Happy Thursday, friends and fans!
No surprise here, but the Oklahoma Sooners top the Big 12 Softball Preseason Coaches’ Poll as the favorites to win the conference heading into the upcoming 2021 season.
Announcing the 2⃣0⃣2⃣1⃣ #Big12SB Preseason Poll ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/jfroL9mlZV— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) January 21, 2021
All on . #Sooners tabbed as @Big12Conference preseason favorites. #ChampionshipMindset » https://t.co/3I2KMAWUhO pic.twitter.com/eQVVZCVGQb— Oklahoma Softball (@OU_Softball) January 21, 2021
Prior to the cancellation of the NCAA Softball season last March, OU was 20-4 and looking to continue its streak of dominance on the diamond. Unfortunately, the pandemic was just about the only thing that could end that run, but soon enough the sport will make its long-anticipated return!
Dating back to the 2011 season, Patty Gasso’s squad is undefeated in its last 54 Big 12 series, and have won eight straight consecutive conference titles in that span.
Stay tuned for more details on the 2021 schedule release that is expected to drop soon, as well as ticket information for the upcoming campaign.
Now for today’s Hot Links! A trip of Sooners earn Heisman candidate praise, K9 continues to receive accolades for an impressive rookie season, Phil Rivers calls it a dadgum career and more!
- For all the excitement that has built around Alex Grinch’s defense in Norman, one player that many people have seemed to forget when looking at the 2021 group is veteran LB Caleb Kelly. Coming off of severe injuries in back-to-back years, the former five-star defender could be an X-factor for the Sooners this fall. OU Insider’s Parker Thune has more.
- Athlon Sports’ Nicholas Ian Allen shared his top 10 Heisman Trophy candidates going into the 2021 college football season, and Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler leads the way as his most likely winner of the prestigious award. Also, keep an eye on the individual campaigns for RB Kennedy Brooks and WR Marvin Mims.
- Check out Baker Mayfield’s amazing highlight reel from his third season as a pro. If he continues to grow and develop his game, he’ll have a real chance of being considered among the top signal callers in today’s game sooner rather than later.
.@bakermayfield's top plays from the 2020 season pic.twitter.com/LaIYo58SQC— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) January 21, 2021
- Speaking of Mayfield, Cleveland Browns GM Andrew Berry has not openly discussed signing his starting QB to a future contract extension, but he does acknowledge the fact that the franchise would not be in the position it’s in now if it weren’t for the former No. 1 overall pick’s play down the stretch of the 2020 NFL season. Just draw up the deal already!
- After a record-breaking first season with the Los Angeles Chargers, former OU LB Kenneth Murray was named to the All-Rookie team by the Pro Football Writers of America.
Congrats to our guy K9 on being named to the @PFWAwriters All-Rookie Team! #SpeedD #OUDNA pic.twitter.com/qojs657pw4— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) January 21, 2021
- Oklahoma men’s gymnastics appears poised for a national championship run after checking in at No. 1 in the land for yet another week. Man, these guys are good. Boomer!
#Sooners hold the No. 1⃣ spot in @CollegeMGym standings and the top spot on five of six events as a team.#GymU » https://t.co/K7hwNr64ls pic.twitter.com/CSA4omXllL— Oklahoma Men's Gym (@OU_MGymnastics) January 20, 2021
Around the Sports World
- The Texas Longhorns have found their next defensive coordinator in former Washington Huskies DC Pete Kwiatkowski. On paper, this is a dynamite hire for the coaching staff Steve Sarkisian is assembling in Austin.
- Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott will cap-off his 11-year run at the end of June, making room for a new head of the western-most Power Five Conference.
- The Tennessee Volunteers have reportedly hired UCF’s Danny White as the next Athletic Director on Rocky Top.
- The Minnesota Twins have reportedly signed former New York Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ to a one-year, $8 million deal.
- On Wednesday, QB Phillip Rivers announced the end of his 17-year pro career. His first 16 seasons were spent with the Los Angeles Chargers franchise (formerly based in San Diego). In his final go around, he led the Indianapolis Colts to an NFL Playoffs appearance earlier this month.
there will never be another.— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) January 20, 2021
thank you for everything, 17. pic.twitter.com/cMZhtX7T70
Follow Crimson & Cream Machine on Twitter!