The University of Oklahoma has started its search for a new football coach after Lincoln Riley decided to leave for USC.
Athletic director Joe Castiglione and OU administration will need to decide who to hire in the coming days to fill the void left by Riley.
Let’s look at three coaches with NFL ties that Oklahoma could look to hire.
Note: This story does not include other college coaches OU could consider.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that OU has targeted Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury as a possible replacement for Riley.
Kingsbury, 42, is under contract with the Cardinals through the 2022 season.
Kingsbury’s “interest” in Oklahoma could serve as a negotiating ploy considering the Cardinals have the NFC’s best record at 9-2.
If the NFL season ended Tuesday, the Cardinals would have a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Plus, Kingsbury gets to coach Kyler Murray, who was playing at an MVP level before his ankle injury.
Kingsbury and Murray have a history in their relationship.
Years ago, Kingsbury recruited Murray to join his then Texas Tech Red Raiders.
Before transferring to OU, Murray initially played in 2015 at Texas A&M, where Kingsbury had been an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in the 2013 season.
Two unanswerable questions about this whole ordeal:
- What happens to Kingbury’s Arizona bachelor pad if he takes the Oklahoma job?
- If Oklahoma had beaten Oklahoma State on Saturday night and stayed alive for the College Football Playoff, would Riley have taken the USC job?
Oklahoma has targeted Cardinals’ HC Kliff Kingsbury as one of the potential replacements for Lincoln Riley, league sources tell ESPN.
Kingsbury has one year remaining on his contract after this season.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 28, 2021
Who will be the next full time head coach of Oklahoma football? (Bovada)
— Odds Shark (@OddsShark) November 29, 2021
The Jacksonville Jaguars enter Week 13 with a 2-9 record.
Meyer, 57, has had drama in his first season with the Jaguars.
It includes the hiring and firing of strength coach Chris Doyle, allowing Tim Tebow to audition for a tight end spot in the preseason, skipping the team plane home after a 24-21 loss in Week 4 to the Cincinnati Bengals and having a video go viral of a woman who wasn’t his wife dancing on him.
Also, Meyer has been linked to Notre Dame for years.
The Fighting Irish have a vacancy after Brian Kelly took the LSU job.
Meyer could also consider rejoining Ohio State if an NFL team hires current Buckeyes coach Ryan Day.
The Chicago Bears are rumored to have interest in Day, especially considering his connection with quarterback Justin Fields.
Meyer has college coaching experience, winning three national championships: two with Florida and one at Ohio State.
Oklahoma and Texas are scheduled to move from the Big 12 to the SEC on July 1, 2025.
However, Rhule has Big 12 experience, improving Baylor’s record each year from 2017-2019:
- 2017: 1-11
- 2018: 7-6
- 2019: 11-3
Rhule, 46, is in his second season with the Carolina Panthers, compiling a 10-18 record heading into Week 13.
Plus, the Panthers are in last place in the NFC South with a 5-7 record.
During Rhule’s tenure, poor quarterback play has plagued the Panthers.
Perhaps Rhule will want to return to the college game like Nick Saban and Bobby Petrino before him.