Big 12 Conference flips the script on the SEC when it comes to defense

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Traditionally, when viewers tuned into Big 12 conferences games they knew they would get an offensive firestorm, which looked more like a basketball score by the end of the game than a football game.

Meanwhile, in the SEC, fans expected to see a battle in the trenches, a full spectacle of what it means to play defensive-minded football.

(AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter, File)

This past season, fans received the exact opposite.

On paper, Oklahoma’s defense outperformed traditional powerhouse, Alabama. In 2020, if you put the worst defense in the Big 12, which was Kansas, in the SEC, they would have ranked ahead of Vanderbilt, LSU and Ole Miss.

Recently, in an interview with College Sports on SiriusXM, Sooners coach Lincoln Riley had this to say.

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“I think this league defensively is the most innovative in the country from what I’ve seen,” Riley stated on SiriusXM’s Big 12 radio show.

While some may try to argue the impact of the pandemic on defensive players’ conditioning, it is tough to argue changes aren’t coming to the Big 12.

Lincoln Riley’s defense had its best season since he took over in 2017, with the defense getting progressively better since 2018.

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