Happy Tuesday, friends and fans!
Two months and seven games into this rather tumultuous 2020 college football season, and the Oklahoma Sooners are certainly one of the more fortunate teams in the land for the simple fact that none of their games have been postponed or canceled (aside from the obvious regular season reductions made in August) due to COVID-19 related issues. With three scheduled contests remaining and a Big 12 Championship berth left to play for, OU is operating as cautiously as ever for the safety of its players and the program as a whole.
Around the nation, other programs haven’t been quite as lucky as Lincoln Riley’s. To date, there have been at least 70 postponements or cancellations, and that figure is seemingly rising at an accelerated rate as more conferences kick off their belated seasons. On Monday, the Tulsa World’s Eric Bailey noted the Oklahoma coach’s thoughts on the possibility of this football season being shut down for good if too many teams continue to struggle maintaining a safe environment for their players.
The Oklahoma coach also spoke about Rhamondre Stevenson's impact and gave an injury update on Austin Stogner. https://t.co/9yoeRpiRTm— Tulsa World Sports (@TWSportsExtra) November 16, 2020
For now, it looks as if the Sooners’ season should be in the clear for at least the next week, but with how rapid things can change in this pandemic, nothing is certain. Let’s just hope Bedlam goes off without a hitch this Saturday. We can worry about the rest later.
Now onto today’s Hot Links! Both defenses in Bedlam are a highlight for a change, Mike Gundy talks Oklahoma, Tom Herman hypocritically whines about negative recruiting and more!
- OU released another round of COVID-19 testing data for the second week of November, and among 417 student-athletes and 159 staff members tested, 10 individuals yielded positive results. Also notable, the overall positivity rate has dropped since the last data release, going from four to two percent.
- This week, John Hoover of SI Sooners wrote about the vaunted defense Oklahoma will face when OSU comes to Norman this weekend. Not only do the Pokes boast legitimate talent across the board, they also have significant experience.
- Sooners Wire’s Josh Callaway relayed Mike Gundy’s thoughts he shared on Oklahoma during this week’s Big 12 teleconference. The Oklahoma State Cowboys’ leader discussed Spencer Rattler’s strengths, OU’s improved defensive front and more.
- OU Daily’s Chandler Engelbrecht recently wrote about how redshirt junior H-back Jeremiah Hall’s leadership helped bring along this young Oklahoma team during the early part of the season. He’s not only led by example off the field, his play on the field has made him a veteran to look up to.
- Make sure you check out Allen Kenney’s write-up of Oklahoma State’s X-factor on defense — the JACK LB. OSU DC Jim Knowles has a number of playmakers who are versatile enough to man the position depending on the situation, and that’s something Riley and Rattler will need to account for on every offensive series.
Around the Sports World
- In his fourth year on the Forty Acres, Tom Herman is currently in the not-so-good graces of the Texas Longhorns fan and alumni base. Since losing back-to-back games in October, including the Red River Showdown, the UT faithful have been vocal about moving on and making a move for Urban Meyer. On Monday, Herman addressed those rumblings and how the conversation has negatively affected his role as head coach.
- NBA free agency season is underway, and things are already spicy. Recently, Houston Rockets guard James Harden turned down a record-breaking contract extension, which basically means he wants out of H-Town. Word on the street is he’d like to suit up for the Brooklyn Nets along with his old OKC teammate, Kevin Durant.
- Chicago Bears QB Nick Foles was injured and carted off the field during his team’s 19-13 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night. Reportedly, Foles suffered a hip injury, but the good news is that he did not sustain a fracture.
- In other news from the Windy City, the Chicago Cubs have announced that President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein is stepping down from the role after nine years with the organization.
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