Lincoln Riley is reportedly leaving Oklahoma for USC after five years in charge of the Sooners program and will look to rebuild a once-proud Trojans teams.
Now, Oklahoma is one of the most attractive coaching vacancies on the college football market. Along with LSU, it represents a Power 5 coaching opportunity and a team that has routinely been in the College Football Playoff discussion. Yes, all of the big names on the market will be interested in the Oklahoma job.
However, the Sooners have their eyes on an NFL coach that’s in currently charge of one of the NFL’s best teams.
Wait — hold on a minute. What? It’s true. . . reportedly. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury is being targeted by Oklahoma as a potential replacement for Riley.
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
Look, Schefter could be right that the Sooners want Kingsbury. He is a young, smart offensive mind who somewhat fits the Riley mold. But wanting Kingsbury and having even a remote chance at him are two different things.
The Cardinals are in the midst of a 9-2 season. They have the NFL’s best record and Kyler Murray, who was Kingsbury’s hand-selected, No. 1 overall pick at quarterback. Why would the 42-year-old want to leave Arizona at this point?
Well, he’s in the last year of his deal, right? Actually, not quite. He signed a four-year contract with the Cardinals in 2019. That would mean he’s under contract through 2022. And as it turns out, Kingsbury’s deal has a fifth-year team option that Arizona would surely exercise if the team continues to find this type of success.
Could Schefter be aware of an out in Kingsbury’s contract that allows him to wriggle free early? Maybe, but it seems more likely that Darren Urban, who has covered the Cardinals for 22 years, has the details right.
This is the time of year that coaching rumors fly around fast and furious. Remember when the Browns were going to interview Condoleezza Rice to be their head coach? Or what about literally 24 hours ago when everyone and their mother was speculating that Lincoln Riley was going to LSU?
Maybe if the Cardinals were no good, Kingsbury would consider pulling a Bobby Petrino. But as long as things are going well in the desert, Kingsbury isn’t going to want to leave. And Schefter even seemed to acknowledge that in a subsequent tweet.
For those that don’t know, those are pictures of Kingsbury’s house. Yeah, I know. Pretty nice.
So, Cardinals fans, don’t fret. Oklahoma may want Kingsbury. It could even make him a massive offer.
But he’s not going anywhere. He’s comfortable in Arizona. And besides, it’s not like he was that good of a college coach anyway.