In the hours after Lincoln Riley made his stunning move from Norman to Los Angeles, many people searched to find a historical precedent. Was this Bret Bielema from Wisconsin to Arkansas? Lane Kiffin from Tennessee to USC?
No, this was Urban Meyer to Ohio State. This was Nick Saban to Alabama.
Riley hasn't won a national championship like those two had, but the 38-year-old may very well get there at USC.
In one stroke of the pen, Riley electrified a long-dormant USC brand and ignited the entire Pac-12 to a level it hadn't been since Chip Kelly's heyday at Oregon. It's too soon to say USC is back, but USC is sexy again.
And then you have Oklahoma.
It had been nearly 65 years since a Sooner coach had left for another college job, and Riley's departure triggered an existential crisis no one in crimson and cream has ever dealt with before. In one moment, Oklahoma had the No. 1 recruiting class in the class of 2023, the group that would serve as the backbone for the Sooners to instantly compete for the SEC title.
And then it was gone. The 2023 class was (and is) in the process of vanishing, and now Oklahoma is forced to grapple with a future where its peers are not Alabama and Georgia, but Auburn, Ole Miss and the rest of the league's middle class. "We're Nebraska," was a sentence I heard multiple Sooners utter with my own two years on Nov. 28, 2021.
But all is not lost. Oklahoma is one of the best jobs in the country, and it's one of the best jobs in the country for a reason. The Sooners have been winners for nearly seven decades unbroken, and they win because they hire the right coaches and let them coach.
There are many coaches within the Sooner family who can step in and compete from day one, but the FootballScoop staff explains why Brent Venables appears to be the guy to step in and might just be that guy.
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