Hello again, Sooner fans!
Today is September 5th, which means it’s Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley’s birthday! Happy birthday, Coach! Riley is now a ripe 35, which means he’s now old enough to run for U.S. President, should he become bored with this whole coaching thing.
That feeling when you wake up and you're 35!— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 5, 2018
Happy birthday Coach! Have a great one! pic.twitter.com/Pv9RyCDZoC
Riley is no longer the youngest head coach in the FBS (thanks to Kent State’s Sean Lewis), but he’s still pretty darn young, especially for the amount of success he’s had in a profession that’s mostly comprised of middle-aged fellas.
If you want to offer your thanks and birthday wishes to Riley, and you plan on attending the UCLA game this Saturday, you can do just that by showing up early, striping the stadium and being extra raucous when the Bruins offense is on the field. I can’t think of a better way to show your appreciation as fans for the direction this young head ball coach is taking this program.
Now let’s dig into some Hot Links! The Big 12 schedule for Oklahoma Sooners men’s basketball has been released, ‘The King’ congratulates newly on-scholarship Lee Morris, Rick Pitino says he is finished coaching and more!
- A new episode of the Oklahoma Breakdown podcast is in the works, and Jack Shields and Matt Ravis are looking to answer your questions about OU Football and whatever else is on your mind. Also, you can check out the first episode right here!
SUBMIT POD QUESTIONS— C&C Machine - Oklahoma SB Nation (@CCMachine) September 5, 2018
Hey, we’re podding again tomorrow night (provided that @mattravis’ beautiful voice gets better). Send us your questions about OU football or ANYTHING ELSE.
- In case you missed it, the conference schedule for Oklahoma Men’s Basketball has been released. You can find out all about how the Big 12 slate shakes out right here.
- Joel Klatt was in Norman as a commentator for the FAU game this past weekend, and he came away quite impressed. In fact, he believes it’s totally possible that Oklahoma could be even better in 2018 than it was last season, without Baker Mayfield running the show.
- Oklahoma moves up from the No. 8 spot to the No. 2 spot in the updated S&P+ rankings after Week 1.
- The Sooners’ odds to win the national championship are steadily climbing after looking dominant in all three phases of the game against FAU.
Per Bovada:— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) September 5, 2018
The #Sooners odds to win a national championship moved up to 22/1 (from 26/1).
Of note: West Virginia's odds zoomed to 40/1 (from 125/1)
Other Big 12 odds: TCU 125/1, Texas 200/1, OSU 275/1
- As Oklahoma’s title odds increase, so too do Kyler Murray’s Heisman odds. I think Rodney Anderson will grab some attention this year as well, though it’ll be more difficult for him to win the award over a QB. Just the nature of the award in today’s college football. As of now, he’s off Bovada’s board.
Also from Bovada: #Sooners QB Kyler Murray's odds to win Heisman moved to 18/1 (was 20/1)— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) September 5, 2018
Other Big 12 players:
Will Grier, WVU: 5/1 (11/1)
Justice Hill, OSU: 60/1 (125/1)
David Sills, WVU: 100/1 (225/1)
Sam Ehlinger, UT 200/1 (35/1)
Note: Rodney Anderson not on the board.
- A big reason why Oklahoma has regularly fielded one of the top offenses in the nation several years running is because of the talent on the field, but the talent on the sideline and in the press box has been just as important. The Sooners’ offensive staff is second to none.
- Drake Stoops saw the field for the first time as a Sooner and made some key plays. On a day full of awesome moments, this one is right up there with the best of them. I can see Stoops quickly becoming a fan-favorite, and not just for the name on the back of his jersey, but also for how hard he has worked to make a name for himself.
- Mike Stoops and UCLA’s Chip Kelly built a friendship during Stoops’ days at Arizona. Even though Kelly’s Oregon teams scored a bunch of points on the Wildcats back then, the OU defensive coordinator is using that experience to prepare for the Bruins.
- Speaking of Oklahoma’s defense, the depth on the defensive line particularly stood out against Florida Atlantic. Not only is the unit deep and talented, but it’s also young, which is great for the Sooners and not so great for opposing offensive lines.
- Barry Switzer gave a shout out to Lee Morris, congratulating him on earning a scholarship. Switzer coached Morris’ dad during Oklahoma’s ‘85 national championship season.
- AD Joe Castiglione discussed the Sooners’ scheduling philosophy and addressed why some future schedules will include FCS opponents like South Dakota and Missouri State.
- The finale of “Hard Knocks” didn’t focus much on Baker Mayfield, but he was shown being told about given the backup QB job by Hue Jackson.
- Jacoby Jones, the No. 1 strongside defensive end coming from the JUCO ranks, took an official visit to Oklahoma on Saturday for the FAU game, and came away feeling great about the Sooners. It was his second visit to Norman in a little over two months.
Around the Sports World
- Former Louisville basketball head coach Rick Pitino says he’s not getting back into coaching. Pitino was fired after a scandal of impermissible benefits and various other improper happenings occurred under his watch with the Cardinals.
"I'm finished coaching."— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) September 5, 2018
-Rick Pitino on his future pic.twitter.com/Hm9QWuHKwa
- The new fair-catch rule on kickoffs in college football hasn’t changed the game as much as some might have predicted. The way things are going, it still seems to be just a matter of time before the kickoff is phased out entirely.
- There aren’t a great amount of marquee matchups in Week 2 of college football, but if the mascots in said matchups were pitted against each other, that would make for some compelling television.
- Kevin Durant has moved on from burner accounts to just confronting people with his own social media profiles. Regardless of how you feel about KD, I think we can all agree that it’s best to not respond when someone says something negative about you as a high-profile athlete. It just reinforces what those people think.
- The NFL regular season begins this week. Check out these 2018 season predictions for the league.
Stick to Sports!
- Dorothy’s ruby slippers were stolen 13 years ago from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, but the FBI has finally recovered the iconic shoes. Whoever had them must’ve clicked the heels three times, because they’re back home. I know, I’m lame for that.
Thirteen years ago, a pair of ruby slippers from 1939's "The Wizard of Oz" were stolen from a museum. Now, the FBI says the search is over. https://t.co/X1fZvWOKK3— NPR (@NPR) September 4, 2018
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