Honestly has never been an issue for Barry Switzer, and that was evident once again last week. Switzer was a guest with Arkansas radio host Bo Mattingly, and didn’t beat around the bush when explaining the Big 12’s problems.
“They don’t recruit very well. Take an Iowa State, Kansas, they don’t get the blue-chip players. Someone said Alabama versus the Big 12, they had more NFL draft choices (in the first three rounds). No, they recruited them. It’s the talent you recruit. They don’t get the talent that Alabama gets. If they had them, they’d have been high draft choices.”
Well, isn’t that the truth, and it’s much of what I’ve been preaching since this issue started a couple seasons ago as the SEC began infiltrating Texas.
But let’s be honest, it’s one thing for me to write or say it it, it’s another for Barry Switzer to outright say the Big 12 isn’t good at recruiting.
In the 2017 draft, Alabama had 9 players drafted in the first 79 picks. Meanwhile, the Big 12 conference had 3 selected over the same amount of picks.
Switzer added to his discussion with Mattingly, and in no way was trying to rip the success Alabama has had.
“Not saying the Alabama coaches aren’t good — damn right they’re good — but they get to coach good players. You just don’t recruit the good players at schools in the Big 12. The only schools that really do are Texas, which is down, and Oklahoma — they beat the teams they’re supposed to beat but haven’t beaten the ones as good as they are. That’s the difference.”
There was a subtle dig at the Sooners there, with Switzer saying OU doesn’t beat the teams that are equally or more talented than they are. That sure seemed like a slight shot at Bob Stoops.
But when Barry Switzer, one of the best coaches the conference has ever had, (although he was technically not a ‘Big 12’ coach), points out that 8 out of 10 teams in the conference don’t recruit well, that’s another warning sign.
Don’t forget it was Switzer who famously said, “It never changes. Football is a game of repetition, mental and physical. You may try to articulate it a little different, but it’s the same thing: Get better players, make fewer mistakes, and drill the fundamentals into your players’ heads. The rest of it is a joke. Teams aren’t winning because of what they had for breakfast of what some coach said in the locker room.”
Now why does Nick Saban make $11 million? Because he’s the one who can get the top players, while also implementing a program that lets these young men and the team consistently flourish. That’s the special combination. Right now, the Big 12 would settle for just one half of that equation: getting better players.
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