It’s Monday, friends and fans. If I seem a little unenthused, it’s because I am. Heck of a rally effort on Saturday, but OU’s flaws came back to bite in the end.
In related news, and in light of the firing of Mike Stoops, Ruffin McNeill and Bob Diaco have been named interim defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach, respectively.
Ruffin seemed to be the obvious choice for interim DC, and these are some great points made by Bruce Feldman and Bomani Jones. McNeill’s guys have historically played hard for him, and at Texas Tech, the talent wasn’t nearly as strong ten years ago as what he’ll have to work with at Oklahoma right now, and even then, the Red Raiders had a respectable defense.
and worth noting that while ou fans rightfully lament the lack of talent on the current defense, they're probably the '01 hurricanes compared to what ruff had to work with in lubbock. https://t.co/Ea6dh51Cis— El Flaco (@bomani_jones) October 8, 2018
Also, this. Personally, I don’t expect McNeill to be the magic bullet for Oklahoma’s defensive woes (short-term or long-term), but for right now, this is the best route to take.
Coach Ruff will stabilize that unit and (I am told) players love him and playing for him. Not sure if he will be the long-term DC but he’s a Lincoln Riley mentor and fits with the culture he will want to build https://t.co/iBfGkvFvBU— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) October 8, 2018
- This morning, Lincoln Riley discussed the move with some media members.
Riley on determining factors of dismissing Stoops: Gut feeling ... more than anything we needed a diff voice in that room. I felt like that's what this team and moment needed right now. #Sooners— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) October 8, 2018
Lincoln Riley: My mindset was that I think we have a darn good football team right now that has a chance to make a good run. I had to best align us ... to get that done. #Sooners— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) October 8, 2018
Lincoln Riley on Ruffin McNeill: There's not anything in this game that he hasn't done ... when something like that comes up, he doesn't have to sit back and figure out how to handle it ... #Sooners— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) October 8, 2018
While I’m not disputing the fourth statement, it does contradict some reports on the matter. If it truly was a decision made at a higher level, it’s obviously not something Riley would just come out and say. It’s perhaps best to take it with a grain of salt.
Now let’s dive right into some Hot Links. Plenty of reactions to the news of Mike Stoops’ firing, Caleb Kelly receives his Good Works Team trophy, Juju Smith-Schuster gave birth to a baby touchdown and more!
- Kenneth Murray might be young in just his true sophomore season, but he’s already one of the team’s most vocal leaders. Here’s what he had to say following the news of Mike Stoops’ firing.
All I can say is thank you @OU_CoachMike you gave me a shot when nobody else would and for that I am forever grateful no matter what people say they never know you for the great person you really are and how much you care for your players...Thank You Coach— Kenneth Murray (@Kmurrayy_9) October 8, 2018
- Caleb Kelly has dealt with his own share of criticism, and he’s done so with class and humility. Still, he has nothing but love for Stoops, his former position coach, and he’s understandably frustrated with the noise surrounding the move.
I love @OU_CoachMike he has done so much more than irrelevant people will ever see. Thank you Coach— O7 (@calebkkelly) October 8, 2018
- Speaking of Kelly, he was surprised on Monday with the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team trophy during an appearance at Purcell Intermediate School. News of Kelly on the Good Works Team has been known, but the presentation of this trophy came as a surprise to the hard-working and gracious linebacker.
Caleb Kelly spends time every week giving back to the community.— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) October 8, 2018
Today, the community gave back to him by surprising him with his Allstate AFCA #GoodWorksTeam trophy during an appearance at Purcell Intermediate School.
- True freshman DaShaun White, who has only been on campus for less than a year, still managed to establish a connection with Stoops. This move is probably toughest for the older guys, but it’s still challenging for the underclassmen.
All Love @OU_CoachMike, nothing but the utmost respect- thank you for everything.— DaShaun White (@dmw23_) October 8, 2018
- What remains to be seen is how exactly this firing will impact Oklahoma’s recruiting, particularly with defensive prospects. Following the news, four-star cornerback Jaden Davis and others have re-affirmed their commitments.
I stand by this through it all, Boomer Sooner... https://t.co/HAtIW4w7K7— IV (@Jayd4_) October 8, 2018
Committed Means Committed ✨— joseph (@Josewete1) October 8, 2018
- Dusty Dvoracek has been an upstanding representative for the Oklahoma Sooners as a college football commentator, and he owes much of the success in his life on and off the field to Mike Stoops, who was his DC during Stoops’ first stint with the Sooners in the early ‘00’s.
I just want to say thank you to @OU_CoachMike for all that he has done for me and @OU_Football! He’s the biggest reason I came north of the Red River, and I owe him everything I have in my adult life. Passionate Coach and Great Man!— Dusty Dvoracek (@DustyDvoracek) October 8, 2018
“Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do!”
- Former player Du’Vonta Lampkin expressed his thoughts about why he’s grateful for Stoops and what most people outside the program don’t realize about the role he played in many of his and his teammates’ lives.
- FOX College Football’s Joel Klatt, who once upon a time played QB for Colorado, also showed respect to Oklahoma’s now former DC.
I have a lot of respect for @OU_CoachMike as I had to compete against his early 2000's squads...My respect grew once I heard his players rave about him as a person, mentor, and coach...I wish him the very best moving forward— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) October 8, 2018
- For a whole bunch of fan reactions to the debacle of a game Mike Stoops put together for Saturday that are funny and/or triggering, check out Alex Kirshner’s ‘This Week in Schadenfreude’.
- Oklahoma’s Oct. 20 game at TCU will be an 11 a.m. ABC broadcast.
- Like Kyler Murray said, this isn’t over, folks. After getting quite emotional following the loss to Texas, it seems K1 has his mind right and his focus dial on high. Watch out, everyone, because he’s not finished just yet.
- Baker Mayfield recorded his first win in Cleveland as the Browns’ starter, and after the game he got the call from ‘Primetime’ himself, Deion Sanders.
Around the Sports World
- There are only 11 undefeated teams remaining in the FBS, which is actually an historically low number for this point of the season. Could this be the year a two-loss team makes it into the College Football Playoff?
- Miami Hurricanes wide receiver Ahmmon Richards has played the final down of his football career because of a neck injury that has made it too dangerous for him to continue playing.
- With a weapon like kicker Graham Gano, the Carolina Panthers should strike fear into opponents the moment they cross midfield.
- If the Minnesota Vikings’ Linval Joseph was a 190-pound receiver, he’d probably own the NFL Combine record in the 40. Think I’m kidding? Look at him sprint at nearly twice the size.
Linval Joseph has to be the fastest 330-pound man in the galaxy pic.twitter.com/6nboP0hmZm— Drew Mahowald (@DrewMahowald) October 7, 2018
- Yes, Juju Smith-Schuster just turned giving birth into a touchdown celebration. I mean, the man is creative, I’ll give him that.
Stick to Sports!
- Project xCloud is an upcoming service from Microsoft that will allow gamers to play their Xbox console games on any device without losing quality or functionality. This will allow users to go mobile with their favorite games, while also expanding the world of gaming itself, making it more accessible for more people. The project will enter public beta in 2019, but a specific timetable for release is still undetermined at this time.
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