Mark Stoops’ brother sure stirred things up this week. You remember Bob Stoops, coach at Oklahoma? Apparently feeling the frustration of watching the SEC capture the last seven BCS titles and eight of the last 10, Bob Stoops told a group in Tulsa that the prevailing opinion that the SEC was college football’s dominant league was pure “propaganda.”
Bob Stoops admitted that the SEC was tough at the top, but he argued that the bottom of the conference barrel is filled with weaklings. David Climer of the Tennesseean wrote Friday morning that he agrees with the Oklahoma coach.
Only, as Alex Baldwin would say, here’s the thing.
The SEC and Bob Stoops’ Big 12 rarely meet on the field, especially the lower-tier teams that he talks about. Where they do compete is in the NFL Draft. The NFL doesn’t care whether players come from the SEC, the Big 12 or the Sun Belt Conference. The NFL just wants good players.
So let’s take a look at the bottom six teams in the SEC — which is a 14-team league, by the way — the six teams that failed to post a winning conference record this past season. Now let’s look at the bottom six teams in the Big 12, which is a 10-team league.
Turns out that, in this year’s draft, the bottom six of the SEC produced 12 draft picks. The bottom six of the Big 12 produced just nine picks.
Here is the breakdown with school, number of picks, player, round-overall and team that selected the player.
- Auburn (1) – Corey Lemonier 3-88 49ers
- Kentucky (1) – Larry Warford 3-65 Lions
- Tennessee (4) – Cordarrelle Patterson 1-29 Vikings; Justin Hunter 2-34 Titans; Dallas Thomas 3-77 Dolphins; Michael Rivera 6-184 Raiders
- Arkansas (4) – Knile Davis 3-96 Chiefs; Tyler Wilson 4-112 Raiders; Cobi Hamilton 6-197 Bengals; Chris Gragg 7-222 Bills
- Ole Miss (0)
- Missouri (2) – Sheldon Richardson 1-13 Jets; Zavair Gooden 3-97 Titans
Big 12 (9)
- Kansas (1) – Tanner Hawkinson 5-156 Bengals
- Iowa State (2) – A.J. Klein 5-148 Panthers; Carter Bykowski 7-246 49ers
- West Virginia (3) – Tavon Austin 1-8 Rams; Geno Smith 2-39 Jets; Stedman Bailey 3-92 Rams
- TCU (2) – Josh Boyce 4-102 Patriots; Stansly Maponga 5-153 Falcons
- Texas Tech (0)
- Baylor (1) – Terrance Williams 3-74 Cowboys
Somehow, the bottom of the SEC managed to produce a pair of first-round picks in Sheldon Richardson of Missouri and Coradarrelle Patterson of Tennessee.
The Big 12’s bottom six managed to produce just one first-round pick, West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin. And West Virginia just joined the Big 12 this past season.
Another note: The SEC had 63 players drafted, more than double the total draftees from any other conference. The SEC East alone produced 32 picks, one more than the entire ACC, which was the second-best conference when it comes to drafted players.
The SEC averaged 4.5 players selected per team. The Big 12 averaged 2.2 per team.
No wonder Nick Saban doesn’t have time to listen to Bob Stoops.