Happy Monday, friends and fans!
The first official Associated Press Poll of the 2019 college football season has been revealed, and the Oklahoma Sooners are opening as the nation’s No. 4 team. It’s the highest preseason ranking for OU since entering 2016 third in the country. Oddly enough, the first opponent on this fall’s schedule is also the same as it was three years ago — the Houston Cougars. The more things change, the more things stay the same, right? Check out the full AP Top 25 rankings below.
2019 Preseason AP Poll (first place votes)
- Clemson (50)
- Alabama (12)
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Texas A&M
- Penn State
- Michigan State
- Iowa State
- Washington State
A couple notes:
- Two of Oklahoma’s scheduled opponents (Texas and Iowa State) appear in the preseason poll, which is okay for now. Ideally, more teams from the Big 12 or one of the non-conference matchups will work their way into Top 25 contention at some point during the season.
- Army has the nation’s second longest winning streak going into the 2019 season at nine consecutive wins, trailing only Clemson’s active run of 15 straight. In fact, the Black Knights haven’t lost since scaring the Sooners in overtime last September. I see that the AP voters are still sleeping on the Cadets. Word of advice: don’t do that.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! Lon Kruger’s birthday is today, Ogbo makes his NFL debut, Dwight Howard wants to return to L.A. and more!
- Check out Lincoln Riley discussing the simulated inclement weather conditions and situations from the latest scrimmage. It’s a great idea to make sure the team is prepared and has lived experience in such a scenario should it happen later this fall.
- Oklahoma men’s basketball coach Lon Kruger’s birthday is today! Happy 67th to you, Coach!
- The college football writers over at CBS Sports dished on their picks and predictions for the Big 12 this season. As expected, most have Oklahoma finishing at the top of the standings, but not everybody has the Sooners winning the conference title.
- ESPN released its Preseason All-America Team, and redshirt sophomore center Creed Humphrey was Oklahoma’s lone selection from either side of the ball. I’m just going to say it — CeeDee Lamb is better than Oklahoma State’s Tylan Wallace. That’s my one personal beef with this AA team.
- The good people over at the Tulsa World has put together a unique look inside the 1999 Oklahoma Sooners team led by first year head coach Bob Stoops. 20 years later, it’s apparent that that group at OU led a remarkable turnaround after an abysmal stretch in the 90s.
- After spending the majority of his rookie season on the physically unable to perform list with the Los Angeles Rams, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo finally made his NFL debut this weekend. Way to go, Ogbo!
“It feels good to play football again."— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) August 18, 2019
Welcome back, @OgboOkoronkwo!
- Once upon a time, Baker Mayfield aspired to be like Garrett Gilbert, the former Texas QB who eventually transferred to SMU. Now GG backs up Mayfield in Cleveland. It’s a small world, after all.
- Best thing you’ll see all week right here. Over the weekend, the football team hosted its annual special event for a group of some amazing Sooners fans. In partnership with the Special Olympics of Oklahoma, these fans were able to meet and greet the players and coaches, and have their OU gear and memorabilia autographed. This never fails to put a smile on my face.
- In case you missed it, make sure you give Allen Kenney’s latest take on how he expects the Sooners’ depth chart to shake out. The offensive line is an intriguing group to watch, and really the entire defense has good competition at every level.
Around the Sports World
- On Saturday night, former Texas Longhorns running back and eight-year pro Cedric Benson passed away after being in a motorcycle accident. He was only 36 years old.
5,540 rushing yards.— Burnt Orange Nation (@BON_SBNation) August 18, 2019
Big 12 Freshman of the Year.
Two-time All-Big 12.
2004 Doak Walker Award winner.
2004 consensus All-American.
Rose Bowl champion.
NFL first-round draft pick.
West Texas kid. Longhorn legend unlike any other.
Rest easy, Cedric Benson. pic.twitter.com/KgNX4OvwWS
- Dwight Howard is currently on the market looking for a new landing spot in the NBA, but one of the possible destinations he has his sights on is actually his old stomping grounds in Los Angeles. If you recall, Howard spent one unsuccessful year with the Lakers in the 2012-13 season. Who knows, maybe teaming up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis could be good for the veteran center.
- The Chicago Bears, the Cleveland Browns and the Kansas City Chiefs have picked up the most bets to win Super Bowl LIV, according to Caesars Sportsbook in Las Vegas.
- Alright, I know most of everyone else is as tired as I am about this whole Antonio Brown helmet saga. That goes for Oakland Raiders GM Mike Mayock, who recently broke down the situation. If AB won’t compromise with a newer, safer lid, he won’t play.
GM Mike Mayock issued a statement today regarding Antonio Brown. pic.twitter.com/5ueLsrOmid— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) August 18, 2019
Stick to Sports!
- Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell lead a star-studded cast in the upcoming Apple TV+ original series “The Morning Show”. It’s a comedy-drama the depicts what goes on behind the screen and behind the scenes of a popular morning newscast. Just the lineup of actors alone has me interested, but the concept actually looks promising as well. The series is set to debut later this fall.
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