Welp, it wouldn’t be the offseason without a little shots-fired drama to stir everybody up.
So here’s what’s going on — Lincoln Riley was doing a radio interview with Danny Kanell and Taylor Zarzour, and during that interview Riley pointed out how a great defensive team like Georgia would likely have more difficulty defending the opposition if they had to face the offenses in the Big 12 on a weekly basis. Riley’s direct quote is as follows:
From OU head coach Lincoln Riley just now on @ESPNUonSiriusXM talking with me and @TaylorZarzour about how difficult it is to play defense in the Big 12:— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) July 3, 2018
"If you throw Georgia in the Big 12 every year there is no way they are a Top 5 defense in the country"
C’mon, people, there’s really nothing to see here. I completely get what Riley is saying, and there are certainly stats to back up his claim. But honestly, it’s a complicated and tired argument either way. Are the SEC defenses so good because their offenses are bad? Are Big 12 defenses so bad because the offenses are good? You can go back and forth on this forever without making much progress, but one thing’s for sure — Oklahoma’s offense last season was off the charts in comparison to any team, in any league, in any era.
Still, Riley’s comments have circulated fast, and they’re spreading like wildfire.
It’s July, and ESPN doesn’t have the rights to the World Cup. Get used to this kind of stuff.
Riley was quick to defend and elaborate on what he said. I really didn’t think he needed to clarify, but that’s where we’re at now. Any coach is going to defend his league, but at least in Riley’s case he makes a legitimate point.
That’s not a shot at Georgia....they were absolutely one of the best defenses last year...it’s a compliment to our league-— Lincoln Riley (@LincolnRiley) July 3, 2018
The budding non-rivalry between Oklahoma and Georgia continues to develop, and I’ll be honest, I am so here for it. Hopefully Riley and Kirby Smart are able to square off again in the near future, and we get another all-time classic, albeit with a slightly different ending.
Now, on to the Hot Links! Theo Wease says the Oklahoma Sooners will bury Texas, Baker Mayfield can take control of the spotlight with LeBron out of Cleveland, Boogie Cousins is a Warrior because of course he is, and more!
- Oklahoma is well-represented at Nike’s The Opening Finals, and one of the Sooners’ highest rated commits is five-star wide receiver Theo Wease Jr. His high recruiting ranking and immense talent alone will attract Sooner fans to him, but saying Oklahoma will “definitely bury Texas” should make him an instant fan favorite.
- Speaking of The Opening, the team consisting of seven OU commits — Team Overdrive — has made it to the 7-on-7 championship after dropping its first game. If you have time to check it out, you can find it here. If not make sure to follow SB Nation Recruiting and RJ Young for updates.
- Lincoln Riley’s committed crop of receivers for the 2019 class already looks insane, but the door may not be completely shot on adding elite receivers. Five-star Georgia commit Jadon Haselwood is keeping his options open.
- 2020 running back commit Jase McClellan scored a touchdown here, and I’m pretty sure he’s a fan of the Baker Mayfield/Hollywood Brown celebration from last season’s Big 12 Championship Game. Boomer!
- Speaking of Mayfield, now that LeBron has left the ‘Land, Baker has a unique opportunity to become the No. 1 sports figure in Cleveland. If he can not only (eventually) win the starting QB job, but also turn the Browns into a respectable squad, Mayfield’s popularity could skyrocket.
- What if the college football postseason was formatted like the World Cup? In this example of how it could look, Oklahoma doesn’t make it out of the group round against Wisconsin, Virginia Tech, and Toledo. C’mon, man!
- Make sure to check out our very own Jack Shields and his discussion on Burnt Orange Nation’s podcast ‘The Longhorn Republic’. BON’s Gerald and Kyle are previewing each game on Texas’ 2018 schedule, and Jack talked about a bunch of stuff.
- Also be sure to take a look at what Oklahoma commit EJ Ndoma-Ogar had to say about the recruiting process so far at The Opening Finals.
- Tomorrow is July 4th aka Independence Day, and the football team linked up with the folks behind ‘Grow U’ to spend some quality time with veterans. It’s a special opportunity to show gratitude for those who have served. Great stuff, everybody.
Around the Sports World
- Are you as exited/relieved as I am in regards to the future of the Thunder after Paul George re-upped on Saturday night? Well, here’s a shirt for the moment. I’m a proud Okie right now.
- After taking his talents to LA, this was inevitable. Hey, at least the city of Cleveland works quickly. It could have been real awkward if this stayed up any longer. How about replacing it with Mayfield?
- So Demarcus ‘Boogie’ Cousins is teaming up with the Golden State Warriors now. Can they do this? Can somebody please change the rules already? What the heck is going on?
- It’s being reported that Rajon Rondo is joining LeBron James in L.A. Free agency is just a little too crazy for me this year. Now I’m going to have to do a crash course refresher right before the 2018-19 NBA season starts.
- With money issues now resolved, Manny Pacquiao is slated to fight Lucas Matthysse for Matthysse’s secondary welterweight world title on July 14th.
- Japan lost to Belgium in the FIFA World Cup Round of 16, but in an ultimate show of class, they cleaned their locker room and even left a ‘thank you’ note. What a great example of sportsmanship, guys.
Stick to Sports!
- After cracking the $2 billion mark worldwide, an extended cut of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War is in the process of being released. Reportedly, there are an additional 30 minutes of footage that focuses on the backstory MCU super villain ‘Thanos,’ but the footage was ultimately cut from the theatrical version for time constraints. It is not yet known if the extended version will be set for theatrical re-release, or if Marvel will simply release it with in August when the movie goes on sale for Blu-Ray.
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