Hey look, Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops is at it again.
The 15th-year head coach of the Sooners made waves in May when he criticized the perceived lack of depth in the SEC to a group of boosters in the offseason Sooner Caravan.
Out of line? Of course.
Head coaches have to know that there's always a hot mic or a camera rolling no matter where they are—even if it's in front of their own fans.
But on Wednesday, he took aim at the SEC's lack of defense in front of a small group of reporters, knowing who he was talking to and how it would be perceived on a national scale.
“Just a few years ago, we had all the quarterbacks,” Stoops said, according to The Oklahoman. “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 they have pro-style quarterbacks over there, which we’ve had. They’re all playing in the NFL right now.”
When asked specifically about Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray—who has thrown for 1,338 yards, 11 touchdowns and three picks in four games—Stoops fired back.
“How’s that happening?" he said. "They’re playing all those SEC defenses."
On the surface, he's got a point.
The SEC is a quarterback-driven conference this year and has been inundated with creative and diverse offensive schemes that are designed to limit substitutions and, thus, the impact of a defensive coordinator's down-by-down play-calling.
But Stoops needs to step back from the ledge.
By keeping the SEC in his media crosshairs, he's only hurting himself and making himself look foolish.
When you get run out of JerryWorld 41-13 by your former conference-mate Texas A&M—which was the fourth- or fifth-best team in the SEC last season—in the Cotton Bowl, you have no room to talk.
Stoops' goal is clear. He wants to change the perception of the SEC in the hopes of benefiting the Big 12. In turn, if his team can avoid the inevitable letdown that has plagued "Not So Big Game Bob" over the last few years, his team and his conference stands to benefit not only this season but when the four-team playoff starts following the 2014 season.
|Texas A&M||Jan. 4, 2013||L 41-13|
|Florida||Jan. 8, 2009||L 24-14|
|LSU||Jan. 4, 2004||L 21-14|
|Alabama||Sept. 6, 2003||W 20-13|
|Alabama||Sept. 7, 2002||W 37-27|
|Arkansas||Jan. 1, 2002||W 10-3|
|Ole Miss||Dec. 31, 1999||L 27-25|
But now's not the time to play politics.
The SEC still boasts the No. 1 team in the nation in Alabama and 40 percent of the AP Top 10. It's home to seven straight BCS titles won by four different programs and routinely shines on the game's biggest stages.
Until a team knocks the SEC off its pedestal, knocking the SEC accomplishes nothing and only makes the person being critical look desperate.
That's exactly what Stoops is.