Happy Friday, friends and fans!
It’s almost hard to believe it’s been almost four years since Josh Heupel was relieved of his job as offensive coordinator for the Oklahoma Sooners. The former national championship-winning QB is thankful that he’s now the head coach for No. 10 UCF, and it likely would have never happened if he remained in Norman past that season.
Interestingly, since he left the Palace on the Prairie, he hasn’t spoken to Bob Stoops, but he says he’s over dwelling on his dismissal. It was a change that needed to be made, but given Heupel’s connection the Oklahoma program and the way in which some things were handled by Stoops, it’s not all that surprising if there was some bad blood there at the end.
Josh Heupel on getting fired by Oklahoma: Thank God it happened!— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) October 12, 2018
"Although Heupel says he is over the disappointment of getting let go by his alma mater, it should be noted he hasn’t spoken to Bob Stoops – his college coach – since the day he was fired."https://t.co/cTGegnc0sG
Sooner fans should be happy and proud of Heupel’s success post-Oklahoma, but the story certainly takes on a new form knowing that he hasn’t had a conversation with his former head coach — both as a player and an assistant. There are two sides to this, but regardless of any of that, Heupel appears to be doing just fine for himself at the moment.
Now on to this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Oklahoma might have cost itself a couple national titles by keeping Mike Stoops around as long as it did, Baker Mayfield has believed in the Browns since Day 1, Saquon Barkley is a magician in a phone booth and more!
- Did Oklahoma miss out on two national championships because of the program’s stubborn retention of Mike Stoops? Sometimes loyalty hurts more than it helps in sports, and when dealing with familial ties, making changes becomes exponentially more difficult.
- This stat means it’ll be an easy victory next week, right? That’s probably wishful thinking. In all seriousness, TCU’s offense has been astoundingly underwhelming in Big 12 play, and it’s been due in large part to turnovers. Hopefully Oklahoma’s defense is fueled by all that’s happened in the last week and comes out looking to make a statement.
TCU has scored 47 points through three Big 12 games.— Kegan Reneau (@KeganReneau) October 12, 2018
Oklahoma is averaging 48 points per game in 2018.
- Lon Kruger’s 2018-19 squad understandably isn’t getting much hype, but it is laden with veteran experience. Several of the players on the roster have been to the NCAA Tournament twice. The seniors and graduate transfers need to lead this team, but they also need to take on mentoring roles with the underclassmen.
- Baker Mayfield says he was confident in the Cleveland Browns as an organization since the moment he joined the team. Even though the franchise is coming off one of the worst stretches for a team in NFL history, the No. 1 overall pick sees the potential for winning in bunches.
- Former Sooner Baseball star Jon Gray started the 2018 season as one of the Colorado Rockies’ more promising pitchers, but an up and down year ultimately led to his absence on the playoff roster. Gray says his body hasn’t been where it should be, so his plan going forward is to pack on about 20 pounds of muscle so he can return to optimal form.
- Check out these OU Jordan Grind 2’s that just hit the shelves. I especially like the aerial view of them, and for some reason they look extra comfy. Two thumbs up from me!
Looks like y'all totally demolished Lids stock. If you're looking, they're still available from Nike here : https://t.co/ACaAqdUcIh— Sooner Tracker (@SoonerTracker) October 12, 2018
Around the Sports World
- T.J. Gassnola, a former Adidas consultant, recently testified in court that he conducted monetary exchanges with the families and/or friends of several basketball recruits in order to influence their college decisions. Kansas, Arizona, and Louisville were among the schools mentioned in Gassnola’s testimony.
- The New York Giants were drubbed by the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night, but rookie running back Saquon Barkley still put on a show in defeat. Check out this nine yard run, which by no means was his longest rush, but it was perhaps his most impressive.
- After winning 17-14 in Ft. Worth, how much of Texas Tech’s defensive performance against TCU can be attributed to improved play on the Red Raiders’ part vs. the Horned Frogs’ offensive struggles?
- Texas is feeling pretty good about itself after reeling off five straight wins, but the Longhorns should watch out for a closer-than-expected contest with Baylor this weekend.
- As far as the rest of the college football weekend is shaping up, which games on paper are the most important when it comes to the playoff race?
Stick to Sports!
- In a big surprise to the music world, R&B legend Usher dropped his first album in two years late on Thursday night. The eight-track collection features collaborations with Future and Gunna, and was produced by Zaytoven. The record, titled ‘A’, is now available for streaming on Spotify.
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