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Olive Garden sends Oklahoma players free pasta

Oklahoma-football-Olive-Garden

The Olive Garden decided to capitalize on a marketing opportunity when the restaurant caught wind of one of the funniest sports stories of the week. Back in May, the Oklahoma football team self-reported a minor NCAA infraction after their players ate more pasta than their were supposed to at a banquet. The team wanted to be sure the overindulgence didn’t constitute improper benefits.

On Friday, the players who were involved in “PastaGate” were treated to all the pasta they could eat when Olive Guard sent them a bunch of free food.

“#PastaGate has its advantages,” offensive lineman Gabe Ikard wrote on Twitter. “Shout out to @olivegarden for hooking us up with 4 full bags of food!”

In order to “sanction” themselves after their players strapped on a feed bag, Oklahoma had the three athletes who were involved donate $3.83 (the cost of the extra pasta serving) to the charity of their choice. Those few dollars are going a long way.

Oklahoma self-reported players eating too much pasta to NCAA

Pasta-meatballsSchools self-report minor infractions to the NCAA every year, most of which the public never hears about. Most of the violations have to do with recruiting players, but every now and then a team like the Oklahoma Sooners will report an eating violation.

Earlier this week, Ryan Aber of The Oklahoman shared a list of minor infractions that Oklahoma’s athletic programs have self-reported over the past 18 months. The football team’s revelation that three student-athletes ate too much pasta is by far the most entertaining.

Violation: Three current student-athletes received food in excess of NCAA regulation at a graduation banquet. The three had graduated from the school but returned for an additional season of competition. The players were provided pasta in excess of the permissible amount allowed. Resolution: The three were required to donate $3.83 each (the cost of the pasta serving) to a charity of their choice in order to be reinstated. The department provided rules education to applicable athletics department staff members.

Now that’s hilarious. The NCAA later thanked Oklahoma for their honesty and commitment to minding the rules, but said there is no penalty for large portion sizes.

The players who were involved joked about their charitable donations on Twitter.

Does it sound crazy? Sure, but I guarantee programs have been penalized for less. I don’t blame Oklahoma for playing it safe.

H/T Dr. Saturday

Oklahoma Red Cross takes shot at Alabama after Sugar Bowl

Red-CrossIt seems like almost everyone outside of the state of Alabama enjoyed the beating Oklahoma put on the Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl on Thursday night. The two-time defending national champions were dominated 45-31, and even the Red Cross decided to get in on the fun.

As AL.com’s Mark Heim pointed out, the Red Cross of Oklahoma sent out a hilarious tweet after the game. The tweet was later deleted, but not after it received more than 400 retweets.

The Sooners entered the game as a 17-point underdog, so you can understand why the victory was so gratifying for the people of Oklahoma. Heck, even collegiate athletes who have nothing to do with Oklahoma got a good chuckle out of AJ McCarron’s turnovers. The Red Cross of Oklahoma followed up with a few tweets supporting the state of Alabama.

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Oklahoma players nearly collapsed ESPN stage after Sugar Bowl win (Video)

Oklahoma-collapses-ESPN-setHow excited were the Oklahoma Sooners to beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on Thursday night? Let’s just say they damn near took down ESPN after the game.

Following their 45-31 victory over the Crimson Tide, more than a handful of Oklahoma players joined head coach Bob Stoops and quarterback Trevor Knight on ESPN’s stage during their postgame interviews. I think they ended up having one offensive lineman too many, and the stage nearly collapsed.

Fortunately, it turned out to be a near miss and Lou Holtz survived. At least now we have a better idea of what the weight capacity is for ESPN’s television set.

Video and GIF via The Big Lead

Mike Gundy explains decision to vote Oklahoma State ahead of Oklahoma

Mike-Gundy-Alabama-Over-OSUOklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy voted in the coaches poll this year for the first time since 2005. After voting his Cowboys ahead of Oklahoma in the season’s final poll, he might want to take another year off.

The final USA Today Coaches Poll was released on Sunday. Each coach’s ballot is made public, and the rankings factor into the final BCS computer rankings. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State play in the same conference and each finished the year with with a 10-2 record. On Saturday, the Sooners beat Oklahoma State in a classic Bedlam matchup. Despite that, Gundy ranked his Cowboys 10th and Oklahoma 12th. How does that make sense?

“I just try to take into account the season in general and not one or two games and come up with the best formula that I think works,” Gundy explained, via The Oklahoman.

Gundy also added that he takes point differential against BCS opponents into account. He is apparently one of the only coaches who saw it that way in regard to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, because the the Sooners finished 10th in the USA Today Coaches Poll and the Cowboys finished 13th.

Oklahoma State did beat Baylor, who finished 5th in the coaches poll and 6th in the BCS standings. The Cowboys won that game 49-17 whereas Oklahoma lost to Baylor 41-12. I’m sure Gundy gave that game a lot of weight, but I’m also sure he was a bit biased. When two teams have the same record in-conference and one beats the either, the choice should be fairly simple.

Oklahoma touchdown on final play impacts over-under (Video)

Eric Striker touchdownOklahoma beat Oklahoma State 33-24 on Saturday in their “Bedlam” rivalry game, and a wild touchdown on the final play of the game affected the over-under total.

Oklahoma was down 24-20 after the Cowboys scored with 1:47 left. Blake Bell led them down the field and threw a touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders to give the Sooners a 27-24 lead with 19 seconds left. Oklahoma State knew they were pretty much toast and that 19 seconds weren’t enough to move the ball the entire way down the field, so they tried a desperate trick play on their last play with two seconds left in the game.

Clint Chelf completed a pass to Jhajuan Seales, who lateraled to Josh Stewart. Stewart lateraled to Desmond Roland, who heaved it behind him as he was about to be tackled. Oklahoma’s Eric Striker picked up the fumble and returned it for the score to put Oklahoma up 33-24 on the final play.

What’s interesting is that the over-under total closed at 57 or 56.5 at most sportsbooks, meaning that final play took a game that was looking like a lock to go under and made it either push or go over.

Oklahoma Twitter takes shot at Kliff Kingsbury after win

The person running the Twitter account for the Oklahoma Sooners football team was probably just trying to be humorous when sending out a tweet after Oklahoma handed Texas Tech its first loss of the season, but the move backfired.

Shortly after Oklahoma beat the Red Raiders 38-30, the Sooners’ Twitter account sent out the tweet seen below, which was an obvious shot at Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury:

Oklahoma Twitter Kliff Kingsbury

Kingsbury’s reputation for being the best looking coach in the game precedes him, and Oklahoma thought it would be funny to zing him for that and the loss. They quickly deleted the tweet and obviously regretted it.

Texas Tech may no longer be undefeated, but they’ll be the first to tell you that their coach is hotter than yours.

Photo via College Spun