By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — When the polls were released on Sunday, little changed for Oklahoma.
It remained No. 12 in the BCS standings. However, it did drop one spot in the USA Today coaches poll to No. 13. The reason was Oregon State jumped ahead of the Sooners. OU remained at No. 14 in the Associated Press Top 25.
What’s odd is the way the Sooners’ schedule is going to play out. Back in August, their schedule appeared to be backloaded with games with Baylor, West Virginia, Oklahoma State and TCU to end the season.
As of Sunday, none of those teams are ranked in the BCS standings or in either major poll.
Irwin fights through the pain: OU guard Bronson Irwin missed two series against Iowa State due to ankle injury. He did finish the game.
“Bronson battled back,” centers and guards coach James Patton said. “He just stung that ankle. It’s an ongoing process and it will be for the rest of the season.”
Irwin has been dealing with the ankle injury since the Texas game. Nonetheless, he’s started every game since.
Gardner says he’s turning pro: Courtney Gardner was supposed to be one of the prized recruits in OU’s 2012 recruiting class. However, the wide receiver from Sierra (Calif.) Community College failed to academically qualify.
Apparently, he has stopped trying. He announced on Twitter on Sunday that he will enter the NFL draft in April.
“SORRY TO INTERRUPT EVERYONE’S BEAUTIFUL SUNDAY BUT I WILL NOT BE ATTENDING THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA!!” Gardner Tweeted.
He followed that up with another Tweet announcing his NFL plans.
A source close to the Sooner program said OU had stopped recruiting Gardner before Sunday’s announcement.
Where’s Whaley?: With Damien Williams hampered by an ankle injury, OU turned to running back Brennan Clay to carry the rushing load against Iowa State. The results were ideal. Clay rushed for 157 yards and a touchdown. However, Dominique Whaley had one carry for two yards. It was his first carry in the last three games. Whaley was OU’s leading rusher last season.
“He’s healthy,” running backs coach Cale Gundy said. “I don’t know if it’s a complete, full, 100 percent back like it was the first go-around. He practices well. He never has any problems in practice or out here. He’s just a little hesitant and I’m just kind of thinking it is what it is.”
OU-Baylor will kickoff at 2:30 p.m.: The Big 12 Conference announced on Sunday that the OU-Baylor game set for Saturday at Owen Field will kickoff at 2:30 p.m. and will be televised by Fox Sports Net.
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