As we know college football is changing as we speak. Politicians have changed the game with the new and emboldened transfer portal and the money grabbing NIL. These moves with more to come are the price college fans will have to pay for staying with the college game.
Just like we will see players come and go, we will also see head coaches doing the same. Of course for older OU fans, this is nothing new. Back in the day Chuck Fairbanks who had restored our football program to respectability in the late 60’s and early 70’s left us for the New England Patriots. Ironically, he was about the same age as Lincoln Riley at the time.
I had similar feelings of betrayal back then that I had when Lincoln made his announcement. I had a hard time letting those feelings go. At the same time, even as good as Fairbanks was, a better coach was waiting in the wings to take his place. Barry Switzer was hired to take Chuck Fairbanks place and we all know how that turned out…three National Championships.
I know we are all upset at Lincoln for leaving the way he did, but it’s time to move on. USC wanted him in the worst way, and they were going to work until they made that happen. My issue of course is with the recruiting side of this thing; as we know we were all set for the move to the SEC with the top ranked recruiting Class of 2023. That class will be hit hard by this move, but the right hire can minimize the long-term impact on recruiting by hitting the ground running. The new coach will still have a great product to sell recruits. The transfer portal can also help as well.
Here’s another thought about hiring a new head coach…everyone has said that Lincoln needed to hire an offensive coordinator to call plays. The new guy can do just that. We can also hire a new guy that create new energy for the program as we move to the SEC.
Remember what Bud Wilkinson use to say, “things are never as bad as they appear at the time”.