Happy Monday, friends and fans!
College football savant Bill Connelly used a bunch of words and a bunch of numbers to put together some S&P+ projections for the 2019 season. This ought to give fan bases of all 130 FBS teams a lot to chew on while the offseason rolls on.
Connelly’s projections pit the Oklahoma Sooners at No. 5 when combining recruiting rankings, returning production, and recent history. It looks to be a solid starting place when considering what all went into arriving at the various figures.
As for a few others from the Big 12, the next highest team is Oklahoma State at No. 22, then No. 34 TCU and No. 35 Texas. Although the Longhorns finished last season as conference runner-ups and closed the campaign with a Sugar Bowl win over Georgia, these projections don’t bode well for Tom Herman’s group in its next go-around.
Connelly also separately ranked the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, and it should come as no surprise that the Sooners are projected to field the nation’s top offense once again. However, the defense currently projects a No. 56 ranking, but a factor that cannot be calculated at this time is the effect DC Alex Grinch and company will have. Anything inside the top 50 would be significant improvement after what’s been the case over the last several years.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Kyler Murray commits to football over baseball, Ron Tatum is in the process of entering the transfer portal, the AAF outlines some intriguing rules that are worth a closer look and more!
- SoonerScoop’s Bob Przybylo is reporting that redshirt freshman defensive lineman Ron Tatum is in the process of entering his name into the transfer portal. After redshirting in 2018, the former four-star prospect seemed to have a chance to become a part of the rotation in 2019. However, his OU career appears to be nearing an end before ever truly beginning (although he could still theoretically elect to stay).
BREAKING: Sources close to Ron Tatum have told our @BPrzybylo redshirt freshman DE Ron Tatum is in the process of entering the NCAA's transfer portal. Tatum doesn't currently show up in the portal but sources say the process was started Saturday.— SoonerScoop.com (@SoonerScoop) February 11, 2019
- It’s official. Dual-sport athlete Kyler Murray has announced his decision to play football over baseball. It’s almost crazy to think that just eight months ago all signs pointed towards K1 leaving for baseball after a season, but his lifelong dream has always been to play QB in the NFL, and the writing was on the wall once he became an elite draft prospect. Congratulations, Kyler, you’re well on your way!
- Five-star enrollee Theo Wease appears to be a star in the making, but he’s gone through an awful lot to get to this point. He plays in honor of his older brother, who passed away when Theo was four years old.
- Fox Sports NFL writer and NFL Network personality Peter Schrager has gone all-in on Kyler Murray as a draft prospect. He believes the reigning Heisman Trophy winner is the future of the league, and shares traits from the likes of Baker Mayfield and Patrick Mahomes. That’s great and all, but Peter is still very annoying.
- By the 1970s, college football and basketball teams had been integrating African-American players into their rosters for some time. However, college baseball had lagged behind. In 1977, Michael Pace became the first black baseball player in OU history, and with all of the adversity and obstacles he was challenged with from opposing teams, he made it his mission to not only beat them in the field of play, but to also embarrass them on the scoreboard.
- In basketball news, Oklahoma takes on Baylor in Waco tonight. As was the case last season, the month of February has been an ongoing nightmare. Can the Sooners finally right their wrongs and get back on track? The game tips-off at 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPN2.
- Baker Mayfield went ‘Sneaker Shopping’ with Complex’s Joe La Puma and talked about his admiration for creative artists who use shoes as a canvas. It’s a Mayfield video, so it’s automatically pretty cool, but I assure you this one is especially legit.
- Don’t forget to check out Kartik’s weekly update on the three former Sooners making waves in the NBA — Blake Griffin, Buddy Hield and Trae Young. Each one of them is at a different stage of their career, but on practically a nightly basis, each of them is doing some remarkable things for their teams against top competition.
Around the Sports World
- Bill Connelly has started his team previews for all 130 FBS programs, and the Bowling Green Falcons are the first on the chopping block.
THE 2019 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW SERIES IS UPON US.— Bill Connelly (@SBN_BillC) February 11, 2019
Stop 1 of 130: Bowling Damn Green. https://t.co/TozJOihTKV
- The American Alliance of Football made its debut last week, and although the product was far from perfect, a number of the rules and concepts make a lot of sense and should be heavily considered by the NFL and major college football.
- Phil Mickelson wanted to finish a round of gold at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am but was instructed to wait until Monday because it was getting too dark outside. So what did he do? He complied, but he still won the whole thing.
- This mad-scramble before a half-court shot for the win was completely bananas. I wish I could be in an arena during one of these moments. The place looks so electric.
- This was a pretty touching moment during the Sacramento Kings game against the Phoenix Suns. PFC Brandon Covey returned home from South Korea and surprised his mom right there on the court. Great stuff.
The ultimate surprise— Sacramento Kings (@SacramentoKings) February 10, 2019
Welcome home, PFC. Brandon Covey! pic.twitter.com/mZGih9bsM9
Stick to Sports!
- The band Dinosaur Jr. released the album Without a Sound back in 1994, and one of the tracks, “Over Your Shoulder”, is currently topping Japanese Billboard charts. No one is quite sure why this is happening, but the 25 year-old song has locally surpassed mega-pop star Ariana Grande’s “7 rings”. It’s actually a great song too, especially if you’re into mid-90s alt. rock.
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