Texas v Oklahoma

Bad personnel Monday for Sooners


When it rains it pours, they say, and it was stormin’ in Norman personnel-wise on Monday.

First reported by Tulsa World, it was subsequently confirmed by additional media outlets that wide receiver Courtney Gardner will be ineligible to play for Oklahoma in 2012.  In a text, the JUCO All-American wide receiver told ESPN.com that he “passed all his summer classwork but didn’t complete his last English class on time.”

Thanks to the attrition at the position this offseason — three projected contributors were indefinitely suspended earlier this year and their status for the 2012 season is very much up in the air — Gardner, who was also arrested for obstruction back in March, was expected to come in and contribute immediately to the Sooners’ passing game.

LaColtan Bester, another JUCO receiver transfer, has graduated and will be eligible in 2012, which helps somewhat mitigate the loss of Gardner.

In addition to Gardner, another JUCO transfer, offensive lineman Will Latu, is also academically ineligible.  And, unfortunately, Latu won’t be the only lineman unavailable to Bob Stoops and his coaching staff this season — or any other season, for that matter.

Thanks to an injury that first occurred last season in the practice run-up to the Sooners’ bowl appearance, Dylan Dismuke has seen his playing career come to an end.  Dismuke, rated as a four-star member of OU’s 2011 recruiting class, will be placed on medical hardship due to the knee injury he suffered during non-contact drills.

But wait, there’s more…

The father of Florida running back Greg Bryant confirmed to Rivals.com that his son has decommitted from OU, deciding instead to play for an SEC school.  Auburn and South Carolina are the new favorites to land the touted back, the father said.

Bryant, who had been the Sooners’ highest-rated commit in the Class of 2013, is rated by Rivals as the No. 4 RB in the country and the No. 28 player at any position.

Wisconsin announces 10-year agreement with Under Armour

Joel Stave
Associated Press

What has long been rumored became fact Friday, as Wisconsin announced a 10-year agreement with Under Armour.

“I am absolutely thrilled about our new partnership with Under Armour,” AD Barry Alvarez said in a statement. “Kevin Plank and his team have established a brand that fits perfectly with the Wisconsin athletics story and culture. Our primary focus at Wisconsin is, of course, our student-athletes, and Under Armour’s passion and commitment to high quality and innovation will benefit our student-athletes for years to come. Our entire department is looking forward to a long and mutually productive relationship with the Under Armour team.”

The new deal will pay the Badgers a total of $7 million in cash and product in 2015-16 and is valued at $96 million over the life of the contract, good for second in the Big Ten, trailing only Nike’s new contract with Michigan.

Hidden within the contract are two nuggets that UA offered to sway the Badgers away from Adidas, from the Portland Business Journal:

Wisconsin will get as much as $500,000 from Under Armour to “rebrand” athletic facilities. It’ll get $150,000 to build out an Under Armour retail space in a campus gift shop called Bucky’s Locker Room. It also gets two summer internships for students at Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters.

“The University of Wisconsin is an institution built on the highest values of academic excellence, and we are extremely proud to be teaming up with one of the most vibrant, distinctive and successful athletic programs in the country to help elevate the performance of all Badgers with innovative footwear and apparel,” added Plank.

Wisconsin’s departure continues to weaken the stronghold Adidas had built in the Midwest after losing Michigan to Nike and Notre Dame to Under Armour in recent years (the company still owns apparel rights for Indiana and Nebraska). The Badgers are now the 41st Division I athletics department and 17th FBS program to join UA.

Video: There’s nothing wrong with Cardale Jones

Getty Images

In the minds of some in the media and even more in the fan base, Ohio State in general and Cardale Jones specifically have been underwhelming through the first five games of the 2015 season.

Jones, in particular, has been a rather large target of much of the angst.  Coming off a Cinderella-like three-game postseason run that helped OSU to a national championship, the perception is that Jones has been underwhelming and underperforming; even head coach Urban Meyer appeared to be leaning in that direction as he considered making the switch to J.T. Barrett prior to the Western Michigan win before reaffirming his commitment to the redshirt junior.

Is that perception valid?  Statistically, he’s not that far off from where he was in the 2014 postseason, at least in a couple of categories.

He’s completing 61.3 percent of his passes this season compared to 59.4 percent in the games against Wisconsin, Alabama and Oregon.  It was 9.9 yards per attempt in that three-game stretch last season, 8.2 in five games this season.  When it comes to scoring and turning the ball over, however, that’s another matter entirely.

He threw a touchdown pass every 15 pass attempts in the 2014 postseason; this season, it’s one every 21 attempts.  Even more glaring, he’s currently throwing an interception every 21 attempts as well.  During the run that made him a household name, it was one pick every 37.5 throws.

So, fewer touchdowns plus more turnovers equals validation of the angst, right?  Not so fast, at least as far as the college arm of Pro Football Focus goes.