Posted: 6:30 am Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Bob Stoops doesn’t like Nick Saban calling Sugar Bowl a ‘consolation’ 

By Andy Johnston

Bob Stoops and Nick Saban aren't exactly seeing eye-to-eye these days. (AP photo)

Bob Stoops and Nick Saban aren’t exactly seeing eye-to-eye these days. (AP photo)

These coaching spats are getting out of hand.

I just profiled the ongoing verbal battle between South Carolina’s Steve Spurrier and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney, and now Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops and Alabama’s Nick Saban are going at it.

One day after Saban called the last season’s Sugar Bowl a “consolation game,” Stoops answered told ESPN: “That’s a good one.”

“They didn’t look like it was a consolation game on that first drive when they scored a touchdown and everyone thought they were going to rout us. I’ve been in plenty of those (non-national title games). We’ve played in a bunch of national championship games, right? … So that means I’ve got a built-in excuse the next time we don’t play for a national championship?”

Saban, who made his comments at ESPN, is perhaps still upset at Oklahoma’s 45-31 victory over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

Stoops, who was at the Worldwide Leader on Wednesday, has long been critical of the SEC and its dominance.

“They said ‘the SEC this, the SEC that,’ I said, ‘You talk like all 14 teams are this, that and the other thing.’ I said, ‘You have to give credit to the first one or two that have won the national championship, but don’t act like they’re all doing that.’ The year I said that, the bottom half of the league was like 0-36 against the top half of the league. The bottom half of the league isn’t beating anybody. So they jumped on that I was getting on the bottom half of the league. Things circle and people only say what they want to hear. What I said wasn’t false. The bottom half wasn’t beating many people. That was my only point.”

Some have predicted that Alabama and Oklahoma will meet in the national championship game.

That would set the stage for another round of hostilities.

66 comments
JaySly
JaySly

Alabama was flat and overconfident for the ou game - if they had prepared Bama would have beaten ou easily

wregl
wregl

The biggest problem Bammer faces now is Kiffin on the payroll. If history tells us anything its gonna be a gloomy year in Tuscaloser.

59bulldawg
59bulldawg

Dammit Saban! If you had taken care of business in January we wouldn't have to listen to this foolishness now.

Rick_James
Rick_James

@GTBob 

"No SEC team has ever lost an OOC game that they cared about or were trying to win. Everybody knows that"

Bob name the SEC team whose fans made that excuse after losing to Georgia Tech..

MikeS777
MikeS777

Also, I'd like to touch on this idea of OU's schedule and why they aren't playing a championship.  The fact is, the Big 12 doesn't want one.  The Big 12 championship game has not been kind to them.  There have been a lot of those game that were upsets that cost teams national title shots or near upsets.  It's not played out to script the way the SEC title game usually has.  It's also very public knowledge that the universities liked the idea of getting rid of the Big 12 title game.

As for this 9 game schedule and OU's overall strength of schedule...please.  Do they play all the good teams?  Yes.  But they also play the stink teams like Kansas and Iowa St.  You look at OU's 9 game conference schedule, and it's no tougher than Bama or A&M's 8 game schedule.  Ironically, he props up his game against Tennessee...one of the bottom 4 teams in the SEC and also an opponent of Bama.  Add to that, Bama starts the season with WVU from the Big 12. 

I do think Bama should be scheduling one more good non-conference game.  If Saban is so worried about the 9 game schedule, go find another tough game.  He won't though.  Still, Stoops filling out his schedule with La Tech, Tulsa, and Tennessee isn't exactly what I would call tough.

Rick_James
Rick_James

Beating Alabama only added fuel to Stoops' fire...He should be as concerned with the Big 12 as he is with the SEC.If he truly thinks the Big 12 is equal or better why so much envy and venom?

MikeS777
MikeS777

I'm betting Bob Stoops has been taking some heat from the boosters of late.  The whole situation is a Hail Mary on the part of Stoops to pretend like OU hasn't fallen off the national map. Fact is, that OU win over Bama is the biggest win for the program in over a decade.  OU and Texas are the only schools that annually recruit in the top 20 in the entire Big 12.  They enjoy a massive talent advantage, yet OU has more often than not been uncompetitive in big games (not named Red River Rivalry) since 2002:


2013 OU got blown out by Baylor 42-12 as well as a troubled Texas team 36-20.

2012 OU lost to Kansas St. 24-19, got blown out ND 30-13 at home, and then demolished by A&M 41-13 in the Cotton Bowl

2011 OU got blown out by Oklahoma St. 44-10 and lost to both Baylor and Texas Tech

2010 is the last year OU won the Big 12, but with 2 losses that kept them out of the National Title hunt.  They beat unranked UConn in the Bowl.

2009 OU had a 5 loss season

2008 OU actually lost to Texas head to head, but the voters pushed them over Texas for the Big 12 title game (both teams had one loss).  OU won the Big 12 and got shut down by Florida in the National TItle game.

2007 OU won the Big 12 again with 2 losses and got blown out by WVU 48-28 in the Orange Bowl

2006 OU lost to Oregon and Texas, but managed to win the Big 12 only to lose in classic fashion to Boise St in the Fiesta Bowl.

2005 OU suffered a 4 loss season

2004 OU won the Big 12 with an undefeated season and got wiped out by USC 55-19 in the National Championship

2003 OU went undefeated in the regular season but got blown out in the Big 12 championship by Kansas St. 35-7.  They went on to lose to LSU in the National Championship.

A friend of mine jokingly calls him "Beatdown" Bob, and you can see why.  It's a play on his original nickname "Big Game" Bob that he got after winning the National Title in 2001.  Fact is, he has not done well in Big games for a long time.  There's a lot of blowouts on that list.

So let him talk like OU is back, but I honestly don't think they are.  They have slipped to the bottom part of the top 20 in recruiting.  The talent gap between him and the rest of the Big 12 has shrunk while other schools (like A&M that he pokes fun at) have passed his program up.  I bet he was glad not to see Johnny Football for the second year in a row.


JaySly
JaySly

Stoops is furious with the SEC acting like all teams are better than the Big 12!  After that blowout win over alabama, he's going to be talking all season!!!

Cupofjoe
Cupofjoe

Hard to compete with the semi pro SEC


what can you say

TU
TU

Bama and OU were two teams going in opposite direction. Bama started strong but began to fade after the LSU victory. Whereas, OU stumbled out of the gate but grew as the season progressed.


Dewnsav
Dewnsav

who cares?? I think Stoops is a very good coach...he's just eaten up with envy...there are s lot of coaches envious of what the SEC has to offer...exposure being one of the main ones...go dogs

dawgman912
dawgman912

OU came to play in the sugar bowl, he is right, everyone including the GODS of ESPN thought it was going to be a rout.....except no one told OU about it... We would have shown up in the forth quarter, to hell with the other three.....

FSUBetty55
FSUBetty55

In giving credit to the first one or two, Stoops did not mention that four different SEC teams have won the the BCS Championship in since 2006.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

I am hearing a Bama player was dismissed from the team late last night but as of today nobody has confirmed. We'll see.

SECFactFinder
SECFactFinder

Stoops did not hear the entire conversation, that is apparent.  Saban said that during the course of the season he saw some things he and the coaches did not see going well. He said after the LSU win the team started to not practice like they had all summer and up until that game.  They started acting like they would be able to walk past Mississippi State( very poor played game by Alabama, played poorly against Auburn, and after that loss some on the team( and apparently a coach or two) started going thru the motions a little.  They did not practice like a team that was playing for something, and it seemed like a consolation game.  He even commented about some statements AJ McCarron made about younger players.  He even said that he did not perform well enough to keep his players motivated and some of his decisions were not great decisions but he did not look back at those decisions as it was a team effort and he is in charge of the team and that is a reflection of him.


Coach Stoops has done a great job at Oklahoma, but he needed that win to get his players and Sooner Nation to believe in him again, and now he is using it to motivate his team, which is a smart move.


All this back and forth is just that, and nothing more.  The coaches at every school know that they need to find a unifying position to point at and if that involves a comment by a player or a coach at another school they will use it.

Athensdawg925
Athensdawg925

If you watched the Stoops interview, he said over and over that they will play Tennessee this year like that is a big deal. Last time I looked Tennessee is in the bottom of the SEC.

te29wr
te29wr

Who cares what Stoops says  it was a consolation game Playing for nothing except to run your mouth

DrPhill
DrPhill

Bear Bryant would always say, "we just got out coached" after a loss, which wasn't always the case. Nicky certainly got out coached by Auburn and probably by Oklahoma as well, but he doesn't admit his shorcomings.

GTBob
GTBob

No SEC team has ever lost an OOC game that they cared about or were trying to win. Everybody knows that.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

At Bama if you're not playing in the NC (at this time) then the other Bowls mean little to nothing. Now that could change going forward but AT THIS TIME what Nick said was true.


Deal with it.


Roll Tide

MikeS777
MikeS777

Correction...2007 they got blown out by WVU in the Fiesta Bowl

SECFactFinder
SECFactFinder

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie 


You are right....he gave him way too many opportunities to get his priorities right and he did not....lose one and another steps up.  One more may not show back up for Training Camp if he did not get his academics in order...

TampGator1
TampGator1

@SECFactFinder 


"Consolation" was a poor word choice by Saban.  I was watching the comments when they were made on ESPN, and the word choice immediately came across as an excuse for losing to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl, as does the excuses you listed in your post seem to do.  Fact is, Oklahoma was the better team in the Sugar Bowl for whatever reason or reasons, as was Auburn in their game with Bama that day.  Florida lost to Louisville in the 2012 Sugar Bowl and you could easily say they lost because they were disappointed that they lost to Georgia and did not go to the SEC championship game and did not get an invite to play in the NC game that year because of the loss to Georgia.  And that might be the case, but those things did not and do not change the fact that Louisville was the better team that day.  Would the same Oklahoma team beat Bama in a rematch of that game.  Maybe not.  But they could and might have.  We will never know. But Oklahoma was good enough to beat Bama in the Sugar Bowl and they probably were good enough to beat them again.  Same could be said for Louisville in 2012 vs. Florida.  Bama got beat by Auburn.  They got beat by Oklahoma. Bama lost those games because the teams they played......that day.......were better and the teams that day had better coaches.....that day.  Simple as that.  Bama and Saban just need to shut up, move on, and hope they get a rematch vs. Oklahoma in the playoffs, and that chance is a very good one.  I think both teams will be in the playoffs....if Coker is as good as they say he is.  

TampGator1
TampGator1

@Athensdawg925 


I think you just confirmed the point Stoops was making without even knowing you were doing so.  LOL.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@te29wr 


What you are doing with that post is running your mouth with a bunch of nonsense.  If it was a consolation game for Bama, they should have opted out of the Sugar Bowl.  They were representing the SEC vs. the Big 12 and they should have showed up, played hard and smart, represented the SEC well....and took home a 2013 Sugar Bowl Trophy for the trophy case there.  All of which should mean a lot to Bama or any other SEC team. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@DrPhill 


And he was correct in saying that.  And that is what happened vs. Auburn and Oklahoma for Saban last year.  But I am sure Saban will use all this to motivate his team this year.  If Coker is as good as they say, Bama is going to be a force in college football this year.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@DrPhill 


No "probably" about Stoops outcoaching Saban in the Sugar Bowl.  It is a fact.  And Stoops is a great coach.  And as Spurrier said this week on ESPN and last week at Media Days, the team with the most and best talent does not always win.  Sometimes, coaching makes a difference.  It did in the Auburn and Oklahoma games last year for Bama.  Simple as that.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

No Bob, you missed Saban's point just like Stoops did.

If we aren't playing for all the marbles come post season time, it's an exhibition!

That's how our program operates Bobby.

Terry1961
Terry1961

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie,

I wouldn’t say they mean little to nothing, the Sugar Bowl paid out $17,000,000 per team, the National Championship Bowl paid out $18,000,000, that’s only a $1,000,000 difference, if your not playing in the NC, I would still think it would matter were you played, you could end up playing in one of the lesser bowls, like the Capital One Bowl $4,550,000 per team, that is a $12,450,000 difference, that is a big drop off after the BCS bowls, or even worse the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl $325,000 per team ,so I wouldn’t say they mean little to nothing.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TampGator1: ". . . Oklahoma was good enough to beat Bama in the Sugar Bowl and they probably were good enough to beat them again.  Same could be said for Louisville in 2012 vs. Florida."  

______________________

Same could be said for Ga Southern in 2013 vs. florida.

SECFactFinder
SECFactFinder

@TampGator1 @SECFactFinder 


First of all, Saban was ASKED the question about the end of the season and those two losses to end the year.  He answered them and that is not making excuses, he has said on numerous occasions post game and since that Oklahoma deserved to beat them.


2nd,  Auburn made the plays when Alabama did not. No excuses, part of the game. 


I spent a great deal of time in Oklahoma last summer and some in the fall and believe me when I say this, that many in Oklahoma Fan Club had started losing faith in Bob. With T.Boone pouring money into OK.State they saw a swinging in the power within the state.

Stoops is doing everything in his power to Keep Oklahoma in the minds of the pollsters and selection committee and that win against Alabama was their biggest win in years whether anyone wants to believe it or not.  He needed that win more than Alabama or Saban did.  Just like Coach Will needs a big win against a couple of teams this year. 


All is good and the past is gone ,cannot be changed and the kickoff to 2015 is only some 30 plus days away.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@BigCrimson75 


I seriously doubt has the same perspective that you do.  In fact, I know he doesn't because he said so on Tuesday during that interview on ESPN.  And, I think you are the one missing the point.  Auburn beat Bama.  Oklahoma beat Bama.  And they both beat Bama last year because they were the better team that day and they were the better coached team that day. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@SECFactFinder


He just should have said...."Oklahoma was a better team that day and Stoops outcoached me that day." That would have been the high road.  "Consolation" was not the high road for Saban.  And, yes, Oklahoma needed a big win and they got it vs. Bama.  No bigger win than that for Stoops at the time.  And Stoops would not have replied about the comment above because it would have been more honest.  Simple as that.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie 


Then why did your favorite team show up in New Orleans and play hard at the beginning of the game?  Ask Saban if his team wanted that Sugar Bowl trophy.  I think he would just laugh at such a comment and ask you if you had anything to do with harming trees down Auburn way. 

TampGator1
TampGator1

@SECFactFinder 


By the way, Muschamp said Strong outcoached him in the 2012 Sugar Bowl.  He did not make any comment about the game being a consolation game for Florida that year.  And neither did Meyer when Florida lost to Bama in the 2009 SEC title game and then went on to crush Cincy in the Sugar Bowl.  But I think Florida wanting to play well in that game had a lot to do with player leadership......Tebow.....vs. the lack of it with the Bama QB last year at the end of the year....as he is also blaming player attitudes for that loss, not Oklahoma outplaying and outcoaching Bama.  Just seems like a lot of sour grapes coming from a great football program to me.  

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

@TampGator1 @KeepOnSmilingWetWillie Really...after the loss to auburn the deal was over for Bama. A team that had played and won 3 of the past 4 NC wasn't interested in playing in the Sugar Bowl just like 2008 when they lost to Florida in the SECCG. It's really very simple.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@SECFactFinder 


By the way, great to see you back on here.  Football season is near.  Gators will bring a very talented team to Bammerland this fall.  Not saying they will win the game, but they could pull off a huge upset if Bama is not ready to play.  I think they will be, however.  But it is big for Muschamp to go there and have his team play well.  If Florida gets blown out, things could go far south for Muschamp very quickly. But I think they will play well now that they will have at least a decent offense.  It could be very good. We will see. Go Gators.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie


Sort of like when arguably the best team in Florida history was beaten by Bama in the SEC championship game in Tebow senior year and the Gators went to the Sugar Bowl and complete destroyed a very good Cincy team.  And I think Bama was more than interested in playing the in the Sugar Bowl and they played like it early on in that game, as Stoops pointed out. But the hurry up style of Oklahoma just wore Bama down and they were a badly beaten team at the end of that game.  Oklahoma would have been a great match up for FSU last year as well. 

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

@TampGator1 It won't be close.

Y'all can't beat us in Tuscaloosa.

Y'all have no QB.

Y'all have no chance. 


SECFactFinder
SECFactFinder

@TampGator1 @SECFactFinder 


Do not be worried about your Gators too much....I was up there a week ago, walked the workouts and they are a confident bunch of young kids with a ton of speed.  I expect Florida will upset a few along the way this year.  Hope Bama is not one of them.


Saban will never say he got "outcoached" it goes against his 24/7 365 Recruiting Mantra...at least publicly.  He did say repeatedly he did not do a good job and the scoreboard reflected it and that is the final jury.


Have a good remaining summer.......heading to Buckeye land for a few weeks then back to Oklahoma and returning back home just in time to make the trip up to The Kickoff Classic in Atlanta.

TampGator1
TampGator1

@BigCrimson75 


Last time I checked, Bama had no set QB either.  At least the Florida QB has extended playing time on a college football field. And I expect you felt Oklahoma had no chance as well....or Auburn either.  I think Florida has a chance.  And so do the coaches and players at Florida.   

SECFactFinder
SECFactFinder

@BigCrimson75 @TampGator1 


BigCrimson75....you are going to love this "REAL" offense Saban has allowed Kiffin and the Offensive Staff to install. If the OL plays decent then a lot of points on the board....

A much faster looking defensive front.....they spent all winter and spring adjusting to the spread offenses they will face without losing their size....gonna be interesting this fall.

SECFactFinder
SECFactFinder

@BigCrimson75 @TampGator1 


A great deal of people forgot about the NCAA rules changes that allows coaches to have two hours a week with players in the classroom for study....some schools have very big classrooms....you know to stretch their legs....get my hint TG ...

TampGator1
TampGator1

@SECFactFinder


Not sure what you are implying, but coaches are also allowed to view workouts as well for some amount of time period I am not sure of.  I do not believe they can coach during that time, however.  Are you implying that the Gator coaches are coaching during that time? 

SECFactFinder
SECFactFinder

@TampGator1 @SECFactFinder 


TG..


The NCAA RULES were changed this past winter to allow coaches to spend two hours a week in classroom to watch tape,

teach, and game plan.  It just so happens the NCAA didn't specify the size of the classroom, some schools and I am not naming schools, and I am not saying Florida or Alabama or Georgia are using larger "classrooms" to hold their meetings in but if they are they are completely within the rules.