FT.PAYNE, AL (WIAT) – Nick Saban was in Ft.Payne on Thursday night as a part of the Crimson Caravan tour. He was asked the usual football questions, but paused when asked about comments from Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops regarding the SEC. Stoops made the following comments at an Oklahoma fan event earlier in the week:
“So they’ve had the best team in college football. They haven’t had the whole conference. Because, again, half of ‘em haven’t done much at all. I’m just asking you. You tell me …So you’re listening to a lot of propaganda that gets fed out to you. You can look at the top two, three, four, five, six teams, and you can look at the bottom six, seven, eight, whatever they are. How well are they all doing? What’d we [the Big 12] have, eight of 10 teams in bowl games this year? Again, you figure it all out.”
Alabama’s head coach wasn’t taking the bait.
“You’re going to have to tell me what he said,” Saban said. “I’ve got more important things to do than sit around and read what Bob Stoops has to say about anything.”
Saban did go on to say that he likes Stoops, “respect[s] him as a coach,” and “certainly respect[s] the great program that they have at Oklahoma and the other good programs that they have in the Big 12.”
Saban did go on to say that people who aren’t in the SEC don’t understand how difficult it really is.
“Well, we don’t play everybody in the Big 12 or whatever it is, so I really don’t know much about their league,” Saban said. “We have a lot of respect for what they do at Oklahoma, and I really don’t think that people that don’t play in our league really don’t understand the quality of our league from top to bottom.
“I think there’s probably a lot of animosity out there because of the success that we have in our league, but I think that kind of goes with the territory. I understand that. But we certainly respect the great program that they have at Oklahoma and the other good programs that they have in the Big 12.”
Stoops was the defensive coordinator at the University of Florida from 1996-98.
Video Interview Courtesy WHNT (Huntsville)