A few years back when he worked for ABC, Gary Danielson covered the Big 12 Conference and enthusiastically talked up teams in the conference. Now, in his third season with CBS, he has become a Big 12 basher. He and play-by-play partner, Verne Lundquist, took several shots at the league in a conference call Tuesday afternoon to promote CBS’ telecast of the Southeastern Conference championship: No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 2 Florida at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Danielson said the Big 12 statistics are overrated because of a lack of defense in the conference.
Danielson: “I’ve got to say the stats in the Big 12 are like pesos to me, they’re just not worth much. Everybody has stats there. It’s 300 pecos for a half gallon of milk.”
Lundquist: “I understand the point. I watched the game with half of America on Saturday night, Oklahoma State- Oklahoma, and I don’t know which was more noticeable. The great offensive show by both teams or the total lack of defense by both teams. I understand the fascination with quarterbacks and let’s not take anything from (Graham) Harrell, (Sam) Bradford and (Colt) McCoy, they are terrific. But those aren’t exactly defensive juggernauts that are going out on the plains of the Midwest every week.”
Danielson rated the SEC ahead of the Big 12 because it has better defensive players.
Danielson: “They have better defensive lineman, more NFL linebackers. Go check out the draft the last 15 years and find out where the NFL players (came from). The NFL doesn’t draft guys that have nice uniforms or come from a conference that is highly rated in the BCS. They go and look at these players that they think are good athletes to play in the NFL. There are more NFL-ready bodies in this league than any other league at this frame of time. Right now, there is a deficiency of quarterbacks in this league.”
Danielson said he would like to see Oklahoma and Texas play in the Big 12 championship game, even though that isn’t possible.
Danielson: “In a perfect world if G.D. was in charge of things, they should have asked Missouri to step aside. This clearly is a once in a lifetime thing with them being ranked 2 and 3, 2 and 4 or 3 and 4, or whatever, everybody knows that one of these teams should be playing in the (BCS) championship and I wish like the commissioner in baseball, the commissioner of the Big 12 should have said for the good of the conference, let’s let them replay this thing in the Big 12 championship.”
Both Danielson and Lundquist played up Florida quarterback Tim Tebow’s chances of winning his second consecutive Heisman Trophy if he plays well against Alabama.
Danielson: “I don’t think he’s going to win it unless he has a marquis performance Saturday against Alabama. He is going to have put on a show.”