NORMAN, Okla, — Sooners head coach Bob Stoops hasn't been shy lately about going after that juggernaut of a conference down in the Deep South.
They call it the SEC.
And they call it the best defensive conference in the country.
When asked about his own team's statement victory over Notre Dame, how it's been a bit of a rough year so far for the Big 12 in non-conference contests and if that's just cyclical, Stoops went into a big spill and quickly aimed it at the SEC.
"Everything’s cyclical," Stoops said. "There’s been other years when, heck, just a few years ago we had all the quarterbacks and now all the sudden we can play a little better defense and some other people can’t play defense. It’s funny how people can’t play defense when it’s pro-style quarterbacks over there, which we’ve had.
"I don’t—you can name them all. I don’t need to go through, but they’re all playing in the NFL right now. So yeah, I think things can be cyclical definitely."
Those quarterbacks he's referring to from the Big 12 include Sam Bradford, Blaine Gabbert, Robert Griffin III, Geneo Smith, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden.
Those quarterbacks he's referring to in the current SEC include Nos. 4, 5 and 6 in passing efficiency respectively, Georgia's Aaron Murray, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel and LSU's Zach Mettenberger.
"How’s that happening? They’re playing all those SEC defenses," Stoops said while smirking. "I don’t know how. 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. Oh...they got a quarterback. That’s right."
A Heisman quarterback, that is.
Manziel, plus the two others have combined for 38 touchdowns to just eight interceptions against those vaunted SEC defenses, something Stoops was very quick to point out.
"Yeah. I don’t know," Stoops said. "Yeah, all of the sudden let’s look at the offenses now, huh, instead of they can’t play defense. Isn’t it funny how they can turn it around?"
Yes, yes, it is.
Now, it's the Big 12's offenses that aren't as good when some defenses are performing well and the SEC's offenses are good when the defenses can't seem to stop anybody.
At least in Stoops' mind.