Happy Tuesday, friends and fans!
Although he’s not the Oklahoma Sooners’ all-time leader in yards or receptions or touchdowns, CeeDee Lamb is arguably the best all-around wide receiver in program history. With him moving on to the NFL, a new go-to guy will have to step up. That’s where Jadon Haselwood comes in. Lamb said it himself: “Honestly, when it’s all said and done, he’s going to have better numbers than me.”
Living up to a lofty projection like this starts in the offseason, and judging by the work Haselwood is putting in, there’s little doubt in my mind that he’s about to have a monster sophomore season. I love this content right here.
Haselwood showed incredible flashes when given the opportunity in 2019, so it’s not a stretch to say he should easily shine in what should be a more potent passing attack with Spencer Rattler (presumably) at the helm.
Now on to today’s Hot Links! The Big 12 is sliding back, Top Daug is definitely back, Samuel George Ehlinger is unsurprisingly back and more!
- OU Insider’s Joey Helmer looks into how much the Big 12’s shoddy postseason performance affects Oklahoma (if at all). Going 1-5 against the competition hurts an already fragile perception, but is it enough to truly hinder the Sooners going forward?
- 247 Sports’ Brad Crawford projects Oklahoma to play in the Cotton Bowl at the end of the 2020 season against predicted Group of Five automatic bid-winner Boise State. He also sees the Florida Gators making the College Football Playoff, which would certainly surprise me and probably a lot of other folks.
- The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel writes that if Sooner fans want to maintain ownership of the longest winning streak in college football history (47 games), it would be wise to root for LSU to beat Clemson in next Monday’s national championship. Dabo Swinney’s Tigers have currently won 29 consecutive games, and given how weak the ACC looks, they could feasibly reach 45 come the end of next season.
- Athlon Sports’ Bryan Fischer projects CeeDee Lamb and Kenneth Murray to both be selected within the top 12 picks of the 2020 NFL Draft. There will be about a hundred more mock ups between now and the actual draft, but it’s great to see both players routinely in the upper portion of the first round.
- Former Sooner OT now Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. received the local media’s 2019 Good Guy Award for his helpfulness and cooperation with addressing questions this season. He was always a great interview and a stand-up guy at Oklahoma, so this comes as no surprise.
- Former Sooner receiver Jeff Badet’s helmet visor features an image of Allen Iverson during his famous ‘we talkin’ ‘bout practice’ presser. One word — dope.
- Oklahoma moves up to a No. 11 seed in Joe Lunardi’s latest Bracketology update. If the Sooners can win a big one on the road against Red River rival Texas on Wednesday, expect even more positive momentum trending towards OU from a national perspective.
- In case you missed it (and I can’t believe anyone did), throwback OU mascot Top Daug is making a comeback next Tuesday when the Sooners host the Kansas Jayhawks. There’s no official word on whether the beloved furry friend is permanently returning to the Lloyd Noble Center or if this is simply a special occasion, but I promise you won’t want to miss it.
- Speaking of Top Daug, OU Daily’s George Stoia wrote this phenomenal piece on the larger-than-life pooch that made his mark on Oklahoma Basketball under Billy Tubbs. The legendary hoops coach shared his own Top Daug stories, as well as some of the lucky individuals who have donned the mystical persona.
Around the Sports World
- One of the two head coaches in the 2019 Big 12 Championship game is now moving on to the NFL, and it isn’t Lincoln Riley. On Tuesday morning, sources confirmed that Baylor’s Matt Rhule has accepted the vacant HC role for the Carolina Panthers. That’s an unfortunate loss for the Bears, but a nice upgrade for the smock.
- Another NFL head coaching job opening in a major market has officially been filled as the New York Giants have made a deal with former New England Patriots receivers coach Joe Judge. It’s a gamble considering he’s a 38-year-old who’s never held more responsibility than being a special teams coordinator/WR coach, but perhaps the NY execs saw something during the interview.
New York Giants are finalizing a deal to make Patriots’ wide receivers coach Joe Judge their next head coach, league sources tell ESPN. Deal was in the works as of last night, which is another reason Matt Rhule took the Panthers’ HC job.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 7, 2020
- In the least surprising news of the month for a returning college football player, Texas Longhorns QB Sam Ehlinger is officially staying for one final season on the Forty Acres. UT will have to replace its top two wideouts along with breaking in a brand new OC, so it’ll be interesting to see how this year goes for the Burnt Orange offense.
- The Utah Jazz held on in the final seconds to beat the New Orleans Pelicans, 128-126 on Monday night, but the result is soaked in controversy because Brandon Ingram’s last second lay-up that would have tied the game was deemed a clean block by Rudy Gobert when on replay it was clearly a foul that should have led to crucial free throws. Unfortunately, this stuff happens in just about every game, but it tends to stand out even more so in the last moments.
Looks like the refs may have blew a foul call to end the Pelicans vs Jazz game pic.twitter.com/aKu9vwYlH7— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) January 7, 2020
- The XFL will kick-off shortly after the NFL season ends next month, and if you’re interested in checking out what this football league might look like, check out these unique rule differences that could lead to an exciting brand of ball. I’m especially intrigued by the prospect of two forward passes on one play, which will be legal as long as the first is completed behind the line of scrimmage.
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