Happy Friday, friends and fans!
With the beginning of Bowl Season one day away, ESPN released a list of the top 50 college football players from this season. The Oklahoma Sooners are represented by Kyler Murray, who checked in at No. 1, and Marquise “Hollywood” Brown at No. 25. You can check out the full list here.
What’s interesting about these type of lists is how different they can be from the preseason to the postseason. In August’s preseason top 50 players ranking, Murray came in at No. 38, with 13 quarterbacks slotted ahead of him. Sure, he was still a bit of an unproven commodity compared to most others ahead of him at the time, but it just seems absurd to even think he could be ranked so low.
If I could point to any possible snubs, I’d say either Consensus All-American Ben Powers or Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year Dru Samia could have and probably should have found their way onto this list somewhere. For what it’s worth, only three offensive linemen were listed among the top 50 players in total, including Kansas State’s Dalton Risner, but the Sooners have the best O-line in the nation for a reason. Show a little respect! Okay, I’ve said my peace.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Oklahoma’s seventh Heisman winner makes the cover of SI, some NFL scouts expect Kyler Murray to pursue the NFL, Kevin Love transforms into Buddy the Elf and more!
- Before all the wild postseason festivities kick off tomorrow, all of us here at Crimson & Cream Machine would love for you to join our College Football Bowl Pick ‘Em Challenge! You’ll definitely want to be part of this, because there’s a nice little somethin’ somethin’ if you win.
- Jack joined SB Nation’s Alabama site — Roll ‘Bama Roll — to discuss the Sooners and the Orange Bowl. Give it a listen! (Editor’s Note: I accidentally said ‘Mike Stoops’ when we were talking about Bob Stoops, but this was fun!)
- The December Signing Day is next week, and Oklahoma has a chance to make a splash. Can the Sooners enter the top 5 of the national rankings? It’s certainly a possibility.
- Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray graced the cover of Sports Illustrated’s special preview issue ahead of the College Football Playoff.
- Behold! The final one-handed touchdown grab by Grant Calcaterra earned two full pages. One page simply cannot contain Calcutta.
- Kyler Murray was asked about what he considered his signature Heisman moment to be during the season, and after some thought, he chose a moment from the Big 12 Championship Game against Texas, though it might not be what you think.
- After his name was found submitted to the College Advisory Committee for the purposes of seeking info on draft potential, many pro scouts are now expecting Kyler Murray to pursue a career in the NFL following Oklahoma’s CFP run.
- Lon Kruger has the Oklahoma men’s basketball team playing some great, complementary ball, and this Saturday is another solid test against the USC Trojans. The game tips off at 8 p.m. CT, and will be played in Tulsa’s BOK Center.
Around the Sports World
- Bowl games are fun in part because of the S.W.A.G. (stuff we all get). Each bowl matchup brings its own flavor of gifts for the players, with some being a lot more creative than others. Sign me up for the Hawaii Bowl gifts, which include a spiffy aloha t-shirt. The most disappointing gift package comes from the Cheez-it Bowl. Sorry Cal and TCU, you aren’t getting a box of delicious and snackable Cheez-its. I’d riot if I were them.
- Miami Hurricanes defensive coordinator and founder of the iconic “Turnover Chain” Manny Diaz has accepted the vacant head coaching position at Temple. This will be Diaz’s first head coaching job in his 21 years on the sidelines.
- The 2018 Stagg Bowl, aka the Division III national championship game between Mary Hardin-Baylor and Mount Union kicks off tonight at 6 p.m. CT on ESPNU. Mount Union has been a nearly unstoppable world-breaker in D-III football for years, but can the Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders topple the Raiders?
- Philadelphia Eagles starting QB Carson Wentz has suffered a fractured vertebra, putting the remainder of his season in question. Medical professionals have said the injury could heal on its own with rest, but that would likely end his year prematurely once again.
- This is the best thing I’ve seen all week. Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love dressed up as Buddy the Elf and visited children at Cleveland Clinic Children’s to spread holiday spirit. Such an awesome way to spend time during the most wonderful time of the year.
Stick to Sports!
- Kit Harington, who’s known for playing the know-nothing Jon Snow on HBO’s Game of Thrones, auditioned with everybody’s favorite Night Fury from the How to Train Your Dragon franchise — Toothless. .
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