Redskins

Oklahoma State, Purdue in Heart of Dallas Bowl

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Oklahoma State, Purdue in Heart of Dallas Bowl

DALLAS (AP) Oklahoma State and Purdue will finally play again - 15 years later in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.

The Cowboys, one of five Big 12 teams who finished with a 7-5 record in the regular season, and Purdue (6-6) from the Big Ten were chosen Sunday as the participants for the New Year's Day game played at the historic Cotton Bowl stadium.

It is a rematch of the 1997 Alamo Bowl won 33-20 by the Boilermakers, then in their first bowl in 15 years and then-coach Joe Tiller's first season.

The teams had a home-and-home series scheduled after their bowl meeting, but those games were never played.

Purdue is searching for a new coach after Tiller's hand-picked successor, Danny Hope, was fired after compiling a 22-27 record over four seasons.

That decision came last weekend, a day after the Boilermakers ended the regular season with a 56-35 win over archrival Indiana, their third consecutive win after a five-game losing streak that included an overtime loss at undefeated Ohio State.

The Boilermakers are in consecutive bowls for the first time since 2006-07.

``I am happy for and proud of the 20 seniors on our team,'' Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke said. ``When we were sitting 3-6, having lost five straight games, many people gave up on this group. But those seniors, and other leaders in the locker room, didn't quit and didn't let their teammates quit.''

Oklahoma State is in a bowl game for the seventh consecutive season, a school record, and is 4-2 in postseason games under coach Mike Gundy. The Cowboys were part of the BCS last season, beating Stanford in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl.

``Wherever the conference sends us is where we go,'' Gundy said. ``I can only say I'm surprised we're in this game.''

When asked about his potential interest in other coaching jobs, including his name being rumored for the Tennessee vacancy, Gundy said he had spent his Sunday ``around the house'' and wasn't interested in such talk.

``I'd just prefer to not talk about anything other than Oklahoma State and the bowl game,'' he said.

The Cowboys ended their regular season with a 41-34 loss at Baylor on Saturday, a week after their overtime loss at Oklahoma. Their 5-4 Big 12 record tied for third in the conference with Texas (8-4), which won the head-to-head matchup in Stillwater in the regular season and will play in the Alamo Bowl.

Gundy does like playing on Jan. 1, which provides more opportunities for practice before a Christmas break, and said playing in Dallas ``is easy for our people to get there.''

The Heart of Dallas Bowl, known by another name the last two years since its inception, is played at the Cotton Bowl. That stadium, which has been updated and renovated, was built in 1921 and was the host of the Cotton Bowl until 2009.

Oklahoma State played a Cotton Bowl in that stadium 10 years ago, losing to a Mississippi team led by Eli Manning.

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Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

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USA Today Sports

Jay Gruden shown no love in preseason coaches ranking

Yahoo! Sports ranked all 32 head coaches in the NFL and Washington Redskins fans may not be too happy with where Jay Gruden ended up.

Entering his fifth year as head coach, Gruden was ranked as the No. 27 head coach in the NFL. Here's Yahoo!'s rationale behind his ranking:

"Four years, one playoff berth, one plus-.500 season, one franchise quarterback run out of town."

All that is ... not false, but the whole franchise quarterback being run out of town thing is at least debatable. And even if the ranking is fair, it's still okay to be upset because it's the middle of July, training camp hasn't started yet and the offseason is the perfect time to get irrationally angry about things like these.

Elsewhere in the NFC, Giants head coach Pat Shurmur checks in at No. 23, Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is No. 17 and the Eagles' Doug Pederson is No. 2.

Unsurprisingly, Bill Belichick was ranked No. 1; he may be the greatest of all time when all is said and done, if not already. The top five rounds out with Pederson at No. 2, New Orleans's Sean Payton at No. 3, Minnesota's Mike Zimmer at No. 4 and Pittsburgh's Mike Tomlin at No. 5.

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Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

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USA Today Sports

Stroman pitches 7 sharp innings as Blue Jays beat Orioles 4-1

TORONTO (AP) -- Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman gave up hits to the first three Baltimore batters Saturday.

The Orioles got just two more hits the rest of the afternoon.

Stroman pitched seven sharp innings for his second win in three starts and Toronto beat Baltimore 4-1 for its sixth straight victory over the struggling Orioles.

"He started working both sides of the plate with his sinker and I think that threw them off a little bit, especially late in counts," Blue Jays catcher Luke Maile said. "Overall it was just kind of vintage Stroman."

Baltimore right-hander Alex Cobb picked up his major league-worst 13th loss. The Orioles dropped to 1-8 against Toronto this season.

"I absolutely hate seeing that win-loss in parentheses next to my name," Cobb said. "It's sickening."

Stroman (3-7) allowed one run and five hits. He threw a season-high 107 pitches, the first time this season he has topped 100.

Stroman is 3-2 with a 3.03 ERA in five starts since returning from a shoulder injury that caused him to miss more than a month. He went 0-5 in seven starts before the injury.

"Since he's come back from the DL he's been really good," manager John Gibbons said. "I just think he's pitching like he's always pitched."

Stroman said he's focused on forgetting his early season struggles.

"I know I didn't have the first half I wanted but I've always been someone who prides myself on the second half and finishing strong," Stroman said. "That's something I'll look to continue to do this year."

Friend and teammate Devon Travis likes what he's seen from Stroman since the right-hander returned from injury.

"He's got that fire back," Travis said. "He's really under control. I think he's locking in on every single pitch."

Seunghwan Oh worked the eighth and Ryan Tepera finished for his seventh save in 12 opportunities.

Baltimore scored one run or fewer for the 27th time, the most in the majors.

The first three Orioles batters all singled, although Jonathan Schoop was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double. After Adam Jones gave Baltimore a 1-0 lead with an RBI hit to right, Mark Trumbo grounded into an inning-ending double play.

The Blue Jays answered with a three-run fourth against Cobb, taking advantage of a key Orioles error.

Justin Smoak opened the inning with a walk and, following a video review, was ruled safe at second after Cobb's high throw pulled shortstop Tim Beckham off the base on at attempted force play.

"That's not it in a nutshell but I can understand why that's the focus, a play we haven't been making," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said.

Randal Grichuk followed with an RBI double, a second run scored on Diaz's double play grounder, and Maile capped the rally with an RBI single.

Diaz had four hits Friday, including the game-winning single in the 10th. He went 2 for 3 Saturday with a pair of singles.

The Blue Jays made it 4-1 in the fifth when Teoscar Hernandez doubled, advanced on a fly ball and scored on Cobb's balk.

Cobb (2-13) lost his sixth straight decision, allowing four runs, one earned, and four hits in five innings. Showalter said Cobb was removed to avoid worsening a blister on his pitching hand.

"I was only going to have a few more pitches going into the sixth so he felt like the risk-reward was not really worth it," Cobb said.

Grichuk made the defensive play of the game, a running catch on the warning track in left center to retire Trumbo for the first out of the ninth.

GOING DOWN?

Jones and Chris Davis got stuck in an elevator at the team's downtown hotel following Friday night's defeat. Jones documented much of the saga on Instagram. The players and fellow passengers were eventually rescued by Toronto Fire Services staff. The sound system at Rogers Centre played a few bars of Aerosmith's `Love in an Elevator' before Jones batted in the fourth inning Saturday.

NO HOMERS

Toronto won without hitting a home run for just the third time in 26 games this season.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Orioles: Baltimore is expected to demote a reliever when RHP Andrew Cashner (neck) is activated off the 10-day disabled list Sunday.

UP NEXT

Cashner (2-9, 4.56) last pitched July 10, when he allowed five runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings against the Yankees. Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (10-6, 4.29) is 0-3 with a 9.75 ERA in three July starts.