When pristine Notre Dame the last sacred barrier of DI football left standing loses its coach to LSU that should tell all of us we need to collectively take a step back from the abyss.
This Brian Kelly move occurring less than 24 hours after the Lincoln Riley press conference in LA should make all of us, especially the SEC bound Sooners, consider where the sport is headed.
The sport for the moment looks like it headed towards a massive sewer system is my take.
While I still think looking down the road three years the Sooners made the right move heading to the SEC the manner in which they executed the exit wasn’t first class.
And that’s exactly why I’m cutting Lincoln Riley some slack on his exit to USC.
Lincoln Riley merely mirrored his exit to LA in the same manner OU executed its exit to the SEC… as in not showing any concern for the eight programs they would be leaving behind to fend for themselves.
This is America. We have the freedoms to make choices. No one should be forced to work for an employer they don’t want to work for. That’s what Lincoln Riley did. But in retrospect he should have come clean with OU back in September when this courtship began right after the firing of Clay Helton.
I would hope as we collectively rethink college football we all take the time to rethink what has transpired with the OU move to the SEC, the Lincoln Riley move to USC, and Brian Kelly’s move from Notre Dame to LSU.
What these three moves show without a doubt is this is all about money, has always been about money, and will probably get even worse moving forward in the world of college football. If Lincoln had done the right thing and come clean then…at the least OU wouldn’t be sweating this recruiting class. As far as players leaving on the transfer portal I would think with the right hire OU will do just fine replacing any roster holes on the portal itself.
We live in a completely different age of college football. None of us wearing crimson should be all that judgemental. We just reaped what we sowed and, yeah, karma can be a bitch.
Maybe this was a learning moment for all of us.
Notre Dame a team which could in reality still make the playoff now has no head coach. OU a team which could still be in the playoff hunt if they’d scored on their last possession in Bedlam has no head coach minus interim Bob Stoops.
Is there any place in this equation that the players and their familes who have fought through the challenges of managing Covid away from home were even considered by Lincoln Riley or Brian Kelly?
Did any of the players’ seasons even come into play in all of this? Doesn’t appear to be the case.
Should Georgia’s Kirby Smart’s agent now demand his contract match that of Lincoln Riley’s? Should Nick Saban’s agent do the same?
Collectively…Lincoln Riley and Brian Kelly have never won a college playoff game and yet both now stand at the top of their profession’s payroll mountain.
And consider this…. LSU still has $19 million in buyout dollars to repay Ed Ogeron. USC has $10 million they owe Clay Helton and another $4.5 million they owe OU for Riley’s buyout.
In a word this is INSANE. This is the new new in college football.
But I’m relatively calm. I learned quite a bit from the Kevin Durant departure to Oakland.
The good news for OU is they have an iconic program with Joe C and Bob Stoops manning the selection process for the next coach.
Okay …so let’s scatch out Brian Kelly from my top five list and I’m going to do this… I’m going to assume Joe C has his list down to three at this point.
I’m going 1 Brent Venables, 2 Dave Aranda, 3 Luke Fickell, 4 Lane Kiffin. So all four on my final four minus Fickell have previous ties to an SEC program assuming as I do that Clemson in football is basically an SEC program. Mark Stoops, Matt Campbell, and Shane Beamer didn’t make my final four.
One wild card I haven’t mentioned is Matt Ruhle with the Carolina Panthers who was the coach who rebuilt Baylor after the Art Briles mess. He would be a great choice, but I don’t know if he could be put in place before the signing day deadline. OU needs to have this done I would think maybe right before the Committee names the Final Four on Sunday. As in winning the week-end news/sports cycle in a positive way.