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Articles written by Ralph D. Russo

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Toughest job in college football: Defensive coordinator

DALLAS (AP) — Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables began his coaching career at Kansas State in the mid-1990s, trying to come up with ways to stop Nebraska's power option. The Cornhuskers were predictable, but often darn near unstoppable....

 

Oklahoma's Murray edges Alabama's Tagovailoa for Heisman

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyler Murray replaced a Heisman Trophy winner by becoming a Heisman Trophy winner. The Oklahoma quarterback won college football's most prestigious individual award Saturday night, edging Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and setting up a...

 

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Texas tops Big 12; SEC East revival

Texas has been losing the type of game it won on Saturday for nearly a decade. The Longhorns since 2009 had mastered the excruciatingly painful loss as they tried to find their way back (that word!) to being nationally relevant and a legitimate...

 

AP Top 25 Takeaways: First major upset shakes Big Ten

The fun in a college football season does not really start until there is big upset, a Top Ten team losing to an unranked team. BYU provided the season's first shocker, one that could reset the College Football Playoff race and have long-term...

 

AP Playoff Predictions: Tide, Tigers, Huskies and Wolverines

The College Football Playoff has yet to produce a real surprise team. In four seasons, nine schools have reached the semifinals — and even the teams that came from outside the AP preseason Top 25 were traditional powers. The lowest-ranked team in t...

 
 By Ralph D. Russo    Sports    July 19, 2018

Big 12 Preview: Post Mayfield, can Oklahoma be derailed?

Oklahoma is the favorite again in the Big 12 even with Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield now in the NFL. Who will be the Sooners' biggest challengers in their run for a fourth straight conference championship and third College Football Playoff...

 
 By Ralph D. Russo    Sports    June 3, 2018

Oklahoma QB competition twists with Murray's MLB selection

Oklahoma's quarterback competition took an unexpected twist at the Major League Baseball draft. Sooners signal-caller Kyler Murray, the favorite to replace Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield this season as Oklahoma's starter, was selected ninth...

 

NCAA begins work of implementing complex basketball reforms

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The most difficult part of the NCAA's attempt to clean up college basketball begins now. Hours after former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presented the Commission on College Basketball's sweeping recommendations for...

 
 By RALPH D. RUSSO    Sports    March 1, 2018

Plenty of opinions, but few solutions to fix college hoops

The cracked facade of NCAA hoops appears to be crumbling and while LeBron James, John Calipari and many agree that college basketball should be overhauled, there's no consensus on how to repair the system. A federal investigation has alleged...

 

No. 2 Oklahoma leads with 3 1st-team AP All-Americans

No. 2 Oklahoma will bring three All-Americans to the College Football Playoff. Quarterback Baker Mayfield, offensive tackle Orlando Brown and tight end Mark Andrews of Oklahoma were selected to the Associated Press All-America team, giving the... Full story

 

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield named the AP Player of the Year

NEW YORK (AP) — Baker Mayfield is The Associated Press college football Player of the Year, becoming the fourth Oklahoma quarterback to win the award since it was established in 1998. Mayfield easily outpointed Stanford running back Bryce Love,...

 

Mayfield, Jackson, Love are Heisman Trophy finalists

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield made Heisman Trophy history just by being selected as a finalist. Mayfield, reigning Heisman winner Lamar Jackson of Louisville and Stanford running back Bryce Love were chosen as finalists for the 83rd Heisman...

 

AP Top 25: Clemson is No. 1, Oklahoma 2nd after 'Bama falls

Clemson is the new No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll , taking a close vote with Oklahoma after the top two teams in the rankings lost in the same weekend for the first time since 2012. The Tigers jumped from fourth to No. 1 after...

 

AP Top 25 Takeaways: Big Ten cracks up; Bedlam goes bananas

The Big Ten cracked up, broken by Kirk Ferentz and Mark Dantonio. Clemson kept doing what Clemson does. And Bedlam was exactly what was expected in the Big 12. A Saturday of college football highlighted by seven games matching ranked teams was every... Full story

 

College Football Picks: Big 12 looks to back up OU's big win

Time for the rest of the Big 12 to step up. No. 2 Oklahoma gave the conference a signature victory last week at Ohio State that should serve the Sooners well when the College Football Playoff selection starts sorting through contenders. Two other ran...

 

Sooner Surge: Oklahoma up to No. 2 behind Alabama in AP poll

Oklahoma moved up to No. 2 in The Associated Press college football poll behind Alabama after the Sooners scored the most impressive victory of week two. Three of the top six teams from last week defeated other ranked teams on Saturday, creating an... Full story

 

College football picks: Big games on campus highlight week 2

The college football season opened with marquee matchups in NFL stadiums, giving a bowl-game feel to regular-season games. In week two, it's back to campus, where traditional venues make the games feel even bigger and crowds are anything but...

 
 By Ralph D. Russo    Sports    June 25, 2017

Style vs safety: Do too many football helmets pose a risk?

Oregon football players used three helmets last season — green, black and white — that were mixed and matched with myriad uniform combinations. The Ducks were pioneers in football fashion and other schools have followed, using helmets to make a...

 

Big 12 to withhold 25 percent of revenue share from Baylor

The Big 12 Conference said Wednesday it will withhold millions of dollars in revenue from Baylor until an outside review determines the university and athletic department are complying with Title IX guidelines and other regulations in the wake of a...

 

Switzer pulls fake play with media about meeting with Trump

Former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer figured when he told reporters he was going to be the Secretary of Offense for Donald Trump he assumed they knew he was joking about meeting the president-elect. "I think they need to learn the cabinet positions,"...

 

Heisman Trophy: Sooner teammates are rare pair of finalists

NEW YORK (AP) — Together, Baker Mayfield and Dede Westbrook were practically unstoppable for Oklahoma. Mayfield is one of the most productive quarterbacks in college football and something of a magician in the pocket, escaping trouble to make...

 

Heisman finalists: Jackson, Watson, Peppers, 2 Sooners

NEW YORK (AP) — Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is a Heisman Trophy finalist for the second consecutive season, joining Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, Michigan linebacker Jabrill Peppers and Oklahoma teammates Baker Mayfield and Dede...

 

Coaches try to keep players from tossing back touchdowns

The old saying goes, "When you score a touchdown, act like you've been there before." A few college football players took the nonchalant approach too far when entering the end zone the last couple weekends, casually dropping the ball right before...

 

Oklahoma, Ole Miss facing potential September elimination

Top-ranked teams facing enormous road tests. Potential playoff elimination games. Crucial conference contests. Intriguing nonconference matchups. The stakes are so high it's hard to believe it is only week three of the college football season. Where...

 

Officials who botched end of Oklahoma State game suspended

The eight-man officiating crew that botched the end of the Central Michigan-Oklahoma State game has been suspended for two games, the Mid-American Conference announced Sunday. And the Big 12 announced that the two-person video replay crew that worked...

 

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