Graham Watson

  • Bob Stoops takes issue with Nick Saban calling the Sugar Bowl a 'consolation game'

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday1 day ago

    Bob Stoops hasn’t been shy about taking on the SEC in the media, so when he heard Alabama coach Nick Saban tried to downgrade the Sooners' 45-31 win against the Tide in the Sugar Bowl last season, Stoops fired back.

    During an appearance on ESPN on Tuesday, Saban said it was difficult "getting [his team] to try to play a consolation game."

    Alabama was No. 1 in the national rankings before it was upset by Auburn during the final week of the regular season. The loss bumped the Tide from the SEC title game and ultimately the national championship game.

    When asked about Saban’s comments during Big 12 media days on Tuesday, Stoops made it clear he wasn’t buying the excuse.

    “We’ve played for quite a few national championships and when we don’t play for one it never seems to be the mantra but anyway you can make all the excuses you want or not,” he said. "The bottom line is, it is what it is.

    “And they sure looked good that first series, I’ll tell you that.”

    Stoops didn’t stop there. He continued to rail against Saban during his interviews with ESPN on Wednesday.

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  • Former Illinois OL Shawn Afryl dies following workout at Winona State

    Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday1 day ago

    Former Illinois offensive lineman Shawn Afryl died of cardiac arrest on Monday evening after he collapsed during a practice at Winona State in Minnesota.

    Afryl, 22, spent three seasons with the Illini from 2010-2012, took a season off and then recently signed with Winona State for his final season of eligibility.

    He had no known prior medical conditions.

    Curtis Tate, who coached Afryl at Niles West, told the Chicago Tribune paramedics were unable to revive Afryl and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

    Illinois released a statement expresses its condolences.

    "All of us in the Fighting Illini football family are greatly saddened by Shawn's passing last night," Illinois head coach Tim Beckman said. "He was a great teammate and a dedicated student. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family."

    Afryl played in just one game with the Illini — against Charleston Southern in 2012 — and graduated with a degree in political science in 2013.

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