STILLWATER, OK - SEPTEMBER 25:   A general view of the stadium during the game between the Oklahoma State Cowboys and the Texas Tech Red Raiders September 25, 2014 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Cowboys defeated the Red Raiders 45-35.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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Oklahoma State open to resuming Tulsa rivalry on an annual basis

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As two of only three FBS teams in their state and lying just an hour-plus drive apart, it’s only natural Oklahoma State and Tulsa would develop an ongoing relationship that at some points resembled a rivalry. And for a while they did.

The Cowboys and Golden Hurricane first met in 1914 and played nearly annually through 1965, and then again from 1981 through 2000. But the two have played only thrice since.

Oklahoma State AD Mike Holder would like to change that. As Bill Haisten writes in the Tulsa World, OSU and Tulsa are scheduled for games in 2017 and 2020 but nothing beyond that. Holder has expressed to his TU counterpart Derrick Gragg he would like the schools to play annually in football and men’s basketball.

“We like the idea of playing Tulsa in football and basketball on an annual basis. This matchup brings a lot of passion on both sides,” Holder said. “I’ve visited about this multiple times with Derrick Gragg, and I believe that he is open-minded about the concept.”

In a case of the left shoe being on the right foot, it’s up to the small, private mid-major to decide whether it wants to accept the large, major conference state school’s offer. Gragg said he’s waiting on Oklahoma State to back up its intention with a written offer.

“I’m open to it and we’ve had discussions about it,” Gragg told the paper, “but at the end of the day, we’re always going to do what’s best for TU.

“As you can imagine, we’re talking to a lot of institutions about playing football and basketball in the future. We haven’t been presented anything (from OSU) in writing. Usually when you have these kinds of discussions, a school will follow up and give you some type of proposal (on paper). We’ve yet to receive that.”

On the surface, an annual Oklahoma State series seems to make perfect sense for Tulsa. Road games offer a half a million dollar payment, an interesting opponent and the chance to be home by bed time. Home games equal an automatic sellout of H.A. Chapman Stadium.

“I’ve tried to think of any down side to having Tulsa and Oklahoma State playing in multiple sports, and I haven’t come up with anything yet,” Holder said. “Another aspect that can’t be overstated is that Oklahoma State has so many alumni living in Tulsa.

“The Tulsa and OSU people interact every day, whether it be in business or at restaurants or on a golf course. It’s great to have something to talk about. Competing in athletics is one of those things.”

Oklahoma State holds a 40-28-5 all-time advantage on the gridiron with wins in nine of their last 10 meetings, including a 59-33 decision in 2011 — a rain-soaked game that didn’t end until 3:35 a.m. Tulsa time.

 

AFCA and NFL agree on expanded access for scouting college underclassmen

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 28: Scouts look on as a player runs the 40-yard dash during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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The NFL and most NCAA schools have been trying for years to whittle away at the high number of players who declare early for the NFL Draft and then go undrafted.

To that end, the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and the NFL announced Monday that the two entities have reached an agreement on new guidelines involving scouting underclassmen. This will eventually allow for more information to be shared with both prospects and their potential employers at the pro level.

Beginning this upcoming February, each FBS school can designate up to five underclassmen who will be eligible for additional scouting (some schools may be allowed to designate more). Those players will then be allowed to be tested and interviewed by scouts at a school’s pro day prior to the 2017 NFL Draft.

While it is not quite an “underclassmen combine” that some have advanced, it essentially means talented soon-to-be redshirt sophomores and juniors who are not eligible to declare for the draft will be able to perform at their school’s pro days for scouts.

“The more information our college advisory committee has, the better evaluations they can make for student-athletes who are at a critical juncture of their lives,” NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said in the statement. “While there is no question that obtaining a college degree is a transformative experience for so many people in society and a goal to which we encourage everyone to aspire to, for those talented few individuals that have the ability to succeed in the NFL prior to exhausting their college football eligibility, this new agreement will ensure they have better information with which to make their decision. We appreciate the efforts of our partners at the AFCA in making this new agreement a reality.”

The change is one many top coaches have been clamoring for over the years, from Ohio State’s Urban Meyer to Alabama’s Nick Saban. It should lead to more information for those players who may be thinking about leaving school before their senior season and allow the underclass advisory committee to get a better idea of where they might get drafted.

It may not be a perfect solution for some but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. Pro Football Talk also has a little more on this subject right here.

Rutgers loses play-making Janarion Grant to season-ending ankle injury

PISCATAWAY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 17:  Janarion Grant #1 of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights carries the ball in the first half against the New Mexico Lobos at High Point Solutions Stadium on September 17, 2016 in Piscataway, New Jersey.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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If there was one player Rutgers may not have been able to afford to lose this season, it was Janarion Grant. Unfortunately for Rutgers, Grant has indeed ben lost for the season due to an ankle injury suffered Saturday in a home loss against Iowa.

Grant injured his right ankle on Saturday and returned to the Rutgers sideline on crutches later in the game. That was an ominous sign itself, but Rutgers head coach Chris Ash confirmed the unfortunate news on Monday when addressing the media. Ash did not reveal the specific details of Grant’s injury, but confirming he will miss the rest of the season is a pretty tough pill to swallow for the entire Rutgers program.

Rutgers will look to petition for an extra year of eligibility for Grant.

But wait, there’s more injury news for Rutgers. Ash also announced defensive end Quanzell Lambert will be out for the remainder of the 2016 season due to a knee injury.

Texas suspends OL Kent Perkins following DWI arrest

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Texas has suspended senior offensive guard Kent Perkins for one game after he was arrested for a DWI charge last week.

The suspension will be served during Texas’ next game this weekend against Big 12 opponent Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have lost two out of the last three games, including last weekend’s game at Baylor to drop to 0-1 in Big 12 play to start the season.

The loss of Perkins for one game is a blow to the Texas offensive line, as he is one of the most experienced players in the trenches for the Longhorns. He has started 26 games, with all 26 coming on the right side of the offensive line.

Alex Anderson and Jake McMillon are expected to fill the vacancy at right guard this weekend and Perkins is expected to return to the field next week.

Former Buckeyes head coach Earle Bruce to dot the “i” on Saturday

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 20:  The Ohio State Buckeyes marching band spells out Ohio to the cheers of fans before their game against the Michigan Wolverines on November 20, 2004 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.  Ohio State upset Michigan 37-21.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
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One of the great traditions college football has to offer is when an Ohio State senior sousaphone player parades out to “dot the ‘i'” in The Best Damn Band In The Land’s signature pregame show. On a rare occasion, the honor of completing the script goes to a very special guest. On Saturday, that honor will be given to former Buckeyes head coach Earle Bruce.

“I was floored… I couldn’t believe it,” Bruce said to WTVN in response to the news of the special invite. “I always like to talk about the band. The band is so great.”

A total of 13 people have had the privilege of being the special guest to perform the final piece of Ohio State’s patented pregame routine. He will be the second former Ohio State coach to do so, joining Woody Hayes. Other notable people to have the honor include John Glenn, Jack Nicklaus, and Bob Hope. Perhaps one day Jim Tressel will join the list of special guests.

Bruce was a big influence for current Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer. Meyer was a graduate assistant under Bruce from 1986 through 1987.

Helmet sticker to Eleven Warriors.