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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: Jalen Hurts can lift, OU baseball begins, and more!

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Also, Barry Switzer’s 1973 and ‘74 teams are undoubtedly the best bowl-banned teams of all time.

College Football Playoff National Championship Presented By AT&T - Alabama v Clemson Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Happy Friday, friends and fans!

If you’re an avid follower of the Oklahoma Sooners, you should know by now that there were more than a few seasons in the past that were cut short by postseason bans. Yes, it was wrong, and college football was basically the wild west for a good stretch of time there, but out of all the programs that were caught and punished for their impermissible transgressions over the decades, which ones were the best and which were the worst?

It’s no coincidence Barry Switzer is at the forefront of this topic, because it was prior to the start of his head coaching tenure in Norman when Oklahoma was nailed by the NCAA. Still, OU was LOADED with talent in 1973 and 1974, and the Sooners went 21-0-1 while managing to claim the ‘74 AP national title despite wrapping up the season in November.

Something else I found interesting is that both sides of the Bedlam rivalry have been banned for the same number of postseasons (five). With that factoid, now you’ll have something else to toss around your Oklahoma State buddies when they want to chirp about the past and playing within the rules and such. The biggest difference between the two is that it never paid off for the Cowboys. That’s just too bad.

As the adage goes, if you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’, right? Hey, it’s not a philosophy I necessarily encourage, but if you’re going to sidestep the rules, you might as well be the best at it.

Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Jalen Hurts lifts in his spare time, highly-ranked defensive recruits are itching to visit Oklahoma, Alvin Gentry is heated and more!

OU Links

  • Jalen Hurts is a man. By my count, that’s 585 pounds he’s putting up on the squat rack, and he definitely went low enough for it to count. Last season, Oklahoma was treated with Kyler Murray’s speed and elusiveness on runs. This season? I imagine Hurts is going to physically hurt somebody when he takes off. Let’s go!
  • Oklahoma is now 8-0 on the season after Mariah Lopez led the way with her second career no-hitter over Florida Atlantic. At noon CT, the Sooners take on the reigning national champs in Florida State. You can watch the game on ESPNU.
  • For so much talk about Kyler Murray’s height, or lack of it, heading into the NFL Combine, there is actually quite a bit of evidence that supports reasons why his stature has not posed a problem for him, while issues like batted-balls have plagued many taller QBs in the past.
  • Five-star wide receiver Jadon Haselwood has been on campus for about a month, and it appears he now has his jersey number. I recall another Sooner receiver recently donning No. 11, and his name was Dede Westbrook. I’d say he did pretty well. You know, something about winning the Biletnikoff and being a Heisman Trophy finalist.
  • According to Pro Football Focus, tight end Grant Calcaterra had the lowest drop rate in the Big 12 among all qualified TEs in 2018 (although he did drop a few in the early going). The junior is poised for a big season in 2019 after a strong finish last season.
  • PFF also graded Neville “Big Canada” Gallimore out as the top interior defensive player in the Big 12 last season. The senior has all the physical tools to become a force, and perhaps the changes in the coaching staff will be enough to bring out his best for his final go-around.
  • Sooner baseball is back today! Oklahoma hosts Cal Poly at L. Dale Mitchell Park at 3 p.m. CT. Follow the links embedded in the tweet below for more information on how you can catch all the action on the diamond.
  • It was recently revealed that relief pitcher Braidyn Fink would miss the 2019 season for Oklahoma after suffering an arm injury, but some good news on the rotation front has since come to light. Texas A&M transfer Jason Ruffcorn has had his transfer waiver approved and will be available for the Sooners this season.
  • Class of 2020 five-star DB Kelee Ringo and four-star DBs Lathan Ransom and Jacobe Covington, all out of Arizona, talked about why taking a visit to Oklahoma is a must. The Alex Grinch effect is already happening and he’s yet to coach a game for the Sooners.

Around the Sports World

  • Russell Westbrook is officially the all-time scoring leader in the history of the Oklahoma City Thunder franchise. The walking triple-double passed up Gary Payton, who played for the Seattle Supersonics from 1990-2003.
  • New Orleans Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry wasn’t too pleased about addressing the whole Anthony Davis saga. Reportedly, Davis left the building when he was ruled out for the game from an apparent shoulder injury. This all comes off the heels of him requesting to be traded, and of course, he ultimately was not.
  • On a related note, Pelicans GM Dell Demps has been fired, and the primary reason being how he mishandled what Gentry referred to as a “dumpster fire”.
  • Jonathan Clark is a world record holder for dunking on the tallest outdoor rim (11’8”), and he’s also a science teacher. He’s found a way to combine the two passions in his life. How does he do it? He uses dunks to teach his students about physics. This is awesome.
  • Rob Mendez is a football coach, period. Though he is without both arms and legs, he hasn’t let anything stop him from following his dream. Who says he can’t? Certainly not me.

Stick to Sports!

  • Recently in Norman, a woman’s purse was stolen from her car, and inside the bag were her adopted son’s cochlear implants. The devices help her son, who is hearing-impaired, to hear, and it would cost approximately $20,000 to replace them. If you have any information on the whereabouts of the stolen items or who may be involved, please notify Norman PD. Also, if you’re able, please spread the word.
  • A couple popular throwback shows will be returning to Nickelodeon later this year. “Are You Afraid of the Dark”, the anthology-style series of scary stories, and “All That”, the sketch comedy program similar to SNL (but for kids), are both making big comebacks in 2019. A feature-length film version of AYAOTD is also in the works, set for an October release, and one of the producers of “All That” is Kenan Thompson, who began his acting career on the show in the 90s. Personally, I enjoyed both of these shows growing up, but if they’re thinking about changing the original theme song for “All That”, I’m protesting.

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