CBS Sports Ranks Lincoln Riley No. 3

John. E. Hoover

Lincoln Riley is the best college football coach in the nation not named Nick Saban or Dabo Swinney.

So say the rankings this week of CBS Sports, which ranked the Oklahoma coach third nationally behind two coaches who have combined to win eight national championships.

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Riley is up one spot from CBS Sports’ 2019 list.

“His Oklahoma teams have yet to break through with a win in a CFP game, but you can’t ignore the fact he’s led the Sooners to the playoff in each of his three seasons,” writes Tom Fornelli. “He’s one of only four coaches to have coached in at least three CFP games. Two of those other three are ranked ahead of him on this list, and the other one is no longer coaching (Urban Meyer). That explains why he’s ranked so high here, but he’s going to have a difficult time maintaining this position if his success in the Big 12 doesn’t start translating to the national stage as well.”

Riley ranks ahead of LSU’s Ed Orgeron (No. 4), who won their head-to-head playoff meeting in the Peach Bowl last year, 63-28. He also ranks ahead of Georgia’s Kirby Smart (No. 5), who won their head-to-head playoff meeting in the Rose Bowl in 2017-18, 54-48 in overtime.

Three other Big 12 Conference coaches are ranked in CBS Sports’ Top 25: Oklahoma State’s Mike Gundy (No. 13), TCU’s Gary Patterson (No. 16) and Iowa State’s Matt Campbell (No. 25).

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