Maybe the SEC is the best conference in College Football, but there’s no doubt there’s a lot of propaganda and ESPN to do with that claim, and Bob Stoops has been on quite a mission to try and disprove that theory, hoping that with Oklahoma clashing against Tennessee he’ll have another chance to shut some people up.
Stoops was quite vocal after Oklahoma beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl at the end of last season. Before the 2013 season began, Oklahoma had a three-game losing streak against SEC teams, including being destroyed by Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M at the Cotton Bowl.
But the Aggies beating the Sooners that day in Dallas was excellent proof as to why it has nothing to do with the conference. This was A&M’s first season in the SEC. They were a Big 12 team up to that point. They didn’t all of a sudden get better because they changed conferences.
The SEC, for seven straight seasons, produced the best football teams in the nation. It’s hard to argue with facts. But the best conference? In a sport driven by rankings and votes on games most coaches and journalists don’t even watch, it’s about perception, and winning national titles made it seem like each and every one of the SEC teams are a power house, while there are always bad teams a’plenty in the conference. Vanderbilt are one of the worst teams in the nation, and Kentucky aren’t far behind.
Oklahoma are facing a Tennessee team that started its season at 2-0, beating Arkansas State and Utah State, showing quite a bit of offense in both wins. Playing in Norman is quite a different experience obviously, but it should be a better year for Butch Jones, into his second season with the Vols.
As for Stoops? He won’t get too much credit for beating Tennessee who went 5-7 last season. But it’ll give him a chance to once again sound off on the bias towards the conference, hoping he’ll show that you should treat each team individually, and not for being attached to more successful teams.