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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: A look at non-conference play, the strength of the OU brand, and more!

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With Army now *officially* off the table and Big 12 play moved up, when will the Missouri State game be played?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 11 TCU at Oklahoma Photo by David Stacy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Hump Day, friends and fans!

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Sooners 2020 non-conference matchup with the Army Black Knights was *officially* canceled following Monday’s news of a nine-plus-one schedule model for the Big 12. Given that this was intended to be an away game for OU, as well as the ongoing COVID-19 stipulations in the state of New York, this unfortunate development was largely expected as an inevitability.

With Oklahoma most likely moving forward with Missouri State as its lone out-of-conference contest, the two major questions now concern the new season opener date and the start of Big 12 play. Currently, the Sooners are set to play on Aug. 29 and not again until Oct. 3. Clearly, amendments will need to be made to the schedule yet again and soon.

Voice of the Sooners Toby Rowland certainly has his connections, and here he explains what he’s been told are the possible scheduling scenarios OU is facing. These certainly seem to make the most sense, and more or less line up with what other Power Five conferences are attempting to do.

The one other question that needs to be addressed is Oklahoma’s non-conference opponent. Missouri State is by far and away the leader at this point, but a team from the FCS is obviously not the most alluring matchup for the Sooners on paper. Gabe Ikard recently shared his thoughts on why he feels MSU will remain on OU’s slate.

I tend to agree with Ikard on all the points he expressed, and because of that I don’t see OU AD Joe Castiglione looking elsewhere for a higher profile matchup at the eleventh hour.

Now onto today’s Hot Links! Lincoln Riley is the coach of today and tomorrow, a couple former Sooners are in peak physical form for NFL training camp, a key West Virginia defender opts out of the 2020 season and more!

OU Links

  • On Tuesday, Joe Castiglione released a statement to the fans and donors thanking them for their patience as he and his staff work to devise a plan for the Oklahoma Football experience this season.
  • By the numbers, OU Football is (massive understatement incoming) pretty darn popular, whether it’s been on the cover of Sports Illustrated, television, or across the major social media platforms. Boomer!
  • Speaking of SI, Greg Bishop recently penned a compelling piece on Lincoln Riley and how he’s uniquely been prepared to handle this unprecedented offseason and upcoming college football year better than anybody else. Not only has he shown he’s capable of making the right calls, he’s paving the way for the sport in ways no one else is. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend taking some time out of your day to give this article a read.
  • Second year cornerbacks coach Roy Manning has built a reputation around the Oklahoma program as a guy who has unrelenting confidence and energy. That’s all well and good, but at the end of the day what will ultimately determine his legacy will be the results he gets from the players he recruits and develops. Recently, he’s starting to prove himself on the trail as a valuable asset to the staff. Sooner Scoop’s Bob Przybylo has more.
  • 247 Sports lead recruiting analyst Steve Wiltfong believes Oklahoma has enough left on the 2021 table to produce the nation’s top signing class. Sounds delightful, but I’d settle for a top-five finish.
  • Joe Mixon says he’s in the best shape of his life, and judging by these two photos I’d say he’s probably not wrong. Fans expect big things from him this season with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Around the Sports World

  • The Big Ten Conference has made its 2020 football schedule official, with the league kicking off Sept. 5 and playing the regular season through Nov. 21. There are also reportedly multiple dates set for the championship game just in case any unforeseen changes are needed.

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