Hello once again, friends and fans of Sooner Nation! It’s finals week at the University of Oklahoma, and the Oklahoma Sooners returned to practice yesterday in preparation for their semifinal matchup against the Georgia Bulldogs. On the honors and accolades front, ESPN has released its own All-America Team, and three Sooners made the list. Congratulations, everybody!
The regular season is over, and every college football honor has been distributed.— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) December 12, 2017
In today’s edition of Hot Links, find out which Sooners made Sporting News’ All-America team and ESPN’s All-Big 12 Team, check out how high one mock NFL draft projects Baker Mayfield to go, what kinds of gifts players will be receiving from their bowl games and more!
- ESPN has also released its own All-Big 12 Team and has handed out individual awards. The Oklahoma Sooners have taken care of business and it shows.
ESPN 2017 All-Big 12 team: Player of the Year Baker Mayfield leads the way https://t.co/ygseFGqCj6— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) December 12, 2017
- Sporting News also released its All-America Team, with three Sooners landing on this list as well. In addition, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo made the second team. It’s been a great year for Sooner football and OU athletics as a whole, indeed!
- And here’s another — this time from CBS.
- Several mock NFL drafts have had Baker Mayfield going in the first round, but now there’s a mock draft that has him going as high as second overall to the New York Giants. A reunion with Sterling Shepard would be awesome for Sooner fans.
- Trevor Knight recently spoke to Pete Mundo about Mayfield and Lincoln Riley, and it’s definitely worth a listen. Here’s one of the quotes:
“And I’m the type of person to really enjoy watching the people that I care about… I’m so excited for what he’s done and what Coach Riley has been able to do in now becoming the head coach in arguably the best program in the country, it’s been really special to watch.”
- If Bob Stoops would have remained the head coach through this season, chances are good that he would have become one of four head coaches to coach three or more Heisman winners.
- Trae Young is the new No. 1 player in NBC Sports Player of the Year Power Rankings. I think there are still some people who do not realize just how talented Young is, but I’m happy to see that he’s gaining more and more traction by the week.
- The secret is out. At last week’s College Football Awards Show, dozens of players gathered for a night of accepting honors and gathering intel. Yup, that’s right. Now, you probably already figured this happens, but it’s official now. Baker Mayfield opened up about why it’s an advantage to exchange information with players who have already faced an upcoming opponent.
- Check out Tulsa World writer Cody Stavenhagen’s fantastic article about the legend of Billy Sims. Sims’ character has always been larger than life. As time goes on, it’s almost as if he becomes more of a myth than a legend, because most who follow the Sooners today never saw him play.
- Former Sooner QB Trevor Knight says Baker Mayfield is potentially the “best college quarterback ever.” It’s definitely an argument worth having at this point. Mayfield can only further boost his resume with a CFP championship.
- Orlando Brown may be native to Georgia, but UGA fans shouldn’t feel like they messed up his recruitment. The fact is, he never wanted to go there in the first place.
- Let’s hope Baker Mayfield’s statue doesn’t become a meme like this Diego Maradona statue or the Cristiano Ronaldo bust. C’mon people, just keep working on it until it’s not hilarious. Note: I now realize that this is a “world link”, but whatever. Maybe we’ll change this to Around the Sports World...
Diego Maradona is in India & a statue of him was unveiled at a charity event in Kolkata.— Peter Coates (@golazoargentino) December 11, 2017
Good to see the chap that did the Ronaldo one is still in business pic.twitter.com/p5IDzgfExw
- Check out this rundown of the gifts players will receive through their respective bowl games. The Rose Bowl isn’t listed here, but Oklahoma and Georgia players will receive a Fossil watch, an Ogio backpack, a New Era 9Fifty snapback adjustable hat, and a gift suite (which is explained in the SBN article).
- Former 5-star QB Shea Patterson is transferring from Ole Miss to Michigan. With the NCAA allowing rising seniors to transfer from Ole Miss without penalty, Patterson, a sophomore, will look to appeal for immediate eligibility. Michigan returns a ton of talent outside the quarterback position next season, so if Patterson’s appeal goes through, look out for the Wolverines to potentially contend for a playoff spot in 2018.
- In other QB transfer news, Iowa State’s Jacob Park has asked to be released from the team so that he can transfer before next season. Park says he plans to graduate from ISU in the spring before transferring.
- Keep an eye out for the reigning NBA MVP to grace the cover of the holiday issue of ESPN The Magazine.
- The Miami Dolphins upset the New England Patriots last night, but in the grand scheme of things, is it really that significant?
- LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball have each signed one year deals with Prienu Vytautas, a Lithuanian basketball club. I think this is absolutely ridiculous, but don’t try telling that to their father, LaVar.
Stick to Sports!
- Netflix revealed which shows viewers binge-watched the most in 2017. Quite frankly, I’m surprised Stranger Things isn’t on this list. I haven't watched either season, but for about a month that’s all I was hearing about.
- After nine months of being on the market, the Nintendo Switch has sold an absurd 10 million units. That figure puts it on an unprecedented pace for gaming consoles.
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