What’s up, everyone?
Over the last 24 hours, former Oklahoma Sooners QB Baker Mayfield has gone through radio row ahead of Super Bowl LIII. Then this morning it was announced that Saquon Barkley has won the Pepsi Rookie of the Year award over Mayfield and others. Keep in mind, this particular award is voted on by the fans, so take it however you will. The Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick can still win the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year that's voted on by the AP.
During his radio row carwash, he sat down with USA Today’s Trysta Krick to talk a little about Barkley as well as the drama that unfolded between he and his former Browns head coach.
The best part of this interview had to be that final line when Mayfield talked hypothetically about if he ever stared down his other former coach, Lincoln Riley. Riley says he would have had some words for the QB if he ever did that to him, but according to Mayfield, “Lincoln doesn’t want that smoke.”
Since he was drafted, Mayfield has clearly seen his popularity ascend while turning the Cleveland franchise around, and he’s having as much fun as anybody along the way. Now if only he can take home that NFL ROY honor that he absolutely deserves.
Now onto today’s Hot Links! Hurts and Lamb are quickly becoming a dynamic duo, Baker Mayfield spoke more about his rookie season in a series of interviews, Texas returns very little production compared to most other FBS teams and more!
- Now that Lincoln Riley has signed a new five-year contract with more dollars on the way, the talk of him taking off for the NFL should start to reduce down to a murmur (at least for the time being). Truth is, and has always been, that he seems to love where he’s at and loves what he gets to do at Oklahoma.
- The Tulsa World’s Guerin Emig details why it was just as important that the assistant football coaches received contract extensions and pay increases as it was that Riley received his.
- Alex Grinch will receive $1.4 million in his first season as Oklahoma’s DC, which, according to the Norman Transcript’s Tyler Palmateer, makes him the highest-paid assistant in the Sooner Football history.
- Check out Jalen Hurts and CeeDee Lamb working on their chemistry on the field. This connection looks like it’s going to have the potential to be absolutely lethal, my goodness.
- Baker Mayfield learned a lot of things during his time under Lincoln Riley, and one of those things was about setting expectations. This is just more proof that this coach has wisdom well beyond his years.
- Mayfield was also on FS1’s “Undisputed” with Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe, where he talked about being a Rookie of the Year candidate, the coaching changes in Cleveland and Kyler Murray’s future in the NFL. In spite of Skip’s involvement, this is definitely an interview you don’t want to miss.
- The Cleveland Browns QB also caught up with FOX Sports’ Doug Gottlieb — who blocked us on Twitter because of Jack’s response to a bad take regarding amateurism — to talk about his break-out rookie season.
Around the Sports World
- The NBA All-Star starters have already been announced, and the reserves will soon be revealed. Check out this extensive list of players ranked by how deserving they are of being named an All-Star reserve.
- Bill Connelly ranked all FBS teams in order of returning production. The Texas Longhorns are No. 121 and dead last in the Power Five with only 48% overall production from 2018 returning this fall.
- There are a number of football programs that have only been in the Football Bowl Subdivision for a short while, so how they’ll adapt to the highest level of college football is still to be determined. For others, which FBS school should seriously consider dropping down to the FCS level?
- Since Tony Romo is color commentating for Super Bowl LIII, he’s not publicly voicing his prediction on who will win, but he did use his psychic powers to reveal how the game will end.
- A former tutor at the University of Missouri was found to have completed coursework for 12 student-athletes across a number of sports. One of the results of this is a one-year postseason ban for Missouri football. After witnessing the NCAA’s handling of the academic scandal at North Carolina, something seems off. Missouri obviously intends to appeal the ruling.
The NCAA says this is different from UNC because UNC "stood by the courses," while Mizzou "acknowledged that the tutor completed student-athletes' work."— College Football by SB Nation (@SBNationCFB) January 31, 2019
- As a ball boy, one holds the key to great power. For instance, you can waste precious seconds off the clock by taking your dear, sweet time retrieving the ball and slowly making your way back to the field of play. That wink at the end says it all.
This Tottenham ball boy did his best to take some time off the clock.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 30, 2019
That wink at the end ... pic.twitter.com/82y2XV1NIa
Stick to Sports!
- An elementary school in Florida has just installed a vending machine that dispenses physical books instead of snacks or soft-drinks to students. According to faculty members, it’s been a great way to encourage more students to read. Pretty awesome stuff, if I say so myself. Reading is good, actually!
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