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With OU, OSU players going 'home', is there added concern of lurking trouble?

by Berry Tramel Published: December 23, 2012

/articleid/3740241/1/pictures/1914343">Photo - UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI / OVERVIEW: Fans cheer before the Cotton Bowl Classic college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Ole Miss Rebels at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, January 2, 2010. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD
UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI / OVERVIEW: Fans cheer before the Cotton Bowl Classic college football game between the Oklahoma State University Cowboys (OSU) and the Ole Miss Rebels at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Saturday, January 2, 2010. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman ORG XMIT: KOD

In Barry Switzer's 16 OU seasons, his teams played in just one Texas bowl, and that was the 1981 Sun Bowl in El Paso, which is hundreds of miles from the Dallas and Houston and East Texas homes of most OU Texans.

Bob Stoops' teams have made Phoenix their most common bowl port, with four trips to the desert. Switzer's teams played in Miami's Orange Bowl nine times. Those teams had few Floridians, but some of the few were ornery Miamians, like Buster Rhymes and Mike Reilly.

“I don't know that it's ever been a big issue,” said Merv Johnson, Switzer's 10-year assistant head coach and still OU's director of football operations. “You probably would want to caution ‘em. They are obviously glad to get back home and can attract some old friends they probably don't need to be hanging out with too much.

“But I don't ever remember any significant issues. Hopefully, they would understand they need to get ready to play.”

Of course, players can find trouble with or without old pals. Stoops sent home defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger from the Fiesta Bowl five years ago, after Granger was arrested for shoplifting a coat at Arizona Mills Mall.

Granger is from Dallas. Not Phoenix. If boyhood pals helped get Granger in trouble, they went a long way to do it.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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