Happy Monday, friends and fans!
For the last couple weeks, the Oklahoma Sooners were unable to win over any land in the College Football Empires game. That changed after Saturday’s nail-biting win over Army. Because the Black Knights defeated Hawaii two weekends ago, OU now has a flag planted in the Pacific!
Here’s how the official College Football Empires Map looks after Week 4— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 24, 2018
(OLD DOMINION HAS LAND ) pic.twitter.com/iU6xKXcim1
If you’re unfamiliar with how this game works, whenever a team wins, they essentially occupy the land “owned” by the other team. The more a team wins, the more land they can acquire. Beating teams with a lot of wins down the road should in effect come with some land, provided that team isn’t coming off of a loss.
The Baylor Bears don’t claim any land at the moment, so defeating them this weekend wouldn’t expand Oklahoma’s national empire. It’ll be interesting to see how this map looks come conference championship weekend, especially if a few teams are able to go undefeated along the way.
Now let’s dig deeper into this Monday edition of Hot Links! Kenneth Murray rakes in player of the week honors, three true freshmen have reached the redshirt threshold, the OKC Thunder have their next play-by-play man and more!
- After notching a program-record 28 tackles, sophomore MIKE linebacker Kenneth Murray was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week in addition to being named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week on Sunday. Granted how long the defense was on the field, K-9’s performance was a testament to his elite intestinal fortitude. Boomer!
- Even though Kyler Murray was barely on the field Saturday night, he posted another fine stat-line, and he was especially effective against the blitz.
Kyler Murray had no trouble with blitzing defenders from Army on Saturday pic.twitter.com/TreAWaA9ja— PFF College (@PFF_College) September 23, 2018
- There was a lot to take away from Oklahoma’s overtime thriller against Army, but above all the negatives, the team showed resiliency when they needed it most.
- This was the view for The Black Daggers, Army’s paratrooper team who delivered the game ball last Saturday. Awesome stuff.
- TJ Pledger, Ronnie Perkins and Brendan Radley-Hiles have all appeared in Oklahoma’s first four games of the season, meaning if they make one more appearance, their redshirts will officially be burned. Where does everybody else stand as far as redshirting goes?
- Dusty Dvoracek will be in Norman to call Oklahoma’s game against Baylor. I can already tell he’s going to be much more refreshing to listen to than Greg McElroy, and not because he’s a former Sooner, but because he’s not Greg McElroy.
- Speaking of the Baylor game, the Sooners open up as a 23-point favorite over the Bears. If you recall, last season Oklahoma only won by eight in Waco in an unexpected shootout. We’ll see how this year’s contest shakes out.
- In case you missed it, Sooner legend Tommy McDonald passed away Monday morning at the age of 84. RIP, Tommy.
Around the Sports World
- Oklahoma State senior Jalen McCleskey, who is in the top 10 on OSU’s all-time receptions and receiving TDs lists, will redshirt and transfer. McCleskey wasn’t getting as many opportunities in the post-Rudolph era.
Breaking: Jalen McCleskey has decided to redshirt and transfer from #OKState. Mike Gundy said McCleskey said he feels like he wasn’t getting the ball enough. Shocking loss of a veteran WR.— Mark Cooper (@mark_cooperjr) September 24, 2018
- After a stellar 2018 run that was only missing a victory, Tiger Woods put on a show over the weekend and notched a win at the Tour Championship. It’s incredible how far this man has come since this time last year. If this isn’t the best sports story of 2018, I don’t know what is.
- After not renewing Brian Davis’ contract over the summer, the Oklahoma City Thunder have found their new play-by-play television broadcaster. Chris Fisher spent the past eight years calling games for USC basketball and football, and now he’s headed east to join the Thunder family.
- It’s looking more and more like Le’Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers won’t be coming to terms any time soon, so which destinations are the best fit for Bell’s services should the Steelers send him on his way?
- The San Francisco 49ers fear QB Jimmy Garoppolo has suffered a serious knee injury. It appears to have happened at this moment. Historically, it’s the non-contact injuries that are the scariest.
Here’s how Jimmy Garoppolo was injured. He was down and limped off the field. pic.twitter.com/J8Zy4PPEl7— Nick Bromberg (@NickBromberg) September 23, 2018
- Clemson has named true freshman Trevor Lawrence as its starting quarterback. Lawrence is a former five-star recruit, and he has looked exceptional through four games splitting QB duties with Kelly Bryant.
It’s official: Trevor Lawrence is Clemson’s starting QB.— A David Hale joint (@DavidHaleESPN) September 24, 2018
- What are the best bets on the early lines going into Week 5 of the college football season? Typically you’ll find the greatest value early in the week, before the lines adjust and settle accordingly.
Stick to Sports!
- Sirius XM has bought Pandora in a $3.5 billion deal. Pandora is a genre-based audio hub whose subscriber count has slowly declined over time with the advent of popular music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Sirius XM, the once unique radio phenomenon, has also grown increasingly stagnant from a competitive standpoint. Now the two are coming together in an effort to keep and attract more subscribers. The deal is expected to close in April of 2019.
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