Happy Hump Day, friends and fans!
To my dismay, but not to my surprise, the Big 12 once again gave teams and fans another example of how soft and un-fun it is. On Tuesday night, Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley confirmed that he has been told that any players flashing the ‘Horns down’ hand gesture this Saturday against the Texas Longhorns will be penalized for doing so.
It doesn’t get any weaker than this, folks, but considering this is from a league that employs officials who are wildly inconsistent from game to game, this seems to be right in line with the rest of their farcical decisions. Take for example CeeDee Lamb and Marquise Brown’s “choreographed celebration” penalty against TCU. Okay, if that’s a rule, enforce it consistently and against all teams. But of course they don’t, because they make this crap up as they go.
Now they want to eradicate one of the greatest traditions of the historic Red River Rivalry. Throwing the Horns down is more than just a way to mock Texas, it’s the highest form of trash talk, it’s the ultimate middle finger, it’s a show of pride in the Crimson & Cream. The hand sign has evolved well beyond a glorified ‘na-na-na-boo-boo’. If the players can’t have a little fun with it, where will the fun siphoning end?
In honor of all those around the world who have ever thrown the Horns down, may your memories of fun and carefree bliss rest in peace.
The BIG12 may shut my account down for this stunt but I don't care...— Tattoo Baker™️ (@QB1Tattoo) November 28, 2018
RIP "Horns Down" /UU\ pic.twitter.com/Y9PywZf5Te
UPDATE: This somehow makes it worse. Now it’s open to subjectivity and inconsistency.
Big 12 source: Horns down gesture will not be automatically flagged in title game. Context matters. (Can’t be done as a direct taunt, etc.) #Sooners— Ryan Aber (@ryaber) November 28, 2018
Now let’s dive into some Hump Day Hot Links! David Pollack reminds his fellow ESPN teammates about how phenomenal Oklahoma’s offense is, Sam Ehlinger says he doesn’t remember what he said to Kyler Murray after the game in October, Sister Jean gets her Final Four ring and more!
- Lincoln Riley joined the ESPN CFP rankings reveal crew on Tuesday night to talk about the playoffs and his team’s focus heading into the Big 12 Championship Game.
- I’m glad somebody at ESPN finally said it. With all the talk about the Sooners’ defense, the real story should be about how insanely explosive Oklahoma’s offense is on a historical scale. Thanks, David Pollack.
- Here’s a promising stat that bodes well for Oklahoma. This No. 5 spot the Sooners find themselves in entering the final Saturday before Sunday’s selection show has been mostly good to teams in the past four years of the CFP era.
Oklahoma edged out Ohio State for the No. 5 spot in the CFP rankings.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 28, 2018
The Sooners might be sitting pretty. Three of the previous 4 teams ranked No. 5 entering conference championship week went on to make the Playoff. pic.twitter.com/uUmMxwOxMm
- Kyler Murray was named National Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Player of the Week for his incredible performance against West Virginia. Players eligible for this honor have to either be from the state of Texas, graduated from a Texas HS, or play for a Texas college.
- I once thought the Sooners’ offense from 2008 would never be matched in terms of prolific stats across the board, but 2018 Oklahoma is on pace to take those marks a step further.
At current per-game averages, Oklahoma is on pace to become the first FBS team to ever produce a 4,000-yard passer (Murray has 3,674), at least two 1,000-yard rushers (Brooks has 993, Sermon 863, Murray 853) and at least two 1,000-yard receivers (Hollywood has 1,264, Lamb 882).— Mike Houck (@mhouckOU) November 27, 2018
- Whenever OU and Texas play, the games are largely unpredictable. Perhaps that’s Oklahoma’s best chance to produce an impressive defensive performance.
- Bill Connelly explores why Texas is better equipped to beat Oklahoma than most teams the Sooners have played. The game in October had some luck involved, but the Longhorns’ offense also took advantage with their size on the outside and abilities in the running game.
- Texas QB Sam Ehlinger says he doesn’t remember everything he said to Kyler Murray after the Longhorns beat the Sooners. There appeared to be some verbal shots fired as he walked away from Murray, but the exchange was inaudible on screen.
- In case you missed it, check out the recap for Oklahoma’s 73-57 win over North Texas. The Mean Green came into the game undefeated and scoring in bunches, but OU’s defense held them in check all game long. It’s been a solid start for the Sooners on the hardwood.
Around the Sports World
- USC’s Clay Helton was retained by the Trojans despite having the second-worst season in L.A. since 1961. That doesn’t mean changes haven’t been made. Since the season ended, at least six USC assistants have been sent packing.
- Who has the best odds to win this season’s NFL MVP? According to oddsmakers, Todd Gurley has the highest odds for a non-QB. Check out this list of the 13 most realistic choices for the league’s highest individual award.
- This rendering of a proposal for the future Oakland A’s stadium looks nuts, but in a good way. It’s full of Hobbit hills and surrounded by yachts and it’s just all kinds of amazing. Great design.
A couple of the artist renderings, courtesy of Bjarke Ingels Group, of the A's stadium plans at Howard Terminal announced this morning. pic.twitter.com/eaMYDy7Cf0— Jimmy Durkin (@Jimmy_Durkin) November 28, 2018
- The Houston Rockets’ P.J. Tucker is a hotcake connoisseur, aka the NBA’s Pancake King. He travels far and wide to find the best stack of pancakes in every city he visits. Interestingly enough, his heavy breakfasts don’t weight him down on the court, but instead fuel him for high energy nights.
- Loyola-Chicago’s Sister Jean was given a Final Four ring for the Ramblers’ semifinal appearance. They couldn’t have done it without you, Sister Jean!
Stick to Sports!
- Knickers, the beefiest steer on the block with the funniest name, has been granted exemption from the slaughterhouse because of the viral sensation he’s become for being so enormous. Now he will live out the rest of his days peacefully on a farm in Australia. His size compared to average cattle is simply astonishing.
Knickers the steer is too beefy to become burgers, so he's won a reprieve to live out his days on the farm. https://t.co/RMyxPjxgz5— The Associated Press (@AP) November 28, 2018
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