SEC Not So Super
Personally I can’t say I’m much of an Oklahoma football fan. Sure I appreciate what Bob Stoops has done in Norman over the past 15 years, but he, like so many college coaches today, seems to hate his job and is always surly in interviews. For $5 million a year, you’d think some of these coaches would have a few more smiles and be in a great mood, but that’s out of the question.
One thing I do agree with Stoops about is his statement earlier this year that the assessment that the SEC is the best conference in the country, is propaganda. It pissed off a bunch of SEC people, notably Alabama people who are still smarting from the loss to Auburn. Before Thursday’s Sugar Bowl, Oklahoma was a double digit underdog to the almighty Tide. Of course they were, it seems like everyone has accepted the fact that Bama is almost as good as most NFL teams. After the Sooners dismantled the Tide 45-31…using a freshman quarterback I might add. How good does Alabama look now?
The answer is, like a very good college team, which they are, but can we please stop talking about Nick Saban and his team with such reverence that it makes me throw up a little in my mouth. Isn’t Alabama–and the SEC in general– supposed to be all about defense? They can shut anybody down—except Texas A&M and Auburn and now Oklahoma. Face it, Alabama is good, not historic, not legendary, just good. The Sooners’ freshman quarterback, who played very little this season, tore Bama apart going 32-44 for 348 yards and 4 touchdowns. He didn’t seemed overwhelmed by the vaunted Tide defense, like everyone from Birmingham to Tuscaloosa thought he would be. As a matter of fact it was Oklahoma’s defense that forced 5 Alabama turnovers, including the game clinching fumble at the end of the game. Oklahoma plays in the offense, pass-happy Big 12, they don’t play defense there, that’s all we’ve ever heard from SEC folks.
So even though I’m not a Sooner fan, I was more than a little happy to see the SEC cut down to size and it couldn’t have happened to a better coach or team. Saban makes tornado victims seem chipper. Always growling, frowning, generally unhappy, who needs it? This might signal the end of the Alabama dynasty, which it has been. Maybe Oklahoma popped the SEC bubble and made high school kids realize that they don’t have to listen to the hype. They can go to a non-SEC school and still make it to the NFL, imagine that. Maybe the SEC comes back to earth and settles in as just another very good conference for football–everything has cycles and I pray that the SEC cycle of arrogance in football is over.
Now if Florida State can beat Auburn Monday night and end the SEC national championship string, I may not sit down for a week.