What’s up, everybody?
Nothing particularly groundbreaking came out of Monday’s press conference, unless you count Lincoln Riley’s absence on account of a cold to be major news. It’s not, by the way.
Anyway, as for the player interviews, Kyler Murray was one of three who fielded questions from the media. Now aside from his sensational play on the field, what I’ve grown to appreciate most about Murray through five games as the guy is his refreshing honesty. During yesterday’s presser, he was asked about which team he rooted for as a kid.
Kyler Murray said he grew up a Florida fan. “The blue and orange, Tebow, Percy Harvin.” So was he pulling for the Gators against OU in the ’08 title game? “I was, yeah."— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) October 1, 2018
That last part about rooting for the Gators over the Sooners in the 2009 BCS National Championship Game might be triggering for some fans, but just remember, he was in middle school when that game was played, and one of the reasons he liked that team was because of their colors, so we’ll go ahead and give him a pass. And for the record, he later said — and I’m paraphrasing — that he loves being at Oklahoma and that he feels he’s right where he should be. All is forgiven, Kyler.
Now it’s time to dig into some Hot Links! Tom Herman is impressed with Oklahoma’s speed, Spencer Rattler does his best Baker Mayfield impression, the NCAA is closing in on Baylor, and more!
- ESPN’s Maria Taylor caught up with Kyler Murray for a special interview for this coming weekend. It should air on College GameDay before the Red River Showdown Saturday morning.
42-0 as a HS QB, 9th overall MLB draft pick, Heisman Trophy candidate on undefeated @OU_Football team...this weeks piece on @TheKylerMurray should be a winner too! pic.twitter.com/whGs97UTo4— Maria Taylor (@MariaTaylor7) October 1, 2018
- Speaking of Murray, though he grew up rooting for the Florida Gators, as the story goes, he wound up signing with Texas A&M. Of course, the Sooners ultimately won the war.
- Murray moves up two spots to No. 2 on ESPN’s weekly Heisman Experts Poll. With Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa and West Virginia’s Will Grier continuing to light it up, it could be a three-QB race to the finish line in New York.
Kyler Murray jumps from No. 4 to No. 2 in ESPN's latest Heisman Experts' Poll.— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) October 2, 2018
➡️ https://t.co/7BPtQCK8Ot …#Kyler4Heisman | #Sooners pic.twitter.com/7omXWlecwE
- Cale Gundy stood in for Lincoln Riley during Monday’s press conference due to the head coach being a little under the weather, and when asked about Murray’s hypothetical chances in the NFL, Gundy had no doubt about the QB having success at the pro level. Not that it’ll matter, but it’s a fun conversation.
- Remember when Kyler Murray’s 2015 tweet of a Texas jersey set the recruiting world on fire? As it turns out, Kyler already knew he wasn’t going to UT. If you have a subscription with The Athletic, check this out. If not, I’d highly recommend subscribing. They produce great content.
By the time Kyler Murray tweeted this (⬇️) and broke the internet on Jan. 21, 2015, he’d already decided he wasn’t going to Texas.@max_olson and I took a deep dive into Kyler’s secret trip to Austin and the tweet that set the recruiting world ablaze: https://t.co/Si4sWqXoCY https://t.co/sJeNIq1fFg— Jason Kersey (@jasonkersey) October 2, 2018
- Texas head coach Tom Herman praised Oklahoma for its team speed, specifically at the wide receiver position with guys like Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb. Add in the explosive Murray at QB, and the Longhorns are sure to have their hands full come kickoff.
- ESPN’s Heather Dinich lists the Oklahoma Sooners as one of nine teams that still has a chance to win the College Football Playoff. Because the Sooners’ schedule is back-loaded, opportunities for resume-boosting wins are still to come, starting this week against Texas.
- Although Trey Sermon hasn’t consistently taken the next step now that he’s the go-to guy in the backfield, he’s still grading out as one of the top backs in the country according to Pro Football Focus.
Darrell Henderson is the highest-graded running back through 5 weekshttps://t.co/cKXAPHpSVo pic.twitter.com/OYicqBhyFm— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 2, 2018
- Speaking of Sermon, the running game is still a work in progress in the back-by-committee approach given Rodney Anderson’s absence, but Oklahoma has managed to put the pieces together to create at least an element of a ground game to balance out the offense.
- It was a wild Week 4 in the NFL, and several former Sooners made the headlines for their play, including Baker Mayfield in his first career pro start and Dede Westbrook resetting some personal bests.
- Five-star QB commit Spencer Rattler continues to shred the Arizona high school football scene, and parts of his game resemble Mayfield’s. Check out how he gets out of a jam and finds a wide open receiver for the score, ala No. 6.
Shades of Baker Mayfield from Spencer Rattler. #NewWave19 | #Soonerspic.twitter.com/LPI01y0AXb— Sooner Gridiron (@soonergridiron) October 2, 2018
- In case you missed it, the new food line-up at this year’s Texas State Fair is not as wacky as last year’s, but there is still a nice mix of intriguing concoctions and deep-fried head-scratchers.
Around the Sports World
- The NCAA has completed its investigation of the Baylor scandal that ultimately resulted in the firing of head coach Art Briles. School officials have 90 days to respond, then the NCAA will have another 60 days to finalize the process. A possible ban from postseason play has reportedly been discussed, but has not been confirmed.
- You mad, Seattle?
.@IAmEliasWWE said having a basketball team in Seattle doesn't make sense. The people of Seattle didn't like that ONE BIT. #Raw pic.twitter.com/JSLE0mE73N— WWE (@WWE) October 2, 2018
- West Virginia will go as far as Will Grier can take them, but there isn’t a lot of depth at some key spots on defense, so the Mountaineers will be crossing their fingers and toes as they prepare for a run to the Big 12 Championship Game.
- LaMelo Ball is still playing ball in Lithuania and recently was involved in a dust-up with Lithuanian player Mindaugas Susinskas. Check out the smack to the back of Ball’s head and the responding slap by Ball.
LaMelo Ball doing his best Rick James impersonation with the Lithuanian Charlie Murphy. pic.twitter.com/JYos8uBLnI— David Astramskas (@redapples) October 1, 2018
- A spectator at last weekend’s Ryder Cup plans to sue after being struck in the eye by an errant ball. Doctors have informed the woman that the impact has permanently damaged any use of the eye.
- Boston Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving has been known for his hot conspiracy theory takes, but now he’s backing off of those and wants it to be known he was simply caught up in the “rabbit hole” of YouTube and such.
Kyrie apologizes for saying the world is flat. #Under30Summit pic.twitter.com/uJH3fNbPqS— Nicole Yang (@nicolecyang) October 1, 2018
Stick to Sports!
- A George Carlin biopic is in development, and Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Stan Chervin (Moneyball) will write the story of the legendary comic’s life and career. So far, the project is currently without a title, and an actor to portray Carlin has yet to be cast. I’ll be very interested to see who they select, given such a unique and iconic personality to emulate.
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