Oklahoma State rallies to stun No. 20 Oklahoma in overtime

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This wasn’t the Bedlam game we expected. Not after Oklahoma started the season in the top 10 and Oklahoma State took Florida State to the wire on opening night. But with Cody Thomas and Mason Rudolph leading their respective clubs, not Trevor Knight and J.W. Walsh, and no Big 12 championship implications on the line for the first time in five years, Bedlam lived up its billing.

Oklahoma State scored the game’s final 10 points in to rally for a 38-35 overtime victory over the 20th-ranked Sooners in Norman.

This was an overtime game that had no business going to overtime.

Oklahoma took possession of the ball at the Cowboys’ 41-yard line leading 35-28 with 3:16 remaining in the game. Oklahoma State had no timeouts, so a first down clinched the game. The Sooners lost four yards on the next three snaps, so they were forced to punt. That’s when Jordan Sterns committed the greatest penalty in the history of the Oklahoma State football program. Jed Barnett‘s punt was downed at the 15, but Sterns was flagged for running into the kicker and, for some ill-fated reason, Stoops accepted the penalty.

Tyreek Hill returned the next punt 92 yards for a touchdown to the the game with 45 seconds remaining.

Then, on the Sooners’ last-gasp possession to win the game in regulation, Oklahoma was faced with a 4th-and-1 at its own 46, well within distance for something crazy to happen, but Bob Stoops let the clock expire with a timeout in his pocket.

Oklahoma took the ball to open the extra frame, and it was a complete debacle. The Sooners lost two yards in three plays, and Michael Hunnicutt missed a 44-yard field goal attempt.

The game was fate accompli at that point, as the Cowboys bullied the ball to the three-yard line and Ben Grogan knocked in a 21-yard field goal, his first since October, to give Oklahoma State the win.

The Sooners took a 28-14 lead into the break but, playing without Knight, its offense ground to a halt after Samaje Perine left the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter. He was carrying the Sooners’ offense to that point, rushing 26 times for 151 yards and two touchdowns. Outside of a nine-play, 83-yard touchdown drive, Oklahoma’s offensive output in the second half and overtime resulted in five punts, a fumble, a turnover on downs and a missed field goal.

Thomas completed 10-of-17 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown, but was only 4-of-11 for 34 yards after halftime.

Meanwhile, Thomas’ counterpart was terrific in his Bedlam debut. True freshman Mason Rudolph hit 19-of-35 throws for 273 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Brandon Sheperd caught seven passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns, Desmond Roland rushed 18 times for 68 yards and two touchdowns, and Hill added three rushes for 38 yards and six receptions for 22 yards to his punt return score.

After taking a 28-14 deficit into the third quarter, the Cowboys outscored Oklahoma 24-7 over the final 15 minutes plus overtime.

The win extends Oklahoma State’s season, as the six-win Pokes are now eligible for their ninth straight bowl game. They entered Saturday losers of five straight by three touchdowns or more for the first time in half a century. The win was Mike Gundy‘s second Bedlam victory in his 10 seasons as head coach, and Oklahoma State’s first win in Norman since 2001.

The loss drops Oklahoma to 8-4 on the year, concluding the most unsatisfying season in recent Oklahoma memory, and certainly in Stoops’ 16-year tenure. The Sooners beat Texas but were outplayed and out-fought for most of the game, lost to all three ranked teams they faced, and gagged away a sure Bedlam win in historic fashion.

And as for College Football Playoff implications? This result will have no impact on the TCU-Baylor debate as both clubs played each team, but it could set the third-ranked Frogs and sixth-ranked Bears back relative to No. 5 Ohio State in the eyes of the committee. Each team now has one more win over a bowl team, yes, but Oklahoma will now assuredly drop out of the Top 25. TCU will now have one Top 25 victory (No. 9 Kansas State), while Baylor will now have two, assuming it beats Kansas State tonight. Ohio State, meanwhile, will have two with a win over No. 13 Wisconsin tonight.

Big 12 to allow teams to play 1 non-conference football game

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Two people involved with the decision say the Big 12 will permit its teams to play one nonconference football game this year to go along with their nine league contests as plans for the pandemic-altered season continued to fall into place.

The people spoke Monday night to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the conference was still preparing an official announcement.

The Big 12 university presidents signed off on the conference’s scheduling model, which gives schools the ability to play one nonconference game at home. The conference’s championship game is scheduled for Dec. 5, but one of the people told AP that the conference is leaving open the possibility of bumping it back a week or two.

The 10-team Big 12 already plays a nine-game, round-robin conference schedule. Unlike other Power Five conference that have switched to either exclusively (Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC) or mostly (ACC) league games this season, the Big 12 could not add more conference games without teams playing each other more than once.

Several Big 12 teams have already started preseason practice, with Kansas and Oklahoma slated to play FCS teams on Aug. 29.

As conferences take steps toward a football season that seems to be in precarious shape, the NCAA is expected to weigh in Tuesday on fall sports other than major-college football.

The association’s Board of Governors is scheduled to meet and whether to cancel or postpone NCAA championship events in fall sports such as soccer, volleyball and lower-division football is expected to be a topic.

Only the Pac-12 has a full football schedule with matchups and dates in place among Power Five conferences. The Pac-12 will begin Sept. 26, along with the Southeastern Conference, which is still working on its new 10-game slate.

The Atlantic Coast Conference has opponents set for its 10-game conference schedule and will start the weekend of Sept. 12, but no specific game dates. The ACC has also said it will permit its teams to play one nonconference game.

The Big Ten, first to announce intentions to go conference-only this season, has yet to release a new schedule, but that could come later this week.

Now that the Power Five has declared its intentions the Group of Five conferences can start making plans and filling holes on their schedules.

American Athletic Conference Commissioner Mike Aresco has said the AAC could stick with its eight-game conference schedule and let its members plays as many of their four nonconference games as they can salvage or replace.

The Mountain West, Conference USA, Mid-American and Sun Belt conferences are likely to take similar approach.

Early Monday, Texas State from the Sun Belt announced it was moving a nonconference game against SMU up from Sept. 5 to Aug. 29.

Good morning and, in case I don’t see ya, good afternoon, good evening and good night! CFT, out…

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CFT is no more. At least, when it comes to NBC Sports.

The first of last month, I — this is John Taylor (pictured, catching the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XXIII) — began my 12th year with CFT and NBC Sports. This morning, I was informed that my position was being eliminated and I would not be completing that 12th year. Which, of course, meant I wouldn’t be eligible for the traditional 13th-anniversary gift of lace. Which really bummed me out. Because I really like lace.

The jarring phone call was both a slap in the face and a relief. Jarring because, well, it was completely unexpected. Out of the blue, even amidst the pandemic that is wreaking absolute and utter havoc across the country. A relief, on the other hand, because, every single day for the past four months, I woke up wondering if this would be the day I get that call.

Would this be the day? Would this be the day? A question played on an endless loop that just f***s with you mentally, emotionally, physically.

That’s no way to live.

Then again, being job-less is no way to live, either. But, here we are.

So many people I want to thank. First and foremost, Mike Florio and Larry Mazza. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Especially Mr. Mazza on the food front. Hopefully, lunch at Oliverio’s — best damn stuffed shells I have EVER had — can still be a thing, Larry.

And so many people that have worked for me. Not to single anyone out, but I’m going to single one out in Ben Kercheval. Ben, non-biological son of Hoppy, you were and continue to be the man. I appreciate you more than you know.  Rasheed Wallace may indeed be your biological father, but I will forever consider you my illegitimate Internet stepson.

Mike Miller is the best boss anyone could ever ask for.  Hire that man.  You can thank me later.

Kevin McGuire, Zach Barnett, Bryan Fischer, I will always treasure what we did, together, these last few years. Things were on the uptick, and it’s sad that we won’t be able to see it through. Together.  We should’ve — SHOULD’VE SHOULD’VE SHOULD’VE — been given that opportunity.  And it will forever piss me off that we weren’t.

Brent and Chris and JJ, much love to you all as well.

Shortly after I received the job call of death, I called my dad. Told him what was going on in his son’s life.  After I hung up the phone, he sent me a GIF in a text message a few minutes later.  I’ll link it here to end whatever this is, because it’s appropriate.  And old school.

And, well… bye.

via GIPHY

2018 FCS All-American RB commits to Virginia

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Virginia joined South Carolina over the weekend as Power Five football schools realizing a personnel benefit from a lower-level program’s loss.

Two weeks ago, the Colonial Athletic Association announced that it was canceling its 2020 college football season because of the coronavirus pandemic.  One member of that FCS conference is Towson.  Coincidentally or not, one standout member of the Tigers, Shane Simpson, took to Twitter last week to announce that he has entered his name into the NCAA transfer database.

On that same social media service Sunday, the running back confirmed that he has committed to the Virginia football team.  Simpson had his transfer to-do list down to Virginia and Texas.

As Simpson was a fifth-year senior in 2019, it appears he has been granted a sixth season of eligibility.  Or, is fairly confident he will receive one.

Simpson would likely be eligible for that sixth season as he missed all but four games of his true freshman season in 2015 because of injury, then missed all but the first three games last season because of a serious knee injury.

In 2018, Simpson earned first-team All-American honors.  He finished second in all of FCS with 171.5 all-purpose yards per game, totaling 2,058 yards on the season.  That same season, the Pennsylvania product was the CAA’s Special Teams Player of the Year and earned three different all-conference honors: first-team at running back, second-team as a kick returner and third-team as a punt returner.

Simpson would be eligible to play immediately in 2020 at the FBS level.

South Carolina pulls in transfer WR from Tarleton State

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South Carolina is the latest football program to benefit from a lower level of the sport opting out of football this fall.

In the middle of last month, the Western Athletic Conference — yes, the WAC — announced that it is delaying the start of fall sports, including football, because of the coronavirus pandemic.  Tarleton State was set to enter its first season in the FCS conference after moving up from Div. II.

One member of the Texans won’t get to realize that monumental move, though, as Jalen Brooks announced on Twitter over the weekend that he will be transferring into the South Carolina football program.

“God is undefeated,” Brooks wrote. “I would not be able to make this commitment without God, my family, my coaches, my teammates, the people I work out with, and the work that I put into everything.”

Interestingly, 247Sports.com wrote that “Brooks visited the campus in Columbia with his former high school coach, Jason Seidel, serving as his tour guide.” In late June, the NCAA once again extended its ban on in-person recruiting through the end of August.  It’s assumed that the South Carolina football program wasn’t involved in that on-campus visit.

At this point, it’s unclear if the wide receiver will be eligible to play for the Gamecocks this season. If he is, he’d have three years to use two seasons of eligibility.  If not, he’d use his redshirt in 2020, then have two years starting in 2021.

Brooks actually began his collegiate career at Div. II Wingate University in North Carolina.  In January of this year, the receiver transferred to Tarleton State.

In two seasons with the Bulldogs, Brooks totaled 998 yards and nine touchdowns on 50 receptions.