It hasn’t taken long for Lincoln Riley to cement his spot among college football’s elite head coaches. Replacing a legend in Bob Stoops, Riley has taken the Sooners to back-to-back College Football Playoffs, helping to develop two straight Heisman winners and No. 1 picks in the process.
Unsurprisingly, Riley is considered the best there is in his conference. That isn’t to say that the Big 12 doesn’t have some serious coaching talent.
Texas’ Tom Herman has the Longhorns on track to return to prominence. Gary Patterson is one of the sport’s stalwarts, and Mike Gundy has turned a program that doesn’t have the resources of its Texas rivals into a consistent contender.
Baylor’s Matt Rhule and Iowa State’s Matt Campbell are also rising stars. However, it is hard to deny that Riley has the Sooners at a different level.
In a new ranking of Big 12 head coaches, Lincoln Riley comes in at No. 1.
From CBS Sports:
He’s not the most experienced coach, but he was more than ready for his chance when he took over the Sooners two years ago. In that short span, Riley has coached Oklahoma to a pair of College Football Playoff appearances. He also developed Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray into Heisman Trophy winners and No. 1 overall picks in the NFL Draft. Lofty standards are the norm at a place like Oklahoma, but every fan has to be thrilled with what Riley has done. Two years or 20, he’s earned the top spot among Big 12 coaches.
In two years, Riley is 24-4, with a 16-2 mark in Big 12 play. At just 35, the only thing at this level has has left to prove is a national championship.