Happy Tuesday, friends and fans!
It’s officially official! On Tuesday afternoon, Lincoln Riley named redshirt freshman Spencer Rattler starting quarterback for the Oklahoma Sooners. Similar to the so-called QB derbies of OU past, this decision seemed like a foregone conclusion before the offseason even began.
As Riley mentioned during the announcement, redshirt sophomore Tanner Mordecai was the other QB in competition with Rattler, but after missing a majority of fall camp with an injury, the job was unofficially Rattler’s by default.
Although Rattler is coming off a redshirt year, he earned valuable playing time in his three appearances during the 2019 season. With those reps, he completed seven of 11 pass attempts for 81 yards and one touchdown. He also rushed the ball three times for 23 yards. He’ll be the first full-time starting QB Riley has coached in his five years at Oklahoma who wasn’t a transfer (a fact that is getting a bit more attention than it probably deserves).
Now onto today’s Hot Links! Several Sooners receive preseason player rankings, kick-off times for OU’s first three games are set, the Big Ten continues to look dysfunctional and more!
- In other officially official news, #ChampU22 is the hashtag that will be used to distinguish OU’s 2022 recruiting class over the next year and a half. It rhymes, it’s clean, and I like it. Also, special shout out to cornerbacks coach Roy Manning for doing this championship-level narration. Boomer!
- ESPN’s Bill Connelly recently released his updated preseason SP+ Rankings for 2020, and the analytics start Oklahoma at No. 6 overall (second on offense, 36th on defense) heading into the season, and No. 5 among teams currently slated to play this fall.
- The only Sooner to make an appearance in ESPN’s top 50 players ranking is redshirt junior center Creed Humphrey, who is ranked the No. 28 best overall player going into the upcoming college football season.
- Speaking of player rankings, the NFL staff at ESPN also predicted who the top 100 pros would be in 2020, and a pair of former Sooners made the cut. Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray checked in at No. 47, and Philadelphia Eagles OT Lane Johnson sits at No. 71. Some of the more glaring snubs I immediately noticed were the absences of Baltimore Ravens pass-catchers Marquise Brown and Mark Andrews, along with Cincinnati Bengals tailback Joe Mixon. I fully expect each of them to go completely bananas this fall.
- In case you missed it, Oklahoma announced kick-off times for the first three games of its updated 2020 schedule on Tuesday. Also, as expected, the season opener against Missouri State is set for pay-per-view.
Oklahoma's Sept. 12 season-opener against Missouri State is going to be $54.99 on pay-per-view.— Dave Wilson (@dwil) September 1, 2020
Around the Sports World
- On Monday, it was reported that in a vote among university presidents and chancellors from the 14 members of the Big Ten Conference, 11 were in favor of not playing football this fall. The three programs that were out-voted were the Iowa Hawkeyes, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Ohio State Buckeyes. It’s really quite amazing how disjointed that league continues to look from an outsider’s perspective.
- The reigning Super Bowl winning Kansas City Chiefs have extended both head coach Andy Reid and general manager Brett Veach to six-year deals, locking in the dynamic duo through the 2025 season.
- 10 UCF Knights players have decided to opt-out of the 2020 season due to coronavirus concerns. For now it’s unclear how many plan to return in 2021 or move on from their college careers.
- Often-suspended WR Josh Gordon recently sold the Super Bowl ring he won while he was a member of the New England Patriots at a sports memorabilia auction for $138,000. He’s currently serving a suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
- The stakes don’t get much higher in the NBA Playoffs than Game 7. That’s what the third-seeded Denver Nuggets and sixth-seeded Utah Jazz are facing tonight. The winner might be determined by which star out-performs the other between the Nuggs’ Jamal Murray and Utah’s Donovan Mitchell. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT on ABC.
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