Happy Friday, friends and fans! Fall camp is officially in session.
It’s been more than four months since spring practice was canceled in March due to COVID-19, but after a month of summer workouts, the Oklahoma Sooners are finally back with the start of fall camp kicking off today.
With preseason camp now underway, many OU players are wearing cloth coverings over their facemasks as an extra preventive measure against coronavirus. You can also read more about them here from Sooners’ Wire’s Kegan Reneau.
Can you feel it? College football is in the air. Let’s just hope the 2020 season looks more like a completed pass and less like a drop or a fumble.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! No positives is more positive news from Oklahoma’s Athletic Department, ‘The Bear’ ponders over the Big 12 race, the NBA is back and more!
- A total of 186 student-athletes from the football and men’s/women’s basketball teams were tested for COVID-19 this week, and once again there were no new positive cases and only one active case. This is more promising news for the Sooners, as OU continues to lead the way with its viral protection protocols.
- On Friday morning, AD Joe Castiglione talked about the recent schedule change and which plan of action the Big 12 Conference may take next. Another league meeting is set for Monday, so a decision on the 2020 slate could be determined as soon as the next few days, writes Sooners Wire’s Kegan Reneau.
- Earlier this week, Lincoln Riley and his staff were given some substantial pay raises. Now that Oklahoma’s fourth-year head coach is locked in with an extension and an increased salary, the task ahead of him is simple to recognize, but will be difficult to produce. Capturing the program’s eighth national championship is the goal, writes the Tulsa World’s Bill Haisten.
- College GameDay’s Chris Fallica aka ‘The Bear’ believes this is the season for a team outside of Norman to dethrone Oklahoma as the Big 12 champion. The top teams he has his eyes on are the Texas Longhorns and Iowa State Cyclones. I so badly want to hit him with a ‘not so fast, my friend’, but I’m also not about to be a jinx.
- In case you missed it, make sure you check out Allen’s closer look at OU’s turnover problems as of late, and why there could be some reason for optimism going forward.
Around the Sports World
- Yesterday, the 2020 NBA season resumed play after more than four months of being left in limbo. In the second contest of Thursday night’s double-header, Paul George made a late three-pointer to tie things up between the Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers. LeBron James had a quick response on the other end, which ultimately proved to be the game-winning bucket. Folks, basketball is back.
The end of this Lakers-Clippers game was wild pic.twitter.com/j4OEGE7vpb— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) July 31, 2020
- Cleveland Indians pitcher Shane Bieber has tied the MLB’s all-time record for most thrown strikeouts in his first two starts of the season with 27. Do I spy an AL Cy Young Award winner? Stick around and find out.
- Speaking of baseball, at least two St. Louis Cardinals players have tested positive for COVID-19, which has led to the postponement of Friday’s matchup against the Milwaukee Brewers. Reportedly, Sunday has now been changed to a double-header to make up for the postponed meeting.
- The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed veteran RB LeSean McCoy to a one year deal set at just over $1 million. The Bucs have stocked up on a lot of talent this offseason, although much of that talent is well past its prime.
- Infamous Alabama Crimson Tide super fan Harvey Updyke has passed away at the age of 71 due to natural causes. Updyke will be remembered by most college football fans as the man who confessed to poisoning the trees on Auburn University’s iconic Toomer’s Corner in 2011.
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