That honor goes to the Big 12--and he could not be more wrong.
Actually--maybe he is right. That is if a lot of mediocrity equals greatness. Here are the comments that were reported in the Tulsa World and pretty much repeated everywhere:
“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.”So according to Stoops's logic, the measure of greatness for a conference is the number of bowl games that its teams go to. Last season the Big 12 was well represented in bowl games with 8 of 10 going, just like Stoops said.
Maybe he missed the nine from the SEC that went?
He probably didn't; he is too good of a coach to overlook such a detail. What he seems to be doing is throwing the focus on the other five SEC teams that for lack of a better word--stunk last season.
And he would be right. The SEC did have more teams that found themselves more often than not on the wrong side of the scoreboard than the Big 12.
The answer to that is simple--so what? It takes little to be bowl eligible. Teams do not even have to have a winning record anymore. It is not unusual to see a bunch of .500 teams in bowl games. Now they don't find there way to the big games of course, but any bowl game is better than none.
Of the eight Big 12 teams that made bowl games last season two finished the year at 7-6 and three at 8-5; good seasons but far from great. The SEC had just one of each; the other bowl eligible teams all had double digit wins. Only Oklahoma and Kansas State managed that in the Big 12.
Looking at the conferences as a whole and using bowl games as a measuring stick only gauges the level of mediocrity since that's all it takes to get into a bowl game. Now if Stoops really wants a measuring stick how about looking at the rankings--and not just No. 1.
The Big 12 had three teams finish in the top 25 last season; the SEC had seven and four of them in the top 10. Kansas State was the highest ranked team in the Big 12 at No. 12.
I get where he is coming from though. I grew up in Big 12 country and attended Texas A&M. If they were still in the Big 12 I would probably try to make an argument similar to his. In fact, I agree that the SEC is overrated. But in the end you can't argue with the results.
When it comes down to it the SEC as a whole does do one thing better than everyone else--win.