Happy Thursday, friends and fans! It’s October!
It’s no secret that the Oklahoma Sooners benefit from some of the nation’s most generous boosters, and this week OU announced that in the past three months, its athletic department has received more than $1.5 million in donations directed toward future facility projects around the university.
We are excited to announce several major gifts made over the past several months to @OU_Athletics and future facility projects for our student-athletes!— The Sooner Club (@SoonerClub) October 1, 2020
➡️ https://t.co/XcI2bM47GA#ConstantPursuit pic.twitter.com/wQA7NaMnmc
Five families collectively funded the $1.5 million sum. Four of the five donations were made to the athletic department’s general fund, while the other was made specifically toward Oklahoma’s softball program. Additionally, four other groups have each pledged six-figure gifts over the same span.
Now for today’s Hot Links! Mike Leach wouldn’t recommend calling plays as a head coach, Stoops is becoming a spark on offense, the Yankees won the longest nine-inning game in MLB history and more!
- Teddy Lehman busted out another Butkus Brain Teaser for Lincoln Riley on Wednesday, aptly selected with an Iowa State Cyclones theme. Now this one went all the way back to the head coach’s first season at Oklahoma in 2015, when the legend of Baker Mayfield was still in its infancy. Did the former Sooner LB finally stump the greatest offensive mind in college football? See for yourself.
- Speaking of Riley, he’s now in his fourth season of not only being a head coach but also calling plays. It’s worked in his favor for the most part, but even a brilliant mind like Mike Leach says committing to both jobs is too much. Riley — a Leach disciple — respectfully disagrees. SI Sooners’ John Hoover has more.
- On Wednesday, DC Alex Grinch discussed his continued emphasis on defensive takeaways and not giving up big plays. He also previewed Iowa State’s offense, led by veteran QB Brock Purdy. OU Daily’s Mason Young has more.
- Speaking of Oklahoma’s defense, several players have spoken up about their confidence in fixing the egregious mistakes made in the loss last weekend, including Brendan Radley-Hiles, DaShaun White and Isaiah Thomas. SI Sooners’ Parker Thune has more.
- Redshirt sophomore receiver Drake Stoops had himself a career day against Kansas State, hauling in three catches for 91 yards and one touchdown. Going forward, he just might be the player to provide the spark necessary to revitalize the Sooners’ offense. The Norman Transcript’s Joe Buettner has more.
- Earlier this week, ISU OL Sean Foster and RB Breece Hall answered questions about playing OU this Saturday. Both Foster and Hall are expected to be key contributors for the Cyclones’ offense.
- My good friend Pete Mundo of Heartland College Sports has another game preview this week for the prime time matchup between Oklahoma and Iowa State. In recent years, this series has been decided in the fourth quarter, and it looks like the 2020 version will be no different. Read on to find out which team Pete predicts will come out on top in the end!
- In case you missed it, Jack Shields conducted a Q&A this week with Wide Right Natty Lite’s Matthias Schwartzkopf, where he asked him about his thoughts on the game this weekend as well as some Halloween and beer related questions.
- Kamiar Mehrabian manned the ship himself in this week’s Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast, and in this episode he questioned the team’s overall mentality following the loss to K-State and previewed OU’s upcoming matchup with Iowa State. Make sure you give this one a listen before the game kicks off on Saturday night, and keep in mind that some of the language used on the pod is NSFW.
Around the Sports World
- On Wednesday night, the Miami Heat were blown out by the Los Angeles Lakers, 116-98 in Game One of the 2020 NBA Finals. To add injury to insult, Heat stars Goran Dragic and Bam Adebayo both suffered injuries that could affect their status going forward in the series.
- The release of the first College Football Playoff rankings has been pushed back one week, setting the initial CFP poll unveiling for Tuesday, Nov. 24.
- The Atlanta Falcons are believed to be the first professional sports organization to use drone technology to clean its stadium and venue. What a time to be alive.
- The New York Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians, 10-9 on Thursday to slide into the ALDS round of the 2020 MLB postseason, and it only took four hours and 50 minutes. That’s actually an official record for the longest nine-inning game in the league’s all-time history. Awaiting NY on the other side are the Tampa Bay Rays.
Recapping a wild one in The Land: pic.twitter.com/a0cTI2iGNq— New York Yankees (@Yankees) October 1, 2020
- On Thursday, owner Dwayne Johnson announced the official return of the XFL is set for spring of 2022. I’d say roughly 16 months of prep time should be enough to get the pro football league up and running again.
XFL returns SPRING 2022— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) October 1, 2020
As owners, we’re proud to champion our XFL players, coaches, cities and fans into an electrifying 2022 season!
It’s an uphill battle - but we’re hungry, humble and no one will outwork us.
A league of culture, passion & purpose. #XFL✊ #Spring2022 pic.twitter.com/jY0VWGj33Y
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