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Despite the Situation with LSU, Oklahoma Fans Should Be Happy to Have Lincoln Riley

Even with Coach Riley taking quite a while to proclaim his allegiance to Oklahoma, fans of the Sooners should be happy to keep their coach.

Oklahoma fans, be happy. Be very happy. Take a deep breath. Now, onto the conversation at hand.

Yes, LSU wanted to see Lincoln Riley in Baton Rouge. Yes, it’s hard to imagine losing your coach. That’s just life in big-time college football though. To that end, it appears that at least for now, Oklahoma will keep it's Head Coach.

Here’s the bottom line statement from Coach Riley regarding the LSU Head Coaching vacancy from Oklahoma State postgame press conference.

“Let me stop you right there. I’m not going to be the next (Head) Coach at LSU. Next question.”

Good for Coach Riley in squelching the situation from escalating further. With that in mind, these rumors have been swirling for quite some time.

It’s natural for Oklahoma fans to wonder what’s been going on. Questions have been on the minds of many people, Oklahoma fans most notably.

What took you so long?

Sure, he could have said something earlier. Maybe Coach Riley was intrigued, at least at some point, about the LSU job. Nobody is ever going to know outside of Coach Riley’s own household and his agent.

That’s how college football works now, and it’s been that way for decades. Not likely to change either. Keep in mind that money also matters.

Coach Riley or any other coach that’s being offered 12 million dollars per year to leave the University of Oklahoma or any other coaching position would be foolish to not at least listen.

Say that number to yourself. 12 million. Now, a few additional points.

Could Coach Riley have come out and said something much earlier?

Yes. That’s probably concerning for Oklahoma fans, but there’s nothing any fan of the Sooners can do about it. Opinion’s vary, but Coach Riley was probably at least intrigued by the notion of being the LSU Head Football Coach.

It’s a great head coaching position with about as easy a time of attracting talent as any school in the country. That alone makes LSU a great situation for any potential coaching candidate.

Hard to blame him, or anyone else, for at least considering the LSU job.

And next year?

Again, he’s a coveted coach. That’s going to be the case every single year, literally, as long as Coach Riley wants to be employed by the University of Oklahoma or any other school or NFL franchise.

Oklahoma fans should be happy about that, at least from the perspective of he’s winning games which in turn makes other schools (or the Dallas Cowboys) be interested in his services.

Agents are always looking for ways to increase the value of their clients. It’s what they do. Next year, some other coaching jobs will open up. Coach Riley will once again be in the conversation for one or more of those jobs, too.

The alternative is Oklahoma is losing and schools do not want Coach Riley. In short, there’s no convenient way for Oklahoma fans to see Coach Riley’s name left off the wish lists of respective schools.

Should Oklahoma Fans Be Happy Now?

Absolutely.

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At the very least, Sooners fans have Coach Riley for another year, at minimum. Perhaps he stays 20 more years. Who knows? There’s something else to consider as well.

Even with the 37-33 loss to Oklahoma State in “Bedlam” last night, Coach Riley is now 55-10 as the Head Coach of the Sooners. He took over in Norman, Okla. in 2017. That’s a fantastic record. Few schools can match what Oklahoma accomplished during that same time frame.

Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy with Oklahoma Head Coach Lincoln Riley

Oklahoma State Head Coach Mike Gundy with Oklahoma Head Coach Lincoln Riley

Sooners everywhere should be happy with the state of the program.

Coach Riley’s Future

He’s one of the best coaches in the college football ranks. He earned the right to be respected even if he did listen to overtures from LSU, or if he listens to future overtures from programs next season and beyond.

If he ends up leaving at some point, so be it. Until and “if” that ever happens, the University of Oklahoma is in good hands with Coach Riley running its Football program.

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