Tuck: Quarterbacks And Rule Changes Challenge Big Boy Football

The SEC has produced the BCS champion for 7 straight seasons.  The South Eastern Conference’s best took pride not just in their superior talent, but in their defense.  They called it Big Boy football.  While the rest of the country raced up and down the field the and broke scoreboards, the SEC got to yell scoreboard at the end of every season.

This year, we’ve seen shoot-outs involving some of the best from the SEC.  Alabama-Texas A&M, South Carolina-Georgia, and LSU-Georgia have all played Big XII, Pac-12, or even as some has said, WAC-type games with touchdowns coming easy.

Well, now the SEC-defenders are quick to dismiss that Big Boy football is dead by simply bragging about their great quarterbacks.  Problem with that is that it comes off suggesting that there hasn’t been great quarterback play in college football for the last 7 years previous, when there obviously has been.

“Just a few years ago, we had all the quarterbacks,” Bod Stoops said in a small session with beat reporters, 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.”

Stoops is coming off recently as the ultimate SEC contrarian, but in every case he’s made, he does have a point.  And does again.

The Big XII alone has seen Robert Griffin III, Ryan Tannehill, Geno Smith, Brandon Weeden, Landry Jones, Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Blaine Gabbert, Zac Robinson, and Josh Freeman get drafted into the NFL.  That doesn’t even include other college stars like K-State’s Colin Klein that were Heisman hopefuls.

The SEC has the best group of quarterbacks it’s had during this run.  They’ve had great quarterbacks, but never this many at one time.  And a great quarterback can beat a great defense.

The other thing killing defenses is the emphasis on player safety.  The SEC has played, as a group, the defense in America, but their intimidating style is being outlawed.  Targeting rules are helping out offenses by making life easier on receivers who don’t have to be as brave, and if they are hit, then the offense simply gains 15-yards in addition to seeing defensive players ejected.

So in closing, were SEC defenses overrated?  Probably a little.  Are they bad now?  Nope.  Quarterback play and rules are just making them look weaker than before.