Oklahoma too good, Texas too young in blowout win

19 Comments

Texas co-offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin made Oklahoma’s defense look silly in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl when he was the offensive coordinator at Boise State.

Four years later, Bob Stoops and defensive coordinator Brent Venables unleashed their ravenous Sooner defense on Texas like a pack of wolves. The main course at this year’s Texas State Fair? Deep fried Bevo with a side of fried mashed potatoes. As if the Red River Rivalry needed any more flammable grease to cause a spark, Stoops kept his foot on the throttle, while maybe keeping his memories in Phoenix, for 60 minutes. The result was a Texas-sized beat-down of the young Longhorns 55-17.

Question: is there an over/under on how many spots No. 3 Oklahoma will drop in the Associated Press poll come tomorrow? The Sooners started the year atop both polls and haven’t done anything yet to make one believe they’re not one of the top teams in the country. But more recent primetime wins by LSU and Alabama have put the SEC West rivals ahead of the Sooners in the AP poll.

Not that it really matters now; rankings are subjective, and all OU has to do is keep winning and Bama/LSU will take care of itself. The former is a manageable task for Oklahoma. Although the Big 12 had five undefeated (now four) and top 25 teams heading into Week 6, the Sooners are still the class of the league, with a season-ending game in Stillwater against Oklahoma State looking like the final hurdle to a BCS championship game appearance.

But it’s hard to look at today’s win by Oklahoma and not realize that it was just as equally attributed to Texas’ total ineffectiveness as a team as it was OU’s dominance. Call it youth, call it whatever you want, Texas just wasn’t ready for an opponent like Oklahoma and they for sure aren’t the No. 11 team in the country.

The Sooners defense cashed in on Texas’ mistakes by causing five turnovers, three of which were returned immediately for touchdowns. In all, OU’s defense scored one less touchdown than their offense (four touchdowns).

Texas’ best play of the day — a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by RB Fozzy Whittaker — was actually their biggest mistake of all. Why? It gave the ball back to Oklahoma’s offense right away. The Sooners would drive 83 yards in two minutes and score a touchdown to go up 34-10 right before the half.

Yep, that kind of game.

Oklahoma State punter Zach Sinor launches campaign for… Heisman Trophy

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Move over Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph, because it appears there is another college football player from the state of Oklahoma who has his eyes set on winning the Heisman Trophy.

Oklahoma State punter — yes, punter — Zach Sinor has officially launched his Heisman Trophy campaign with a fun video promotion from the Oklahoma State football social media team. In it, you get a real sense of what is motivating the Cowboys punter, who was left off the Ray Guy Award list a year ago.

I shouldn’t have to remind you that a punter has never won the Heisman Trophy award, but that does not mean we can’t have some fun and laughs along the way as Sinor looks to state his case this season.

Vanderbilt suspends three players connected to parking lot shooting incident

Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Days after two Vanderbilt football players were shot in an incident involving a stolen phone, head coach Derek Mason has suspended three players connected to the incident. Defensive backs Tae Daley and Frank Coppet and wide receiver Donaven Tennyson have all been indefinitely suspended from all football activities in Nashville.

Daley and Coppet were shot outside a Nashville Target on Monday night. Neither player suffered what is considered a critical injury, which is good to hear, but the entire incident centering around a meeting in which Tennyson was attempting to recover a cellphone that had been stolen from him. Tennyson brought his teammates with him in what has been described by authorities as “an ill-conceived plan.”

Mason clearly agreed.

No arrests have been made, but police are continuing to work the case to identify the shooters.

NCAA considering changing transfer rules

Getty Images
4 Comments

The NCAA’s Division I Council Transfer Working Group on Wednesday unleashed a set of suggestions that could either radically change or slightly tweak the way transfers are handled in college sports’ highest level.

Let’s start with the (possible) radical changes. The working group is considering a suggestion that would make all transfers immediately eligible, provided they hit certain academic benchmarks:

Establishing uniform transfer rules — which would require everyone to follow the same rules regardless of the sport they play — was a topic that the group agrees will likely take longer to resolve. While most members agreed the concept of uniformity would be positive, what the specific rules would be is less clear.

Members discussed two models: One model would require every transfer student to sit out a year to acclimate to a new school; the other would allow all transfers to play immediately provided they present academic credentials that predict graduation at the new institution.

Walking back from that, the working group did recommend changing the transfer process to where players seeking new destinations would no longer need their former school’s approval. Considering the NCAA formally argues its athletes are merely students, and there is no limit on normal students receiving financial aid upon transferring to a new institution, this change should pass without a word to the contrary. But, you know, the NCAA is the NCAA.

Group members believe financial aid should not be tied to whether a school grants permission to contact. They want to know if others in the membership feel the same way. The group also agreed that enhancements should be made to the formal process students use to notify a school of their desire to transfer. The group will seek input from the membership on appropriate enhancements.

To curb a possible spike in transfers, the working group suggested upping penalties for coaches caught tampering with scholarship athletes at other schools.

The group expressed interest in increasing the consequences for coaches who break recruiting rules to seek out undergraduate and potential graduate students. The working group will ask the Committee on Infractions and enforcement staff to review the concept and provide feedback.

Finally, the working group suggested adding academic accountability to the graduate transfer market by either making graduate transfers count against the 85-man scholarship limit for two years or tweaking the APR formula to up the impact graduate transfers’ academic progress has in the system.

One potential approach could be to require that the financial aid provided to graduate students count against a team’s scholarship limit for two years, regardless of whether the graduate student stays for two years or leaves when their eligibility is complete.

Another concept for increasing that accountability is through the Academic Progress Rate calculation, specifically the eligibility and retention points for which a student would be held accountable as they pursue a graduate degree. The Committee on Academics discussed the calculation and the working group plans to continue conversations on the topic.

“I am thrilled with the great progress made this week, and I’m confident we can move forward with some initial concepts for consideration in this year’s legislative cycle,” South Dakota State AD and working group chair Justin Sell said in a statement. “We are working toward academics-based, data-driven decisions that benefit student-athletes, teams and schools.”

Any changes proposed by the working group are merely suggestions. The earliest any proposals could be voted on would be April 2018.

Michigan WR Grant Perry pleads guilty to felony resisting of a police officer

Getty Images
3 Comments

Michigan wide receiver Grant Perry on Wednesday pleaded guilty to resisting of a police officer in a Lansing, Mich., court, according to the Lansing State Journal. The charge carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison.

Perry also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of assault and battery, but did so to avoid two counts of fourth-degree sexual assault and one alcohol charge.

The case stemmed from an October incident in which Perry was accused of groping a female outside an East Lansing bar. (The Wolverines were off that weekend.) A Michigan State student said Perry “started licking his lips and smiling and pushing his chest up against her chest” before groping her.

Police were called to the scene, and Perry attempted to escape.

“When (police) arrived on scene, we tried to grab onto him, and we had to chase him,” East Lansing P.D. spokesman Lt. Scott Wriggelsworth said at the time. “In the midst of that fracas, one of our officers suffered a minor hand injury.”

Prosecutor Christina Johnson said Wednesday she has not ruled out sentencing Perry under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which, pending Perry’s completion of certain requirements, would wipe Wednesday’s conviction from his record by his 24th birthday.

In the meantime, Perry has been suspended by Michigan but has since resumed practicing with the team. Jim Harbaugh has said Perry will not play for the Wolverines until his case is resolved, which it will be by the time Michigan opens the season against Florida on Sept. 2. Sentencing for the case is set for Aug. 2.