• College football: Why Rutgers over North Carolina is this week's upset special

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    RUTGERS VS. NORTH CAROLINA — Turns out the Scarlet Knights can hang in the Big Ten. They’ll do that and better against Larry Fedora’s 6-6 UNC squad.

  • College football: Ranking the pre-New Year's bowl games

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    BOWL SEASON — Let’s thank the Texas Bowl for reviving a dormant old Southwest Conference rivalry in Arkansas vs. Texas.

  • College football: Why the Pinstripe Bowl is Eastern football as it could have been

    By Berry Tramel, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    BOSTON COLLEGE VS. PENN STATE — Joe Paterno had a vision for what Eastern football could have been. It now lives only in sporadic matchups like Saturday’s game at Yankee Stadium.

  • OKC Thunder: Analyst Hubie Brown says Thunder has to prove it can beat good teams

    By Mel Bracht | Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    THUNDER VS. SPURS — The ABC analyst for the Christmas Day broadcast says the Thunder’s performance against winning teams will determine how far it climbs in the Western Conference standings. The next challenge arrives Thursday in San Antonio against the defending NBA champions.

  • OKC Thunder: The two faces of Russell Westbrook

    By Darnell Mayberry, Staff writer | Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    On the court, Oklahoma City’s point guard can be a grinch. Off the court, his heart grows three sizes

  • Sports TV listings for Oklahoma City: Wednesday, Dec. 24-Thursday, Dec. 25

    From staff reports | Updated: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    THURSDAY NBA 11 a.m. Washington at New York ESPN (Cox 29) 1:30 p.m. OKC at San Antonio KOCO-5 (Cox 8) WWLS-AM 640/98.1 FM 4 p.m. Cleveland at Miami KOCO-5 (Cox 8) 7 p.m. L.A. Lakers at Chicago TNT (Cox 31) 9:30 p.m. Golden St. at L.A. Clippers TNT (Cox 31) MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL 3 p.m. Hawaiian Classic ESPNU (Cox 253) 5:30 p.m. Hawaiian Classic ESPN2 (Cox 28) 8 p.m. Hawaiian Classic ESPN2 (Cox 28) FRIDAY NBA 7 p.m. Charlotte at OKC FSOK (Cox 37)/NBATV (Cox 256)/WWLS-AM 640/98.1 FM COLLEGE FOOTBALL Noon Illinois vs. La.

  • OKC Thunder notebook: Thunder and Spurs limp into once-intriguing Christmas Day matchup

    By Anthony Slater | Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    Because of a devastating rash of injuries, OKC sits at 13-16 and 10th in the crowded West. The Spurs, meanwhile, have been hot and cold, facing some injury problems of their own and currently sitting at 18-11 and seventh in the conference.

  • Oklahoma State football: Zac Veatch's move to tight end bolsters Cowboy offensive line

    By Kyle Fredrickson, Staff Writer | Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    Veatch played nearly every snap as OSU’s starting right guard up until the Baylor game. By switching back to tight end, the Cowboys added an experienced blocker on the edge to fuel significant improvement from the unit.

  • Berry Tramel: Christmas stories for the sports fans

    By Berry Tramel | Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    How a grandmother inspired a future Thunder player

  • Tony Romo calls Pro Bowl an honor, but hopes Cowboys can't play

    Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    Tony Romo is one of six Cowboys players to earn a spot in the Pro Bowl. The quarterback considers it an honor. He also hopes he and his teammates are unable to attend. The Pro Bowl will be played outside of Phoenix on Jan. 25, one week before the Super Bowl is at the same site. "Something like that is very humbling," Romo said. "At the same time, I think we all know what our goals are. Hopefully none of us are playing in that football game and we're all playing in Arizona for the championship." The Cowboys had six players selected to play in the Pro Bowl: Romo, receiver Dez Bryant, running back DeMarco Murray, and offensive linemen Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick and Zack Martin.

  • State briefs

    Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    OKLAHOMA CITY Team hosts blood drive The Oklahoma City Thunder will host its seventh annual holiday blood drive to benefit the Oklahoma Blood Institute from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Cox Convention Center. Each donor will get a Thunder-themed T-shirt while supplies last. A pair of tickets to a Thunder home game will be awarded to one donor each hour. One donor will win a pair of lower-level tickets to the game. Free parking is available beneath the Cox Convention Center. Donors are encouraged to use the southwest entrance. Oklahoma Blood Institute provides the blood for all metro-area hospitals and 140 other medical facilities across Oklahoma. Healthy adults, 16 and older, can donate every 56 days. Appointments can

  • TCU's Gary Patterson wins AP coach of the year

    By RALPH D. RUSSO | Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    TCU coach Gary Patterson embraced changed and joined an exclusive club. Patterson was voted college football coach of the year by The Associated Press on Wednesday, joining Nick Saban as the only two-time winners. The AP coach of the year has been awarded since 1998. Patterson, in his 14th season at TCU, was coach of the year in 2009. Saban was coach of the year in 2003 when he was with LSU and in 2008 at Alabama. Patterson received 27 of 54 votes from the AP Top 25 media panel. Urban Meyer of Ohio State was the runner-up with 14 votes. Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen received six votes. Alabama’s Saban and Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez drew two votes each. Florida State’s Jimbo Fisher, Baylor’s Art Briles and

  • Twas the Night Before Christmas, Thunder style

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    Reader Bill Tolbert has too much time on his hand. And I told him so. Here’s how we know. The Thunder’s two-game suddenly losing, home defeats to New Orleans and Portland, has inspired Tolbert to rewrite “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” with a Thunder twist. With his permission, I’m sharing it with you: Twas the […]

  • Lawton's Jalin Barnett gets chance to face nation's No. 1 player

    Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    ESPN listed some key matchups to watch for in the 2015 Under Armour All-America Game, and one of them has Lawton offensive lineman Jalin Barnett going up against one of the best defensive linemen in the nation. ESPN has Barnett, an Oklahoman All-State selection, ranked as the No. 1 offensive gurad prospect in the Class of 2015. He's playing for Team Black at the All-American Game, where he'll get to face off against defensive lineman Terry Beckner Jr. of East Saint Louis, Ill. Beckner (6-foot-4, 298 pounds) is rated as the  No. 1 player in the nation by ESPN.com. Barnett is ranked 43rd overall. From ESPN.com (Insider content): "With Barnett's size and strength, it is tough to bull-rush the big man who flashes ability to sink and reset well. It is no easy task to work around Barnett either once he gets locked on, as he can maintain a good base and displays the short-area lateral agility to mirror rushers. This is a matchup in the heart of the trenches that should result in some great battles." You can watch Barnett and Casady offensive lineman Josh Wariboko-Alali in the Under Armour All-America Game on Jan. 2 at 3 p.m. on ESPN.

  • Report: Josh Smith to Houston Rockets

    Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    Wanting to play for a winning team with a chance to win the title, Josh Smith has decided to join the Houston Rockets, sources told ESPN.com on Wednesday. Smith was released by the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday less than two years into a four-year deal. The Dallas Mavericks, Miami Heat, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies were all seen as potential suitors for Smith. Smith is averaging 13.1 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game this season.

  • Johnny Manziel: 'I have to take this a lot more seriously'

    Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    Johnny Manziel made his first NFL start in Week 15. And it did not go well — his QB rating was 27.3. (For comparison, Tony Romo’s is 82.3.) But, now that Manziel’s rookie season is over (he’s out with a hamstring injury), he had some interesting thoughts, USA TODAY reports. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer relayed them on Twitter: "#Browns Manziel: "I have to take this a lot more seriously. It's a job for me now."

  • Report: Rockets sign Kevin McHale to three-year extension

    Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    The Rockets have signed coach Kevin McHale to a three-year, fully guaranteed contract extension valued in excess of $12 million, sources told ESPN. McHale is 192-159 in six seasons as an NBA head coach (currently in his fourth season with Houston, two with Minnesota). McHale is 153-104 during his Houston tenure.

  • Thunder Buddies podcast: What would you get Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant for Christmas?

    Anthony Slater | Published: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    Welcome to the home of our Thunder Buddies podcast, named, in part, from Universal Studio’s highly-acclaimed comedy ‘Ted’, but inspired by our continued hope for wall-to-wall coverage of OKC’s only professional team. Below is our list of episodes (click the link to listen). If you prefer iTunes for your podcast listening experience, click here and subscribe. Hope […]

  • Oklahoma City Thunder: Questions for Scott Brooks

    Berry Tramel | Updated: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    I didn’t make it to Scotty Brooks’ press conference after the game Tuesday night, when the Thunder lost to Portland 115-111 in overtime, a game OKC gift-wrapped for the Blazers. The Thunder led by 15 points with five minutes left and led by 10 points with 100 seconds left. I was having to rewrite my […]

  • Power Lunch: Chat with OSU writer Kyle Fredrickson

    staff reports | Updated: Wed, Dec 24, 2014

    Ready to talk some Oklahoma State football? Ask OSU beat writer Kyle Fredrickson all your bowl season questions on the Power Lunch chat at 11 a.m.