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Big 12 reprimands Texas DE Breckyn Hager for ‘OU sucks’ comments

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Texas defensive end Breckyn Hager is definitely a character. The son of All-American linebacker Britt Hager, still the UT record-holder for career tackles, Hager is a philosophy major who vowed not to cut his hair until Texas wins the Big 12 championship. Wearing his long blonde locks in Willie Nelson-style braids, the senior defensive end played through an elbow injury to record a key sack in No. 15 Texas’s 24-10 win over No. 16 Iowa State on Saturday night, helping Texas take a major step toward a conference title and himself toward a much-anticipated haircut.

With the win, Texas now just needs to beat Kansas to clinch a berth in next Saturday’s Big 12 Championship, where they would meet the winner of Friday night’s game between Oklahoma and West Virginia. Clearly feeling himself in the glow of victory, Hager conducted his post-game press availability in pads, Aviator-style sunglasses and a cowboy hat, where he dished on any topic that came up.

Including Oklahoma.

Here’s how his post-game chat concluded, according to the Dallas Morning News:

At the conclusion of his roughly five-minute postgame media session, Hager emphatically got up from his chair and walked away. One reporter then informed Hager that Kansas dropped 40 points during its 15-point loss to No. 6 Oklahoma on Saturday night in Norman.

“Hey, OU has no defense,” Hager turned around and said. 

He then pointed at a nearby clock and offered one last sobering thought from his perplexing postgame session.

“And what time is it?” Hager said. “It’s 11:12…and OU still sucks.”

On Monday, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby issued a public reprimand for Hager’s comments.

“Breckyn Hager violated the Conference rule that prohibits coaches, student-athletes, athletic department staff and university personnel from making negative comments about other member institutions for his remarks about the University of Oklahoma,” said Bowlsby.  “This is Mr. Hager’s second violation of the Conference sportsmanship rules and therefore, he is receiving a public reprimand and will be expected to issue a public apology for his inappropriate comments.”

The reprimand comes amid a crackdown of extracurricular activities by the Big 12. West Virginia was flagged twice for unsportsmanlike conduct upon doing the ‘Horns Down’ motion during their Nov. 3 win over Texas.

Hager’s apology should be interesting, but not as interesting as the play in the trenches should Texas and OU rematch next Saturday.

Update: Hager has issued his apology.

Reports: Alabama DC interviews for, accepts job with Cleveland Browns

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The offensive side of Nick Saban‘s Alabama coaching staff has been ravaged by poaching over the past few weeks. As of Wednesday night, it appears the defensive side won’t go unscathed this offseason either.

According to Matt Zenitz of al.com, Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi interviewed for a job with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns this week. Zenitz didn’t specify for what position Lupoi interviewed with the Browns, which officially filled its defensive coordinator position earlier this week.

However, a subsequent report not only identified the position for which Lupoi interviewed, but that the erstwhile Tide coordinator has accepted the job.

Lupoi, one of the best recruiters in the sport, has spent the past five seasons on Saban’s staff. After serving as a defensive analyst his first two years, he was the Tide’s outside linebackers coach in 2016 before taking over as coordinator for Jeremy Pruitt, who left to take the head job at rival Tennessee.

Prior to Alabama, Lupoi was the defensive line coach at Washington (2012-13) and Cal (2008-11).

The Browns recently named Freddie Kitchens as its latest head football coach. Kitchens, for those of you who don’t remember, was a three-year starter at quarterback for Alabama in the mid-nineties.

Saban, for those of you who don’t remember, was the defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns from 1991-94 under Bill Belichick before taking the head job at Michigan State.

Mike Locksley reportedly turns to ex-ECU head coach Scottie Montgomery as Terps’ OC

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Mike Locksley is turning to a former head coach to become his first offensive coordinator at Maryland.

As first reported by InsideMDSports, the new Terps OC will be none other than former East Carolina head coach Scottie Montgomery. The move by Locksley comes a few days after fellow former Alabama assistant Josh Gattis reportedly spurned Maryland to take the same job at Michigan.

Montgomery’s track record as an assistant is certainly a bit better than what he did with the Pirates after going 9-26 overall in three seasons in charge of the program. While ECU’s offense did put up some impressive numbers at times (as well as produce players like Gardner Minshew II before he transferred to Washington State), Montgomery is probably best known for his work on the Duke staff under David Cutcliffe.

The 40-year-old started out as a wide receivers coach at his alma mater before eventually becoming OC of the Blue Devils, with a short stint in the NFL mixed in.

The good news for Locklsey and Montgomery is that they do have talent to work with in College Park even after missing out on grad transfer QB Jalen Hurts. The Terps are set to return both Tyrrell Pigrome and potentially Kasim Hill at quarterback as well as a slew of speedy backs and receivers.

Oklahoma will grant QB Austin Kendall waiver to play immediately at WVU

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It only took a few hours of getting thrown under the bus by fans and the national media, but cooler heads have prevailed in Norman.

Not long after it surfaced that graduate transfer Austin Kendall was being blocked by Oklahoma from being immediately eligible at West Virginia in 2019, USA Today reports that the Sooners have relented and the quarterback will indeed be able to play right away with the Mountaineers.

Kendall arrived at OU as part of the class of 2016 and saw limited playing time behind back-to-back Heisman Trophy winners at his position in Kyler Murray and Baker Mayfield. While it’s possible he could have stuck around to be the starter for the team in 2019, former Alabama starter Jalen Hurts announcing he was transferring in as a graduate transfer earlier on Wednesday all but put an end to that line of thought.

The reversal from Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma’s athletic department shows once again that schools have little to gain by even threatening to block a player from transferring. At some point a college football program will learn that it invites nothing but bad press in the short term over somebody who is leaving town anyway. At least everybody came to that same conclusion this time around before Kendall and his family had to call up a lawyer or two to reach the same end point.

Oh and by the way, Kendall will be back in Norman with the Mountaineers on October 19 during the upcoming season for what figures to be a Big 12 game with more than the usual on-field storylines coming in.

Iowa State not playing spring game in 2019 due to weather, construction concerns

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The calendar says January and the national title game was just last week but it’s never too early to start thinking about spring football around the college landscape.

The folks at Iowa State certainly are.

In a release from the school issued on Wednesday, the Cyclones confirmed that they would not be playing a spring game in 2019 and will now go two years between any potential showcases to cap off their prescribed 15 practices.

“As a result of the uncertain weather conditions we face each spring in Iowa, plus the site preparation work that will begin this Spring for the new Sports Performance Center project, Coach Campbell and I have decided to not schedule a spring football game,” Iowa State Athletics Director Jamie Pollard said in a statement.  “Similar to last year, Coach Campbell and his staff can use that day to conduct a 15th spring practice which they feel is more beneficial for the overall development of the student-athletes and the football program.”

Though there are indeed plenty of reasons why a program might join the growing trend of skipping out on playing a spring game, it’s certainly disappointing for many ISU fans to go two years without being able to see their team in action and what new faces might end up contributing in the fall. Weather concerns are nothing new in Ames though, as an actual non-conference game in 2018 was cancelled and replaced with an FCS foe in December, to say nothing of last year’s spring game getting called off due to the elements.