Happy Friday, friends and fans!
Later this afternoon, the Missouri Valley Football Conference is reportedly expected to announce its decision to cancel its 2020 fall season. For the Oklahoma Sooners, this is particularly relevant because its lone non-conference matchup is with Missouri State — a member of the MVFC. The important takeaway for OU in this situation is that MSU would still be allowed to come to Norman in September should this development become official.
Just before news of this development circulated, Missouri State head coach Bobby Petrino (yup, that one) discussed his Bears’ game at Oklahoma, and while at the time no official schedule updates had been announced, he believed that game would ultimately take place. Even after a couple new hurdles, it appears his prediction could still ring true. SI Sooners’ Parker Thune has more details.
For as fluid of a situation as this has been over the past couple weeks, it’s a bit more reassuring knowing that the Sooners may not have to scramble at the last minute for a new non-conference opponent. Meanwhile, the Big 12 has yet to decide on when it wants its teams to start conference play, although Sept. 26 seems to be the growing favorite for kicking off the intra-league slate.
Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! A pair of recent Sooner greats share a date of birth, OU hoops picks up a reclassified commit, the Big Ten is hemorrhaging talent by way of COVID-19 opt-outs and more!
- On Thursday, OU men’s basketball picked up a late addition to its 2020 recruiting class in three-star forward Josh O’Garro out of Santa Clarita, California. O’Garro, who hails from the Cayman Islands, was originally going to be part of the 2021 class, but he reclassified up a year to be able to come to Norman early and redshirt this season under Lon Kruger. He’s now the second member of the 2020 class, joining Tulsa Booker T. Washington guard Trey Phipps.
- Happy 23rd birthday to Kyler Murray, Oklahoma’s seventh Heisman Trophy winner and the Arizona Cardinals’ No. 1 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft! After lighting up college football, he went on to become the NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year. He has all the potential in the world in front of him, and he’s just getting started. Boomer!
- Speaking of birthdays, happy 22nd birthday to the Sooners’ last starting QB, Jalen Hurts! Amazingly, he and Murray share this day of celebration. After finishing as the runner-up for the 2019 Heisman Trophy, Hurts was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of this year’s draft. Many OU fans are also Dallas fans, but despite the divisional rivalry, they’ll definitely be rooting for this guy to continue to succeed on and off the field.
- It looks like the college football consensus is most excited about Spencer Rattler and the potential breakout season he could have this fall. Well, all except for FOX CFB analyst and former Notre Dame Fighting Irish QB Brady Quinn. Apparently that man likes him some SEC ball.
There's no shortage of players to be excited about this season— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) August 6, 2020
Whose list of top 5 players to have a breakout season this fall do you agree with the most? pic.twitter.com/5BP3Du2xvt
- Sooners Wire’s Kegan Reneau recently ranked the wide receivers on Oklahoma’s roster, and through this exercise it’s apparent that there are some areas of concern in regards to depth and/or experience.
- 247 Sports’ Riley Gates broke down the most accurate placekickers in college football, and it should be no surprise to OU fans who came through at No. 1 on the list. That’s right, the most precise leg in the game right now belongs to none other than redshirt sophomore Gabe Brkic, who still hasn’t missed a field goal or extra point in his collegiate career.
Around the Sports World
- Atlanta Braves’ Nick Markakis opted out of the 2020 MLB season in July, but later changed his mind about sitting out last week. On Thursday, his decision paid off in a major way, as he crushed this pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays in the bottom of the ninth for a walk-off win.
- Staying in the baseball world, the Chicago Cubs’ series opener versus the St. Louis Cardinals has been postponed after another COVID-19 positive turned up inside the Cards’ clubhouse.
- On Thursday, Philadelphia 76ers’ Ben Simmons was ruled out indefinitely after suffering a partial knee dislocation. Before this injury, Philly was expected to contend in the East, but this is undeniably a significant blow to the team’s playoff potential.
- Tom Brady hasn’t had to learn an entirely new playbook in quite a while, but now that he’s with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he’s rediscovering how much of a pain in the rear it can be.
- 247 Sports’ Brad Crawford has a live running tally of the FBS players who have announced their decision to opt out of the 2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic. So far, most of the players are from the Big Ten Conference, but you should expect more to come as September approaches.
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