Surely former Ohio State head football coach John Cooper was able to say this with a straight face:
“I see some of these teams, the Auburns. I’m told, I don’t know and I haven’t coached in that league, but I’m told that down south the Alabamas and LSUs and some of these teams that have these great players, that maybe the NCAA needs to look into their situation,” Cooper said. “Those teams have been on probation. As you know, Alabama’s certainly one of the most penalized teams in college football, as is the Southeastern Conference. We say the SEC’s the best and they are the best, but they’ve also had more NCAA violations than probably all the other leagues put together the last 10 years.”
Earlier in the interview, Cooper said that he was impressed with the defenses on display in Monday night’s BCS National Championship Game but less impressed with the quality of quarterback play in the SEC.
“They don’t have many skilled quarterbacks. I thought Alabama’s quarterback last night was OK. I thought LSU’s was awful and I don’t know if there’s another good quarterback, maybe the young kid at Georgia. But I don’t know if there’s another good quarterback in the whole league.”
You know, Cooper would kind of have a point if he wasn’t so absolutely wrong.
The fact is, Alabama is most certainly not “one of the most penalized teams in college football” and the SEC’s cheatin’ ways aren’t any worse than other leagues. But hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good rant?
And though the SEC’s quarterbacks weren’t the collective best group in the country this year, this is a league that has produced Cam Newton, Tim Tebow, Ryan Mallet and Matthew Stafford over the last five years, so I think we can cut 2011 a little slack.