Happy Tuesday, friends and fans!
The Oklahoma Sooners’ marquee non-conference matchup this football season comes against the Tennessee Volunteers on Sept. 12. For all you OU fans on Twitter, you have a chance to decide what color scheme the folks seated inside the stadium should follow for this game. Check out your voting options below!
Spring ball's got us thinking ahead.— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) March 10, 2020
How do you want to color the Palace vs. Tennessee on Sept. 12?
Full disclosure, my personal choice is the all-white, especially after seeing how cool it turned out during the season opener versus Houston last fall. Still, you might prefer the stripe-out, the half-and-half split or that funky quadrant pattern. Whatever the case may be, let your voice be heard and cast your vote!
Now onto today’s Hot Links! Lincoln Riley puts the O-Line on notice, K9’s stock continues to ascend, American pro sports leagues are shutting the media out of their locker rooms due to coronavirus concerns and more!
- OU’s Pro Day takes place on Wednesday, Mar. 11, and recently the full list of Sooners participating in this annual pre-draft event was revealed. Notably, LB Kenneth Murray will not participate due to the minor hamstring injury he suffered during his second attempt at the 40-yard dash in Indianapolis. This day will be especially big for a guy like CB Parnell Motley, who could sneak his way up a lot of draft boards after not receiving an invite to the NFL Combine despite his strong play on an island as a senior.
- Athlon Sports’ Steven Lassan previewed Oklahoma’s team and dished on the five biggest storylines to watch for this spring. As expected, most of the major question marks revolve around a defense that has to replace a number of talented and experienced veterans from a season ago.
- 247 Sports’ Brad Crawford shared his pre-spring projected win totals in 2020 for each Big 12 team, and it’s no surprise that Oklahoma is his favorite to win the most conference games out of the ten members. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he envisions the Sooners running the table.
- The Tulsa World’s Eric Bailey took a look at when OU could possibly name its next starting QB. Typically, such announcements haven’t come until August during the Lincoln Riley era, but Spencer Rattler has an opportunity to show clear separation between himself and Tanner Mordecai this spring.
- The Norman Transcript’s Tyler Palmateer was present for Riley’s spring presser on Monday. The fourth year head coach openly challenged the offensive line to step up their play this year in contrast to last season, and given all the returning experience in Bill Bedenbaugh’s latest bunch, that shouldn’t be a problem.
- NFL Network’s Bucky Brooks says Jalen Hurts is rising up many teams’ draft boards following his strong showing at the combine. Also, he wouldn’t be surprised to see Hurts selected somewhere during Day Two of the 2020 NFL Draft.
- Speaking of rising draft stock, Kenneth Murray drew rave reviews for both his workouts during the combine as well as his team interviews. For a linebacker who was already regarded as a first round talent, the odds for hearing his name announced on Day One continue to increase.
- The proposed salaries for new coaching assistants Jamar Cain and DeMarco Murray have been revealed. Pending approval from the Board of Regents, Cain is in play for $435K while Murray would start out at $350K. The OU Daily’s Vic Reynolds has more on each proposed salary breakdown.
- After pouring in 41 points and the game winner in the season finale, junior guard Austin Reaves was named the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. Hopefully for Oklahoma’s sake he’s able to continue this level of play in Kansas City and beyond.
- OU freshman infielder Peyton Graham was named the Big 12 Baseball Player of the Week after going 10-20 at the plate over a five-game stretch. Those numbers included two homers, and he also was credited for scoring the Sooners’ extra-inning run to clinch the series against San Diego State.
- Speaking of baseball, Oklahoma (13-4) is back in action today, this time south of the Red River at UT-Arlington. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT, and you can watch on SoonerSports.tv or listen for free on Sportstalk 1400 AM.
Around the Sports World
- The NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS jointly released a statement on Monday prohibiting non-essential personnel from accessing team locker rooms as a preventative measure to guard against coronavirus. The widespread media bans will are going into effect on Tuesday, although some teams already closed their doors to outsiders this past weekend.
- Former five-star Alabama DL Antonio Alfano transferred to the Colorado Buffaloes in January but was recently suspended indefinitely for an unspecified violation of team rules.
- College football attendance numbers have been declining as of late across the board. In fact, the Big 12 was the only Power Five conference to see an average increase in home attendance from 2018 to 2019. So what kinds of moves can be taken to reverse this trend? CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd explores some ideas.
- SB Nation’s Zito Madu took a close inspection at reasons why so many famous athletes choose the lion as their personal animal symbol when there are plenty of other creatures that could also be just as symbolic yet more imaginative. With this in mind, the animal I would choose is the Komodo dragon. Nobody messes with that thing. Like seriously. YouTube videos of it at your own risk.
- ESPN made a ranking of the top 100 players in the MLB going into the 2020 season, and it’s no surprise at all that the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout tops the list once again.
Follow Crimson & Cream Machine on Twitter!