NEW ORLEANS (January 1, 2014) Whatever Bob Stoops may have said about the overall strength of the Southeastern Conference, that apparently doesn't apply when it comes to the challenge he sees before 11th-ranked Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
The Sooners' coach made that clear on the eve of Thursday night's matchup with No. 3 Alabama.
Stoops says Alabama, in his eyes, is "still the best team in the country."
Last spring, Stoops challenged the notion that the SEC - home of the last seven national champions - is the strongest league in the nation.
Now his Sooners (10-2), which play in the Big 12, can back that up by beating Alabama (11-1), but Stoops knows that won't be easy.
Oklahoma is rarely a double-digit underdog, but Alabama is listed as a 16-point favorite.