Happy Hump Day, friends and fans!
On Wednesday, the Big 12 Conference unveiled a new PSA video featuring some of the league’s high-profile student-athletes, including Oklahoma Sooners starting junior free safety Patrick Fields.
Over the past few months, the Big 12 has been open to providing a space for its members to create a forum for discussing matters of race and injustice across the nation. These players have never had more power than they do today, and they’re using their newfound voice for change and solution.
As this unprecedented college football season wages on, expect to see and hear more messages like this from student-athletes at OU and elsewhere around the Big 12 and beyond.
Now onto today’s Hot Links! Lincoln Riley earns the mighty fan vote, ‘Speed D’ is speedier in 2020, OKC parts ways with Billy D. and more!
- Lincoln Riley faced another Teddy Lehman ‘Butkus Brain Teaser’ on Tuesday, and this one certainly caught the 37-year-old coach a bit off guard. Watch for yourself to see if he was finally stumped or if he recalled the play with prodigious precision yet again.
- Speaking of Riley, in a Twitter poll featuring Alabama’s Nick Saban, Clemson’s Dabo Swinney and Georgia’s Kirby Smart, OU’s head ball coach received the most votes in favor of Coach of the Year honors. I don’t know if this is more about the Oklahoma fan base’s massive social media presence or if most college football viewers feel Riley will be that guy this year, but it’s a welcomed sight to see either way.
- With three other Big 12 teams (TCU, Oklahoma State and Baylor) having already postponed their non-conference 2020 season openers originally scheduled for this weekend, OU and Missouri State are both confident that this Saturday’s game will be played without any further hiccups, writes Sooners Wire’s Kegan Reneau.
- FOX college football analyst Joel Klatt ranks Oklahoma as his No. 4 team going into the 2020 season. He’s pretty high on what Riley has accomplished with his previous QBs, and expects Spencer Rattler to be squarely in the hunt for the Heisman Trophy come December.
“They are, along with Alabama right now, really the cream of the crop as it comes to college football.”@JoelKlatt breaks down his Top 5 teams heading into the 2020 season and why @ClemsonFB tops them all at No. 1 pic.twitter.com/hvoZRFuRQ3— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 9, 2020
- Redshirt junior defensive back Tre Norwood and the OU defense are ‘fully bought in’ to Alex Grinch and his ‘Speed D’ process going into Year Two. It’s safe to say the Sooners expect to see even more improvement on that side of the ball this time around.
Around the Sports World
- The Baylor Bears are the third Big 12 team whose 2020 non-conference matchup has been postponed due to COVID-19 related issues. In the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs football team suffered a coronavirus outbreak that spread to 38 players. It is currently unclear if this game will be rescheduled later in the season.
- On Tuesday night, the Oklahoma City Thunder and head coach Billy Donovan mutually agreed to part ways, according to ESPN’s NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.
- ACC men’s basketball coaches have proposed a 2021 NCAA Tournament concept that would include every D-1 team playing hoops this season. It sounds like a wild idea, but I guess I’m down for wild at this point.
- CB Jalen Ramsey has agreed to a five-year, $105 million contract extension with the Los Angeles Rams, officially making him the highest-paid DB in NFL history.
- Former Pittsburgh Steelers LB Ryan Shazier officially announced his retirement from the game on Wednesday. The 28-year-old was a first-round draft pick in 2014 after dominating the Big Ten with the Ohio State Buckeyes, but last played on a football field in Dec. of 2017, when he suffered a severe spinal injury that almost took away his ability to walk permanently. His story is both moving and inspirational, and he’ll forever be a Steeler fan favorite.
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