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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Kyler Murray and Rodney Anderson make ESPN Top 50, fall practice rolls on, and more!

Also, Ohio State could potentially learn something from Oklahoma

NCAA Football: West Virginia at Oklahoma Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, friends and fans!

As the 2018 college football season draws closer, preseason rankings of all kinds are beginning to churn out. ESPN unveiled its top 50 players in the nation this morning, and a couple of Oklahoma SoonersKyler Murray and Rodney Anderson — made the list at 38th and 44th, respectively.

Some have already questioned whether having Murray at 38th is a bit premature, given the small sample size, and that’s a fair point. Personally, I think it’s strange that Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa is ranked 11th when he’s basically played one half of college football (albeit a very important one), and Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins (ranked 32nd) is in a similar position to Murray in regards to playing experience. Oh well, it’ll all play itself out as the season moves on.

Now Anderson, on the other hand, absolutely deserves to make this list, but not only is he near the bottom of the ranking at 44th, he’s listed as the ninth-best running back, which I simply have a hard time comprehending. How he could be rated so low given what he did in the final nine games of 2017? Compared to backs like Florida State’s Cam Akers and Georgia’s D’Andre Swift from a statistical standpoint, Anderson outperformed each of those players in rushing, receiving and scoring by quite a significant margin. Stats don’t mean everything, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere between conjecture and production.

Finally, some of the voters at ESPN discussed who they felt was too highly ranked, not ranked high enough, and who was completely snubbed. As I stated previously, some point out Murray as being too high, and reasonably so. The most glaring snub for me, however, was not seeing Marquise Brown’s name anywhere on the list. How can anybody in their right mind leave off Hollywood Brown? The dude is one of the fastest players in the nation and proved to be a major weapon on some of the brightest stages and in the biggest moments. He even has the eye-popping stats to boot. C’mon, people.

Okay, okay, I just need to keep reminding myself that these rankings don’t matter at the end of the day. This will all play itself out on the field.

Let’s move on to this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! The football team continues putting in work on the practice field, Ohio State could learn a thing or two from Oklahoma when it comes to potential coaching changes, T.O. tries out for the CFL and more!

OU Links

  • Cody Ford and his fellow offensive linemen are ready to get to work as fall camp continues on.
  • Sophomore Addison Gumbs obviously looks great from a physical standpoint and has the tools to shine at the JACK position. If he grasps the technical elements of the game, expect to see a lot more from him in the future — potentially as the starter at JACK in 2018.
  • True freshmen Ron Tatum, Jordan Kelly, and the Stoops twins are all Oklahoma products. When it comes to prospects, what the Sooner State lacks in quantity is made up for in quality.
  • Dallas News’ Sports Day put together a top-10 list of the players who will most impact Oklahoma’s run towards a fourth straight Big 12 title and beyond.
  • For the past three seasons, Oklahoma has set the standard in the Big 12. While the Sooners have their own goals and challenges they aim to meet going into every season, for many other teams and players, the goal is to knock the Sooners off the top of the conference mountain.
  • Though the circumstances contrast greatly from one another, Ohio State can (potentially) learn a lot about transitioning from a championship-level coach to a fresh face by studying Oklahoma’s model from last season, when Bob Stoops stepped down and handed over the keys to Lincoln Riley.

Around the Sports World

  • The investigation at Ohio State is still ongoing, but the plan is for the investigation to be finalized within the next two weeks. Currently, coach Urban Meyer remains on paid administrative leave.
  • Alabama once again is the team to beat in college football, but even the champs have a weakness. The Crimson Tide’s secondary is going to have to rely on as many as six unproven defensive backs in order sustain their championship level defense.
  • New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. paid $5,000 for diamond cross implants on his teeth. I’d be so paranoid they’d fall out and I’d swallow them without knowing.

Stick to Sports!

  • A 2.1 kiloton (4,200,000 pounds) meteor crash-landed in Greenland without warning from nearby Air Force. The enormous rock struck the earth at a speed of 15.1 miles per second. An asteroid entering the atmosphere is not uncommon, but for one of this size to make an impact is certainly uncommon, and that’s concerning to director of the Nuclear Information Project for the Federation of American Scientists, Hans Kristensen.

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