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Auburn, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech are Cal transfer’s final three

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We don’t yet know to where Aaron Cochran will transfer, but the potential landing spots have been narrowed.

Jake Trotter of ESPN.com revealed on Twitter that the Cal transfer has whittled his to-do list down to three: Auburn, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech.  The offensive lineman is already known to have taken an official visit to the Cowboys nearly three weeks ago.

Per Trotter, he’ll visit The Plains this weekend, then Lubbock two weeks later.

In early February, Cochran announced that he would be transferring from Cal. As he is leaving Berkeley as a graduate transfer — he’s expected to graduate this spring — the lineman would have instant eligibility at another FBS school.

Cochran started 16 of the 28 games in which he played during his Cal career. 10 of those starts came this past season.

And, regardless of where he lands, his new school will be getting a very large human being.

For what it’s worth, Cochran is listed at 6-8, 350 pound on his official Cal bio page.

LOOK: Mike Gundy, mullet in full flow, wrangling a rattlesnake

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Is Mike Gundy looking to challenge Jim Harbaugh as the interesting offseason college football coach in the world? Maybe not intentionally, but that’s exactly what he’s doing.

Wearing a wrestling singlet, The Mulletted One stumped via video for fans to show up for Oklahoma State’s 1-2 wrestling matchup with Penn State in the middle of last month.  A month later, the Cowboys head coach is becoming one with nature — and one of its most dangerous and deadly venomous reptiles.

On a completely unrelated note, the 2017 college football season officially kicks off in 162 days. Exactly one week later, OSU opens the new season at home in Stillwater against Tulsa.

Plan the remainder of your offseason accordingly.

Oklahoma State reportedly set to host pair of key transfers

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Think coaches are done tinkering with their rosters ahead of spring football? Think again.

Oklahoma State is the latest school to dip into the graduate transfer market this month as ESPN reports that former Cal offensive tackle Aaron Cochran and ex-Clemson defensive back Adrian Baker are both expected to visit Stillwater this weekend.

Cochran announced his departure from the Golden Bears last month and will be eligible right away in 2017 at a position of need for the Cowboys. The left tackle appeared in 28 games the past three seasons in Berkeley and made 16 starts for the team, which ran a similar offense to what OSU does.

Baker missed the Tigers’ run to the national title with a knee injury this past year but did start three times for Clemson two years ago. He would be a nice addition at corner for the Oklahoma State after the loss of veteran cover man Ashton Lampkin.

It remains to be seen if either of the two players actually winds up in Stillwater but a transfer to the Big 12 makes a lot of sense for both parties as things gear up for 2017.

Mike Gundy says Sugar Bowl loss to Ole Miss wasn’t on a “level playing field”

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Mike Gundy originally blamed himself for Oklahoma State’s 48-20 loss to Ole Miss at the Sugar Bowl that closed the 2015 season.

Speaking at the AFCA Convention in Nashville last month, I heard Gundy explain to thousands of fellow coaches he felt he overtrained his Cowboys in preparation to play the physically imposing Rebels. The end result backfired. As I wrote for FootballScoop:

As Oklahoma State prepared to face No. 12 Ole Miss in the Sugar Bowl, Gundy pushed his players harder than usual in December practices. “They’re going to knock us off the ball and it’s not going to look pretty,” he remembers thinking. That strategy backfired on him, though, as the Rebels pounded Gundy’s team 48-20. Oklahoma State was out-rushed 207-63 and averaged only 6.7 yards per pass attempt to Ole Miss’s 9.9. “We weren’t physical and we were slow,” Gundy said.

But now Gundy thinks something else may have contributed to that 28-point spanking.

As he explained to the Tulsa World‘s Bill Haisten, Gundy said he couldn’t help but think of the Sugar Bowl when he learned of the NCAA’s charges against Ole Miss.

“The first thing I thought about was (OSU’s recent experience with the NCAA),” Gundy said, “and the second thing was the Sugar Bowl and my players and what they went through.”

He continued: “We’ll never know what we could have done in the Sugar Bowl if it was a level playing field. That is the truth. I’m not sure we would have won the Sugar Bowl, but we’ll never know.”

 

Former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder reportedly hired as defensive analyst at Oklahoma State

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Staff changes are nearly complete around college football but it appears there is still one hire left to make for Oklahoma State.

According to a report from the Tulsa World, Cowboys head coach Mike Gundy is expected to bring on former Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder as the team’s new defensive analyst.

VanGorder was fired by the Irish last season after a 1-3 start that saw numerous issues on the defensive side of the ball. He later took a defensive analyst spot at Georgia toward the end of the 2016 campaign but apparently was looking for something else this year and ended up in Stillwater.

The move to bring on the coaching veteran gives Gundy and Cowboys defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer a wealth of knowledge on staff for that side of the ball as former OSU defensive coordinator Bill Clay is also a defensive analyst on the staff.

Prior to going to South Bend, VanGorder was a DC at Auburn, Georgia, and South Carolina. He also served as head coach of Georgia Southern for one season and made several NFL coaching stops along the way as well but this will be his first gig with a Big 12 program.