That’s why OU athletic director Joe Castiglione is likely to have a talent pool of finalists compiled on Sunday night. Joe C is great to work with and OU is great to work there. The first order of business was to hire someone who could jump in and re-hire the defenders Caleb Williams while completing the enrollment class of 2022.
That would suggest someone young and with a good track record, preferably a sitting head coach.
Here are the most suitable picks for Sooners, coming from College football The knockouts run for the top two spots on the coaching carousel in a span of less than 24 hours.
Josh Heupel, Tennessee coach: Knoxville would melt if Heupel pulled a Kiffin Lane and left after a season, but Heupel remains a favorite at Norman, who played quarterback for the last Oklahoma national championship team in 2000. He cut his coaching teeth. His coaching career as the Sooners offensive coordinator and quarterback coach helped develop Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford. However, Heupel was eventually fired by Bob Stoops in 2014 and replaced by Riley. It is believed that there is some bad blood coming from that move, and with Stoops being the interim coach, that could be a glitch. That shooting put Heupel on his course to UCF where he was successful before finally making it to the SEC and suddenly becoming a hot commodity again. The Volunteers won 4-4 in this year’s SEC game, but all of their losses went to the teams ranked at the time of kick-off.
Brent Venables, Clemson Defensive coordinator: You’ve read Venables’ name in this space before, but this could be a job that could lead the veteran to ditch Clemson even though he’d turned down several schools before. Venables was Stoops’ defensive coordinator from 1999 to 2011 and also has a championship ring from the 2000 season. He’s only 50. With Clemson “slipping” to 9-3 this season, there is Maybe it’s time for Venables to get up.
Mario Cristobal, Oregon coach: You have to call the best trainer of the Pac-12 with an upward trajectory. Cristobal’s name appeared at Florida and LSU. He’s had the Ducks on the playoff hunt for most of the season and still owns one of the most important wins of 2021 (at Ohio State). Cristobal recruits like a madman and is responsible for bringing some great talent out of Southern California. Possibly a third consecutive Pac-12 title this week.
Dave Aranda, Baylor coach: Aranda is expected to sign the extension at some point shortly after Saturday’s Big 12 Championship Game. But will Riley’s departure change the math for a Big 12 Coach of the Year nominee?
Mark breakpoints, Kentucky coach: Bob’s brother has a point. What Mark has achieved in the brutal SEC is admirable (58-53 in nine seasons). Mark has the same defensive abilities as his brother. It will be interesting to see what types of offensive players he can bring with him as the organizers transition to the SEC.
Luke Fickell, Cincinnati coach: Another call you must make if you are Castiglione. Fickell gets the Bearcats a win from a CFP berth. He’s a more developed coach, which may stand in the way of him on his recruiting path, but how do you not contact the favorite to be the national coach of the year? Rumor has it that Fickell is intent on staying in Cincinnati, but as a Midwestern lad, Oklahoma could be a more appealing option than USC has ever been.
Matt Campbell, State of Iowa coach: Who knows how much Campbell was involved in USC? You have to think Campbell might be motivated to leave after the best team he had at Iowa State lost 7-5 so far. One question arises: Can Campbell keep the great West Coast full-backs at home?
Lane Kiffin, Ole Miss coach: Look, everything’s on the table. Kiffin left Tennessee after a year. Why not leave Ole Miss after two? Kiffin trains and recruits in Southern California, so he’s likely to retain some of the recruits Riley can recruit. Bonus: Lane will stay in the SEC. Final.
Kliff Kingsbury, Arizona Cardinals coach: Please tell me why a NFL Is the coach with (supposedly) the best player in the league (Kyler Murray, from Oklahoma, by the way) leaving now? Kingsbury knows the NFL better than he knows what recruiting has become with its name and image and likability and transfer portal. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Sunday that the OU has “targeted” Kingsbury as a candidate. I suppose you have to make that call if you’re the Sooners, but the Cardinals coach may not answer it, and the report is probably how Kingsbury got a raise.
https://www.cbssports.com/college-football/news/oklahoma-coaching-search-mario-cristobal-josh-heupel-brent-venables-top-candidates-to-replace-lincoln-riley/ Oklahoma coach search: Mario Cristobal, Josh Heupel, Brent Venables top contenders to replace Lincoln Riley