Hello, everybody! It’s been a while over this Christmas weekend. I hope you’ve been surrounded by family and friends throughout the holiday season. We are officially less than one week away from kicking off the Rose Bowl, where Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma Sooners will line up against Roquan Smith and the Georgia Bulldogs in a classic matchup between high-powered offense and hard-nosed defense. Meanwhile on the hardwood, leading player of the year candidate Trae Young and the Sooners have been red hot, climbing up to No. 12 in the AP Poll. The Big 12 as a whole looks to be the toughest conference in college basketball, so greater challenges await.
Oh yeah, and check out the fresh kicks:
In today’s edition of Hot Links, Du’Vonta Lampkin is becoming a leader on the team, Marquise Brown is destined for his moment in Tinseltown, the Oklahoma City Thunder are finding their groove and more!
- Former Sooner linebacker Dominique Alexander did an awesome thing this holiday season. He donated 120 bikes to children in the North Tulsa community. Keep up the great work, Dom!
During the weekend former @BookerTFootball and #Sooners player Dom Alexander (@_DAlexander1) donated 120 bikes to kids at Walt Whitman and Gilcrease Elementary Schools. He says it's great to give back to his community of North Tulsa. pic.twitter.com/9VFLewxNQZ— Harold R. Kuntz (@HaroldRKuntz3) December 26, 2017
- Kirby Smart and the Georgia defense have answered just about every challenge they’ve faced this season, but the greatest challenge of all will be finding a way to stop Baker Mayfield. Check out the three questions UGA must answer if they want to end the Heisman winners’ last chance at a CFP championship.
- Defensive tackle Du’Vonta Lampkin had a rough start to his collegiate career, but after a little maturation and a more focused approach to his game, Lampkin is now considered one of the young leaders of the defense.
- For Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, it’s fitting that the Sooners are playing in southern California (even if Pasadena isn’t exactly close to Hollywood). While Brown’s Hollywood is on the other side of the country in Florida, he was made for the bright lights and big stage.
- The transition from Bob Stoops to Lincoln Riley has been about as seamless as coaching changes get. ESPN’s Heather Dinich looks back on how Riley was the right choice, and should he ever need Stoops’ guidance, the former coach isn’t far away.
- In 1995, after a slew of bad business deals and personal issues, Billy Sims sold his Heisman Trophy. Today, no one is entirely sure where the trophy is, but after a sports memorabilia dealer tried to sell a phony Sims Heisman, questions about the real one are starting to come up again.
- ICYMI, Kartik looked back at OU’s past SEC bowl matchups earlier this morning.
Around the Sports World
- Pittsburgh Steelers rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is becoming known for his creative touchdown celebrations. Check out his impression of Will Ferrell’s ‘Elf.’ Grade-A execution, I would say:
RT if you knew what my celebration was pic.twitter.com/RCwVn6gSIz— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) December 26, 2017
- Seattle Seahawks safety Earl Thomas told Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett to “come get me” as a free agent once his time in Seattle is over. Thomas, a former Texas Longhorn, grew up a Cowboys fan.
- Don’t look now, but the Oklahoma City Thunder’s offense is looking better than it has all season. The Thunder also have the second longest active winning streak in the association at five, one behind the Toronto Raptors, who will be coming to OKC on Wednesday.
- Did the refs miss some Durant-on-LeBron fouls in the epic Christmas day showdown? Cavs fans think so.
- U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky won AP Female Athlete of the Year! I know I can hardly wait to watch her swim again in the 2020 Olympics. High-level swimming is fun to watch and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Stick to Sports!
- ‘Twas an especially nice Christmas for this pup. I’m already impressed with his unwrapping skills. My dog would have been too preoccupied with the wrapping paper to notice the giant and glorious tennis ball.
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