Hot Links: Freddie Kitchens is now Baker Mayfield’s head coach

According to a report from Chris Mortensen, the Browns have promoted interim OC Freddie Kitchens to head coach.

Happy Hump Day, friends and fans!

Our good friend and contributor Allen Kenney (who also contributes to Athlon) offered his unique and in-depth take on why the Oklahoma Sooners could return to the College Football Playoff for a third season in a row.

Even with the turnover along the offensive line and throughout the defensive coaching staff, as Kenney points out, there are plenty of reasons why Oklahoma should once again be the cream of the crop in the Big 12, as well as one of the better bets to claim a final four spot heading into the postseason.

I speak for myself when I say that I totally believe the defense in 2019 will be much improved from what we all just witnessed — being that there seems to be nowhere to go but up. Part of that comes from the sheer amount of returning experience, while the rest lies in my faith in the hiring of Alex Grinch. If you want more than that, perhaps buy into the application of the law of averages in this instance. The Sooners can’t be at or near the bottom of all major statistical defensive categories forever, right? RIGHT?

Now for some piping Hot Links! There’s some scuttlebutt with Brian Odom, the “What will Kyler Murray do?” saga rages on, playing Mario Kart on a major league screen looks as fun as it sounds and more!

OU Links

  • In a world where hot takes are the norm, Gil Brandt can be described as a breathe of fresh air, simply for the fact that he is actually quite particular about what he chooses to share through social media. So when he says the chance of Kyler Murray returning to play for the Sooners in 2019 is more likely to happen than most assume (as he explained to The Oklahoman’s Joe Mussatto), there’s an above-average amount of weight to his words.

Around the Sports World

  • Alabama QB Jalen Hurts has reportedly entered the NCAA’s transfer portal (which just sounds cool), meaning schools are now allowed to contact him.

  • After suffering a scary-looking head injury in last night’s Thunder-Timberwolves game, Oklahoma City forward Nerlens Noel has been diagnosed with a concussion. Fortunately, nothing skeletal was fractured.

  • From being fired at Texas Tech to briefly joining USC’s staff as OC to becoming the Arizona Cardinals head coach, Kliff Kingsbury’s offseason is going quite well in a short of amount of time.

  • In additional Browns news, Gregg Williams is reportedly not being retained in any capacity.

  • The 2019 college football season is practically around the corner (a kid can dream), so what are the most compelling non-conference matchups fans can look forward to when the festivities finally get underway?
  • You don’t hear about this every day. Colorado State head football coach Mike Bobo declined a $100K raise for the year of 2019 because his Rams went 3-9 last season. His reasoning is based on accountability, and he wants to hold himself to the same standards he holds his players to. Good for you, Coach.
  • Katie Nolan called out a fan months after he sent out a tweet saying he could make a field goal that a college kicker couldn’t. The rest pretty much went exactly how I imagined it, and if you’re into poetic justice, this is basically that.

  • Playing Mario Kart on the Kansas City Royals’ big screen? Uh, yeah, sign me up yesterday, please. In fact, hook me up with some noise-canceling head phones and Elder Scrolls, and I’m in my happy place.

Stick to Sports!

  • Hyundai is building a car that can walk on four legs. You have my attention, Hyundai.

  • Speaking of The Elder Scrolls, an official cookbook is being published this March, and will feature recipes and cuisines from the many regions and people of the fictional Tamriel. If you’re familiar with the gaming series, you should know the sweet roll is perhaps the most coveted delicacy in all the land, and should anybody steal your sweet roll, the impending judgment shall be decisive and swift.

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Source: Crimson and Cream Machine