Odds and ends from around the online world:
*Big 12 blogger Ian Boyd offers up a fairly bullish evaluation of Oklahoma's recruiting haul from 2016. He uses a scheme-centric rubric that assesses how well teams met their needs, which accounts for its silver-lining flavor.
*Howard Bryant of ESPN wrote arguably the best commentary on the recent Peyton Manning news that I came across. I generally balk at blanket criticisms of "the media" as if it's a monolith, but I felt like his deconstruction was pretty on point. (The point in the penultimate paragraph about the sketchiness of police reports seemed tacked on, but it touched on something that has always irked me.)
I vaguely recall reports about allegations against Manning from back when, but I honestly don't remember hearing anything about the specifics. To me, it speaks to just how well the Manning family kept the incident out of the public eye.
*Jason Kersey mentioned on our podcast last week that he was pretty stoked about a piece he had done on OU football staffer Chip Viney, who has played an invaluable role for the Sooners behind the scenes. The profile ran on Sunday, and if you haven't read it yet, I'd rectify that.
*I wouldn't say that Charlie Strong's assistant hires this offseason have blown me away.
*Our buddy Bill Connelly is working on a new book and is enlisting the help of the masses. Check out his Kickstarter page for more information and throw some scratch his way if you're so inclined.
*Recommendations and reviews:
- Got a chance to binge "Mr. Robot" a couple weeks back while snowed in. Fantastic show that maintained an ability to surprise throughout without feeling cheap. Pacing and performances are really good. Grade: A-.
- Another thumbs up for "The Big Short." Have to commend Adam McKay for how well he translated a book about high finance to the screen. Christian Bale and Steve Carell nailed their misanthropic characters, and the script captured the ultimate hollowness of what should have been staggering achievements for the protagonists. Grade: A-.
- Felt letdown by "Ex Machina," which was supposedly one of the sleepers of 2015. The execution of the premise was good, but it wasn't as original – or as smart – as it wants you to believe. Grade: B.
- I'm interested to see if "Liam Neeson tears shit up" remains a viable film formula. "Taken 3" was straight appalling, and "Run All Night" wasn't much better.