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With a new college football season fast approaching, players are not the only ones under evaluation. Head coaches are analyzed as well. For some, there is immense pressure wearing the headset garnering job security questions. Which coaches are on the hot seat and which are in a favorable position on the spectrum?
Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley is in as good of a place as one can get on rankings. In a compilation of every major college head coach, one through 130, coacheshotseat.com has Riley ranked No. 130 on the list coming out of spring practice. He is locked in as the most secure coach across the college football landscape.
Since coming onto the scene and taking over Oklahoma’s program in 2017, Riley has made a mark. He has notched an overall record of 45-8 and has led the Sooners to four consecutive Big 12 Championships. Not to mention, he has built a reputation as a quarterback whisperer. In his run of dominance, he has produced two Heisman Trophy winners and first overall draft picks, Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, and one runner-up, Jalen Hurts. His latest prodigy, Spencer Rattler has taken the college football world by storm with an effortless release and off-platform throws. Rattler is a Heisman favorite.
Sure, Sooner fans are likely tired of seeing yet another title banner being raised in Norman but no national victory. They are hungry for a coveted national championship. It is one thing to be atop the hierarchy in the BIG 12, and another to beat out an SEC team and advance past the national semifinals.
The Oklahoman described their thoughts on the ranking and placement of Riley.
“I don’t know why Alabama’s Nick Saban or Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is considered warmer than is Riley’s. Maybe it has something to do with expectations, though it’s not like OU fans are thrilled to be routinely bounced in the national semifinals.”
Certainly intriguing that Riley is considered the most secure of all prominent head coaches. Of course, there are frustrations among some fans who have not achieved the ultimate level of success, but what Riley has contributed to not only Oklahoma but to college football in its entirety, cannot be undervalued.
His innovative evolution of the Air Raid has mesmerized on Saturdays. Riley not only maximizes talent on the gridiron but also has a keen eye for recruiting and evaluating talent. He leads by example as all of the legends do, and has created a winning culture. His high expectations only bring out the best in his staff and the players under his leadership.
As a representation of one of the top programs in college football, players and coaches are held to a higher standard. A breach of that standard and loss of trust is unacceptable. Just look at the dismissal of Trejan Bridges, Seth McGowan, and Mikey Henderson. Like everything that happens on and off the field, that situation was linked to Riley as the man in charge. Everything that happens comes back to Riley. Living under constant criticism comes with the job description but would any other coach have handled the situation differently? I think not. But, I digress.
Like every coach among the bottom of the ranking, the Oklahoma administration sees Lincoln Riley as an embodiment of the program’s core beliefs, as a coach, as a man, and as the leader.