Happy Thursday, friends and fans!
On Wednesday, the Oklahoma Sooners’ Lincoln Riley was named to the Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant Coach of the Year Watch List.
Riley has kept his offense from taking a dip in 2019 after having to replace the likes of Heisman Trophy winner Kyler Murray, Marquise Brown, and four starting offensive linemen. Furthermore, the staff changes he orchestrated have completely altered the dynamic of this team and the culture of this program from a defensive standpoint.
The Bryant Award has been in circulation since 1986, and since its inception, the only OU coach to bring it home was Bob Stoops during the Sooners’ national championship run of 2000. What’s also interesting is that Nick Saban, who is widely regarded as the current standard of the coaching game, has never received this honor during his tenure in Tuscaloosa (although it’s tough to win an award of this nature when perched atop the mountain).
If Oklahoma continues to play the part as one of college football’s most complete and dominant teams over the next seven weeks, it might finally be time for Lincoln Riley to be in serious contention of this honor come awards season.
Now let’s get into today’s Hot Links! Lincoln Riley hopes Grant Calcaterra can return for the Iowa State contest, the OU student section now sits closer to the action at b-ball games, half a hundred isn’t enough for Kyrie and more!
- The West Virginia edition of Caleb’s Clicker has dropped, and this time Caleb Kelly highlights the OU defensive backs in pass coverage. The Mountaineers had a tough time finding space in the passing game, and the Sooner DBs were obviously a big reason for it.
- Speaking of Oklahoma’s defense, check out this side-by-side comparison of the 2018 and 2019 seasons through seven games. Judging by how the product on the field looks, you can tell a major difference has been made, but the numbers really give context to this improvement.
- TE Grant Calcaterra has missed the last two games and is expected to be held out for a third this weekend. Official word on the type of injury the junior has sustained has not been officially disclosed.
Lincoln Riley said Grant Calcaterra won’t play at Kansas State. OU’s using the off date next week to try and get him healthy for Iowa State. #Sooners— Tyler Palmateer (@Tpalmateer83) October 23, 2019
- Mike Stoops did not leave Oklahoma on the best of terms last fall, but his recruiting efforts in the state of Florida — particularly at high school powerhouse St. Thomas Aquinas — led to the Sooners landing the services of talented youngsters like Nik Bonitto and Jaden Davis.
- Kyler Murray is already turning the Arizona Cardinals offense around with his elite ability as a dual-threat quarterback, but what makes him especially unique compared to most other rookie signal callers is his capacity for reading defenses and making checks without relying on the eyes of his coaches. Next-level stuff for a next-level talent.
- The student section inside the Lloyd Noble Center has been revamped to enhance the experience for both the fans as well as the game itself.
OU STUDENTS— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) October 24, 2019
You don't just belong here, you belong CLOSER.
Introducing revamped student section seating at the LNC - allowing easier access to the arena floor.
➡️ https://t.co/eQnEG6JI7L pic.twitter.com/P8vXjLYNPM
Around the Sports World
- The Philadelphia Phillies have hired former New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi to the same position. There are a lot of talented and experienced pieces falling into place with this club, but only time will tell if it’ll finally get back over the hump.
- Brooklyn Nets point guard Kyrie Irving made his regular season debut with his new team in a big way by scoring 50 against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but that simply wasn’t enough to get the job done as the T-Wolves won in OT, 127-126.
- The New England Patriots have placed embattled WR Josh Gordon on injured reserve after he sustained knee and ankle injuries earlier this month. This development likely means his 2019 season is over unless he can make a miraculous comeback and the Pats can make another deep postseason run.
- Conor McGregor is returning to the UFC Octagon on Jan. 18. ‘The Notorious’ hasn’t participated in a billed fight since Oct. of 2018 and hasn’t won since 2016. Over the last calendar year, McGregor has dealt with multiple legal issues off the mat.
- The Washington Nationals are continuing to look like a team of destiny after dominating the Houston Astros on their home turf in the first two games of the 2019 World Series. Now the setting flips to D.C., where the Nats will look to sweep.
Stick to Sports!
- The world’s largest treehouse is no more after burning to the ground earlier this week. The Crossville, Tenn. marvel stood tall for over 20 years, and for the majority of that time was a heavily-trafficked tourist attraction. The cause of the fire is undetermined at this point, but reportedly no one was injured. It’s sad news for a lot of folks, but hey, now all the other top 25 treehouses can move up in the rankings.
The world's largest treehouse burned to the ground Tuesday night.— ABC News (@ABC) October 23, 2019
The Minister's Tree House stood at 100 feet and, with terraces and staircases, spread across seven massive trees. https://t.co/YyhXNFLHTv pic.twitter.com/co1xt8DZUc
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