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Oklahoma Football: Horns down for the holidays

Happy Friday, friends and fans!

For the first time in any of our lives (I’m assuming none of you are older than 115), the Oklahoma Sooners are going to play the Texas Longhorns for a second time in the same season. With all that’s on the line in this one, plus the fact that it’s the first Red River rematch in the last century, it’s setting up to be an instant classic. Of course, the result will largely determine how each fan base feels about that following the final whistle.

So before this one plays out, how about a look back on some of the greatest OU-Texas games in the rivalry’s history.

Sports Illustrated’s Michael Shapiro (a UT grad) compiled his top five, and not surprisingly, only one of the games on his list resulted in an Oklahoma victory. Still, the list is relatively solid. Sooner fans, I’d love to know which RRS games are your all-time favorites!

Now onto this week’s Friday edition of Hot Links! Bill Bedenbaugh’s name is picking up steam in coaching searches, two Sooner O-linemen are head to the Senior Bowl, Matt Wells is the newest Red Raider lead man and more!

  • How do Oklahoma and Texas compare to each other in the running and passing game, and who has the edge in special teams?
  • Kyler Murray has been named one of 11 finalists for the Manning Award, given to the nation’s top quarterback. It should be a fun award season for K1 when it’s all said and done.
  • Kyler Murray actually played in what is now AT&T Stadium five times in high school, and he won every single time. Now he returns to the familiar Jerry World, but with his experience and confidence, you better believe he’ll be ready for the moment.
  • Bill Bedenbaugh has been arguably the most impactful hire Oklahoma has made outside of Lincoln Riley this decade. His offensive lines have been among the best in the nation on a yearly basis, and he develops his guys into All-Conference, All-Americans and pros regularly. It should be no surprise that schools are starting to consider him for coaching vacancies. Anybody associated with Riley’s offense should, in all honesty.
  • Offensive linemen Ben Powers and Dru Samia have both accepted invitations to the Reese’s Senior Bowl. There, they’ll be able to showcase their skills against the top senior talents in the nation as they prepare for the 2019 NFL Draft. Congrats, you guys!
  • Despite the defensive struggles for the majority of the season, there are a maximum of three games left on a season that still has a chance to go the distance. For fans, it’s okay to look ahead and dream a little, because no matter what, there’s not much left on the slate.
  • For a while, it looked like Caleb Kelly was going to redshirt in 2018, but the coaches continued to use him more and more. Now he’s looking a lot more like the five-star player he was listed as coming out of high school, and his impact on the field is game-changing.
  • The perpetual chip on Baker Mayfield’s shoulder is part of what made him one of the greatest players to ever make Norman his home, and now that he’s finding his way in the NFL, both the league and the Cleveland Browns are better for it.
  • In times of preposterous injustice such as what has been shown by the Big 12 Conference this week, Oklahomans everywhere are uniting to stand up against the horns from the south. Horns down for the holidays, y’all.
  • If Barry Switzer says ‘horns down’ is right and should not be punished, you better pay attention, Big 12 Conference. He is the King, after all.
  • We’re now less than 24 hours away from kicking off the Big 12 Championship Game, so don’t forget to check out the 10th episode of the Oklahoma Breakdown Podcast before the fireworks begin. Burnt Orange Nation’s Wescott Eberts joined Jack and Matt to discuss the rematch between the Red River rivals. As always, you can expect the conversation to be full of great analysis and good times. Heads up, there’s a bit of NSFW language.
  • In case you missed it, do yourself a favor and read up on the Q&A between Crimson & Cream Machine and Burnt Orange Nation.
  • Texas Tech has hired Utah State’s Matt Wells as head coach. The Aggies’ offense under Wells was one of the most dynamic in the nation, but in the Mountain West, USU mostly flew under the national radar.
  • This story made me feel old real quick. It seems like just yesterday I was watching Tom Hanks dancing on a giant keyboard, now he’s apparently old enough to play Geppetto in an upcoming live-action ‘Pinocchio’ film. If you recall, Geppetto is the elderly carpenter who creates a puppet. Of course, that puppet then comes to life as Pinocchio. Hanks’ casting is not yet official, but in my opinion, he’s the best Disney could ever dream of securing. Go get your man, Mickey!

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