Happy Friday, friends and fans!
The Oklahoma Sooners released a second round of COVID-19 test results on Thursday. The good news is that there are no new positive cases among players. Also, out of the 14 positives originally reported last week, five have since recovered, leaving nine active cases remaining.
The goal here, obviously, is to reduce the number of active positive cases down to zero, while also preventing future cases from arising. Player safety is the top priority in this unprecedented situation, and so far it looks like OU’s approach is working. The challenge will undoubtedly increase once more students arrive on campus next month, but for now it’s a small victory that these figures are trending in the right direction.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Oklahoma could be moving its season opener, Cedarian Lamb grades way too low on Madden, the Big Ten makes a big move and more!
- The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel reports that OU and Missouri State are looking at possibly moving their season opening contest scheduled for Sept. 5 one week ahead to Aug. 29. If this happens, it would give the Sooners an off-week after each of their first two games in 2020, barring any further changes.
- When it comes to collegiate offensive factories and NFL pipelines, no school does it more consistently throughout all positions than Oklahoma. Of course, QB is OU’s calling card as of late, but O-Line is another area that runs deep in the pros (with Trent Williams and Lane Johnson) and continues to rise under Bill Bedenbaugh (with Orlando Brown, Cody Ford and others). Boomer!
- According to a recent poll by FOX College Football, Lincoln Riley appears to be a unanimous choice among the top five coaches in the FBS. It’s cool to see Rob Stone show Iowa State’s Matt Campbell some love in that regard, as well.
- Dallas Cowboys rookie WR CeeDee Lamb has been given a 75 overall grade in the Madden ‘21 player ratings. It’s a pretty low number, but first-year pros typically start from the bottom before leveling out to where they ought to be in Madden. This should just serve as more motivation for the budding superstar.
- If you haven’t already, make sure you check out these sweet OU-themed face coverings! The good folks over at Fanatics have several options for any Oklahoma fan wanting to represent their Sooners in style while also doing their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Around the Sports World
- On Thursday, the Big Ten Conference made a decision to limit the upcoming college football season schedule, along with a number of other fall sports, down to conference games only. It’s a major move at the highest level of the FBS, and likely to be followed by several other dominoes (such as the Pac-12 and the ACC, reportedly) made official around the nation in the coming days or weeks.
- Houston Rockets guards James Harden and Russell Westbrook are reportedly traveling separately from their team to the Orlando bubble as the NBA restart draws near. Several coaches are doing the same, as well as other players, so it shouldn’t be too much of a concern at this point.
- The Brooklyn Nets’ roster is one of the more depleted groups due to the aftermath of COVID-19, but after signing veterans Jamal Crawford and Michael Beasley on ‘trial runs’, the future could be much brighter for this team in desperate need of life.
- Should there be a 2020 NFL season, the league has banned players from exchanging jerseys with each other following games due to coronavirus concerns. In the name of player safety, this decision makes sense.
- Cincinnati Bengals rookie QB Joe Burrow is putting his time and his money where his mouth is by teaming up his personal hunger relief fund with the Athens County Food Pantry & Foundation for Appalachian Ohio. This man hasn’t played a down in the NFL yet but is already exhibiting those special leadership qualities.
Honored to partner & support the Athens County Food Pantry & Foundation for Appalachian Ohio in conjunction with the Joe Burrow Hunger Relief Fund. Thank you to @kroger, @bose, & @peoplesbank for joining me in kick starting this program. For more info click the link in my bio pic.twitter.com/cD5bJROZQ6— Joey Burrow (@JoeyB) July 9, 2020
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