Golson's exit may be felt all over Oklahoma
May, 28, 2013
By David Ubben | ESPN.com
Good luck finding a bigger story in college football over the past month than the one that broke on Saturday night. Notre Dame is more than 800 miles and a 12-hour drive from the nearest Big 12 campus in Oklahoma, but don't be surprised if quarterback Everett Golson's season-long suspension affects both Big 12 schools in the Sooner state.
It's a sure thing to affect Oklahoma, which makes the trek to South Bend on Sept. 28 in hopes of avenging last October's home loss to the national championship-bound Fighting Irish. Golson, a redshirt freshman in 2012, threw for 177 yards on 13-of-25 passing and rushed for 64 yards and a touchdown in the 30-13 win in Norman.
Golson completed 187 of 318 passes for 2,405 yards and 12 touchdowns with six interceptions last season, adding 298 rushing yards and six scores. For now, the Irish are left with some uninspiring options to replace Golson for 2013, though he hopes to return for 2014.
From colleague Joe Schad:
Senior Tommy Rees is the most experienced quarterback enrolled, with 18 career starts. Fourth-year junior Andrew Hendrix and Malik Zaire, a spring enrollee, are also on the depth chart.
Zaire was the sixth-ranked QB prospect in the Class of 2013, according to the ESPN 300.
That helps the Sooners' odds to get a huge road win, but it's where the other possible tie to Oklahoma comes in. Former Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt left Stillwater to be closer to home, and the biggest news surrounding his landing spot thus far has been the 37 schools where Mike Gundy refused to let him go.
Notre Dame, though, is just a four-hour drive from Lunt's hometown of Rochester, Ill. Golson's likely return in 2014 makes me think South Bend is an unlikely landing spot for Lunt -- he'd have to sit out 2013 per NCAA transfer rules -- but he's definitely a better passer than Golson, and he'd be practicing for all of 2013 while Golson isn't enrolled at the university.
It's far from a sure thing, but he'd have a chance to play. The Irish are interested, according to Schad.
Former Oklahoma State quarterback Wes Lunt has drawn interest from Notre Dame within the past month and now may again be an option, a source told ESPN's Joe Schad. Lunt will visit Louisville on Tuesday, a source said.
Lunt was also considering Illinois, but we'll see how much of a draw a chance to take over a BCS title game participant is for the former Cowboy, who'll have three years of eligibility remaining.
There's no doubt about the Sooners feeling the aftershocks of Golson's surprising punishment, but it's also given Oklahoma State fans a reason to keep an eye on the Irish roster in the coming weeks.
BIG 12 SCOREBOARD
2:00 PM ET Washington State Colorado State 3:30 PM ET 20 Fresno State 25 USC 5:30 PM ET Buffalo San Diego State 9:00 PM ET Tulane Louisiana-Lafayette
6:00 PM ET Pittsburgh Bowling Green 9:30 PM ET Utah State 23 Northern Illinois
2:30 PM ET Marshall Maryland 6:00 PM ET Syracuse Minnesota 9:30 PM ET Brigham Young Washington
12:00 PM ET Rutgers Notre Dame 3:20 PM ET Cincinnati North Carolina 6:45 PM ET Miami (FL) 18 Louisville 10:15 PM ET Michigan Kansas State
11:45 AM ET Middle Tennessee Navy 3:15 PM ET Ole Miss Georgia Tech 6:45 PM ET 10 Oregon Texas 10:15 PM ET 14 Arizona State Texas Tech
12:30 PM ET Arizona Boston College 2:00 PM ET Virginia Tech 17 UCLA 4:00 PM ET Rice Mississippi State 8:00 PM ET 24 Duke 21 Texas A&M
12:00 PM ET Nebraska 22 Georgia 12:00 PM ET UNLV North Texas 1:00 PM ET Iowa 16 LSU 1:00 PM ET 19 Wisconsin 9 South Carolina 5:00 PM ET 5 Stanford 4 Michigan State 8:30 PM ET 15 UCF 6 Baylor
7:30 PM ET 13 Oklahoma State 8 Missouri 8:30 PM ET 12 Clemson 7 Ohio State