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SoonerTimes Home > SoonerTimes > OU Sports > Can Lincoln Riley's plans and goals survive his impatience?

Can Lincoln Riley's plans and goals survive his impatience?
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 Posted: Mon Jan 7th, 2019 01:38 pm


I usually like Horning's stuff, but this appears to be just stirring the pot to watch it boil.

Can Lincoln Riley's plans and goals survive his impatience? 
By Clay Horning | Senior Sports Columnist                
So confident.

So preposterously confident.

Is it well founded?

Does it not matter if it’s well founded because confidence can be its own reward?

Maybe he’s just crazy.

Sometimes a bad thing.

Sometimes not.

Of course, we’re talking about Lincoln Riley, the man who, even with a gun to his head and his life on the line, would have bet on his own team the other night at the Orange Bowl.

“It’s not the result we wanted or expected,” were the first words out of his mouth in his postgame media session and, while every coach might say that, the rest don’t have Riley’s sincerity.

Like, it’s one thing to believe you’re going to win, yet another to be genuinely surprised the best program in college football going on about 10 years now now won instead, yet Riley sounded like that guy.

It’s … what?

No word springs.

Then, before he was finished with his opening postgame statement, he said this:

“We’re going to — we’ve still got a bunch of Big 12 trophies — we’re going to hold that tall skinny one here in a couple years and we’re going to hold it in large part because of the fight from these seniors in the program, all the players, the staff.”

It was an amazing thing to say given that, at that precise moment, among the things he did not know was who will start at quarterback next season, who his defensive coordinator would be next season, nor who else might fill his coaching staff next season.

Still, he was either predicting a national championship in two years — the literal meaning of “a couple” — or he was predicting a national championship very, very soon.

It’s like right now, this offseason, is when Riley’s Sooner era will really begin to be defined.

He’s got two trips to the College Football Playoff in the bag and the’ll never be taken from him.

Yet, he was able to do that without rocking the Sooner boat all that much.

He fired Mike Stoops mid-season, but a good argument can be made it did the Sooners no favors. That letting him go now, postseason, would have been the better competitive decision.

He has now hired Alex Grinch to run the defense. Also, Tim Kish, inside linebackers coach, has announced his retirement.

Is Kerry Cooks likely to stick around? Cooks coaches defensive backs and the Sooner secondary hasn’t been a strength in forever.

Might Grinch want to clean the defensive house and is Riley likely to let him?

Right now, Riley’s making the decisions that will determine where Sooner football goes over the next five seasons, maybe 10, maybe longer.

When Bob Stoops arrived in December of 1998, he uprooted the entire staff. Every time a coordinator went elsewhere to become a head coach, he replaced from within until Mike Stoops returned from Arizona. He didn’t fire a coordinator until letting both Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell go following the 2014 season.

That’s how long it took for Stoops to have to shake up his staff under duress.

Though OU has won four straight Big 12 championships, given the years-long state of its defense, that time is now for Riley.

What’s going to happen?

Who’s he going to be?

Frank Solich, replacing Tom Osborne at Nebraska, actually went 12-1, 10-2, 11-2 in his second, third and fourth seasons to guide the Huskers.

Then he survived a 7-7 season, rebounded to go 9-3 in 2003 and was fired anyway.

Since, he’s gone 106-75 over 14 seasons at Ohio. He has won 10 games only once, yet suffered only two losing seasons, which make him an absolute hero in the MAC.

Osborne, however, replaced a legend himself — Bob Devaney, who won two national championships in 11 seasons — in 1973. He went 255-49-3 and won three national championships.

Could Lincoln Riley be Tom Osborne?

That would be great, right?

Maybe not great enough for Riley, who believes he’s just a couple years away from a national championship.

Osborne didn’t win his first until he’d been in Lincoln for 21 years.

All we really know is Lincoln Riley is a man in a hurry.

Maybe now, we’ll see what he can really do.

Last edited on Mon Jan 7th, 2019 01:38 pm by 47Straight


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 Posted: Mon Jan 7th, 2019 11:49 pm


Confidence is one element of Success.


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 Posted: Tue Jan 8th, 2019 10:44 pm


LR made a huuuge mistake playing a still injured Hollywood....

The honest truth is LR is still in OTJ training.....

New defense May add cover for LR learning curve.....


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 Posted: Wed Jan 9th, 2019 12:14 am


I love that he said "a couple of years." Realistically OU needs a couple. He's going to do it.

It's amazing Bob Stoops only won it once. It's now been 19 years since OU's last title. That's longer than the gulf between 1985 and 2000. Hard to believe.

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