Lincoln Riley’s Oklahoma Sooners just barely defeated Nebraska 23-16 on Saturday afternoon.
Given how bad the Cornhuskers are and have been for several years now, and taking into account how rough Oklahoma looked against Tulane two weeks ago, chatter has re-started once more regarding Riley’s future in Norman.
In the short-term Riley must make a decision on quarterback Spencer Rattler. Long term, however, he has another important choice in front of him.
At this point it’s something of an open secret that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones fancies Riley. He was very much considered a top option for the head coaching spot prior to Mike McCarthy landing the gig, and it’s widely accepted that he probably could’ve had the role if he wanted it.
Not long ago, Sal Paolantonio of ESPN revealed that Riley would likely only leave his current job for the Dallas one.
“Lincoln Riley is happy at Oklahoma,” he said at the time, via USA Today. “He thinks he’s got a good job, he’s making six and a half million dollars a year…if he were interested in going to the NFL, it probably would be to go to the Dallas Cowboys. That is a job that he has been linked to”
ESPN college football insider Paul Finebaum recently offered another perspective, however. In his estimation the fact that Riley hasn’t left yet means he won’t.
“I thought he [would’ve] went to the Cowboys a couple years ago. I was watching ESPN and everybody was, including me, by the way. … He will be there,” Finebaum said on Keyshawn JWill and Zubin (via 247Sports). “I think Lincoln Riley has found his niche. He is one of the great quarterback whispers in recent college football history and I cannot imagine him leaving, especially now that Oklahoma is heading to the SEC.”
As things currently stand, McCarthy is viewed by most sports books as one of the likeliest candidates to be the first coach fired this year. He is already 0-1 on the season, and with a showdown against the LA Chargers set for Sunday, 0-2 feels almost inevitable. In fact there’s a good chance Dallas drops two of its next three.
If McCarthy gets the boot, will Riley really not jump on the opportunity?
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
Yes, the Sooners are 3-0 to start the year. Sure, they stomped an 0-2 WCU squad in dramatic fashion just one week ago. But it’s clear that something about this year’s group just isn’t clicking. Offense, defense – something just isn’t right.
At the moment, Riley’s stock is still incredibly high. A few bad seasons would change that. If the Cowboys job opens up, which it probably will sooner rather than later, there’s a very good chance he won’t let it slip through his fingers again.