Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops: Sooners not ‘overwhelmed’ by SEC
After Oklahoma’s 45-31 win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on Thursday night, Sooners coach Bob Stoops was asked to elaborate on his comments last offseason that the SEC’s reputation as overwhelmingly the top conference in football was “propaganda.”
“When I made the comment, the bottom half of the SEC was like 0-36 against the top half of the SEC,” Stoops said Friday on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd.” “You realize that? A year ago … nobody talks about that. My point was, don’t say SEC like they’re all [beating everyone]. One or two or three top teams … sure, you give them the credit. Alabama … I’ve got the utmost respect for them. Are you kidding me? How could you not? But in the end, don’t talk about the entire conference that way. It’s just not true.
“Hey, I’ve got total respect for Alabama, but you can’t deny what we did last night. Obviously, we can play with anybody, whether it’s the SEC or anyone else. And to say we can’t … well, Alabama’s been rolling the SEC for the last three years and we didn’t seem to be overwhelmed last night. I’m done with that talk.”
But Stoops also talked about Missouri and Texas A&M, former Big 12 teams, having success in the SEC. The Aggies won 11 games last year and beat eventual national champ Alabama on the road, while Missouri won the SEC East Division this season.
“What about Texas A&M and Missouri?” Stoops said. “They’ve been in the Big 12 for 100 years. … They don’t seem to be overwhelmed in that league. And they haven’t been ruling the Big 12 the entire time that they were here, right?”
Between them, Texas A&M and Missouri won just one Big 12 championship.
Stoops had lost his last three bowl games to SEC teams before Thursday night, and he is 4-4 against them in his career.
The SEC is 5-2 in this year’s bowl games with three more to play, while the Big 12 is 3-2 with one to play. The only other bowl featuring an SEC vs. Big 12 matchup is Friday night’s Cotton Bowl between No. 13 Oklahoma State (10-2), which lost to Oklahoma, and No. 8 Missouri (11-2).