passing teams in terms of efficiency.
He took that as a prompt to bring up what he said last season: Texas A&M hasn’t had a problem scoring points since it started playing the SEC.
“I still don’t know how 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," he said. "Oh, they’ve got a quarterback, that’s right.”
Stoops point is: the SEC has some really good veteran quarterbacks — the Aggies’ Johnny Manziel, Georgia’s Aaron Murray, LSU’s Zack Mettenberger and Alabama’s A.J. McCarron — and the league’s defenses are struggling to keep up.
The Big 12 had the same problem when it was hit with the label of note being able to play defense.
From 2008-2012, the only teams in the league during that period that didn’t have a third-round pick in the NFL draft or higher playing quarterback were Texas Tech, Kansas, Iowa State Colorado and Nebraska
Over that period, there were six Big 12 quarterbacks selected in the first round:
2009: Josh Freeman, Kansas State
2010: Sam Bradford, OU
2011: Blaine Gabbert, Missouri
2012: Robert Griffin III, Baylor; Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M; Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State