Happy Monday, friends and fans!
At long last, the Preseason AP Top 25 Poll was released on Monday, revealing that the Oklahoma Sooners will officially open the 2021 college football season as the No. 2 ranked team in the nation. Impressively, OU received six first-place votes, which tied with Clemson for second-most behind the reigning national champs in Alabama.
Also representing the Big 12 Conference in this preseason poll are the Iowa State Cyclones at No. 7 and the Texas Longhorns at No. 21. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma State Cowboys just barely missed the cut at No. 26, unofficially.
If you’d like to check out the AP Top 25 in its entirety, follow this link.
Now onto this week’s Monday edition of Hot Links! The home opener receives a kick-off time, J-Hall and B-Will are starting their own OU pod, Carli Lloyd steps away from international play and more!
- The kick-off time for Oklahoma’s 2021 home opener against the Western Carolina Catamounts has officially been set for 6 p.m. CT on Saturday, Sept. 11. I suppose it’s some sort of poetic justice that the only time the Sooners ever play in prime time is on pay-per-view. (I’m just kidding... kind of)
- The staff over at ESPN recently dished on why Spencer Rattler is not only OU’s top Heisman Trophy candidate but also the national frontrunner for the prestigious individual award.
- Offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh is typically a man of few words, but when asked about how this year’s group stacks up with some of his best at Oklahoma, he hasn’t been too shy to sing their praises. The Tulsa World’s Eric Bailey has more.
- Current Sooner H-backs Jeremiah Hall and Brayden Willis are taking advantage of the new NIL rules by starting up their own podcast. I think something like this has fantastic potential, not just for these two exemplary student-athletes but for student-athletes everywhere. Good luck, gentlemen! Boomer!
Ya’ll know we had to get in on NIL with the little bit of time we got left!! My boy @Bwillis_11 and I are starting up a podcast about all things #Sooner football and more!! Comment some topics you’d like to hear on the show. I promise we’ll get to every one. Trailer drops soon.. pic.twitter.com/SqFHpttZVW— Jeremiah Hall (@Jeremiah_Hall27) August 16, 2021
- For a limited time only, Oklahoma is making select merchandise depicting the iconic disco OU logo available for purchase ahead of the upcoming meeting with the Nebraska Cornhuskers as part of the 50th anniversary of the ‘Game of the Century’.
An iconic logo for an iconic era.— Oklahoma Sooners (@OU_Athletics) August 16, 2021
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the , we are excited to present a special OU-Nebraska collection! Available for a limited time only.#BeatNebraska #BoomerSooner
Around the Sports World
- The Atlanta Falcons are reportedly the first team to boast a one hundred percent COVID-19 vaccination rate among all players.
- Two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion Carli Lloyd has formally announced her retirement from international play and eventually from the sport as a whole. Congratulations on the legendary career, Carli!
A legendary career comes to a close @CarliLloyd has announced her retirement. The soon-to-be announced four #USWNT fall friendlies will be her final matches in a U.S. uniform, closing out a remarkable career. She will finish the @NWSL season with @GothamFC.— U.S. Soccer WNT (@USWNT) August 16, 2021
- Super Bowl LIV MVP Patrick Mahomes recently unveiled his first signature shoe — the Mahomes 1 Impact FLX by Adidas. These kicks are scientifically proven (not really) to make you perform at the level of a future Hall of Fame quarterback when doing even the most mundane activities. Yeah you read that right. Instant baller.
I’ve dreamed about this since I was a little kid. Years in the making, excited to officially unveil my signature shoe — Mahomes 1 Impact FLX. This is just the beginning. Go Time 8.23.21 ⏰ @adidasFballUS pic.twitter.com/XkOAFAubyy— Patrick Mahomes II (@PatrickMahomes) August 16, 2021
- The Miami Heat have signed 41-year-old forward Udonis Haslem to a one-year, $2.6 million contract to keep him in South Beach for his 19th NBA season.
- After making a miraculous comeback following a devastating leg injury, retired NFL QB Alex Smith has agreed to join ESPN as an analyst. Well done, my guy.
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