If you’ve been keeping up with the coaching carousel in college football this year, you know that Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley is one of the top names being mentioned for the LSU coaching job after the Tigers announced they were parting ways with coach Ed Orgeron at the end of this season.
Earlier this month, after LSU announced that Orgeron was out, Riley missed a scheduled news conference and his weekly radio show, which set off chatter that he was interviewing for the LSU job.
Lincoln Riley will NOT be available today as scheduled at his press conference. Outside receivers coach/associate head coach Dennis Simmons will speak in Riley’s place, followed by defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.
The rumors surrounding the flight were debunked not long after though, when it was reported the Riley was actually at practice that morning and not eating gumbo and beignets on a flight to Baton Rouge.
Lincoln Riley has done a lot in a short amount of time as a head coach. But there’s no doubt that him being on the practice field this morning in Norman with his team while also being on a flight to Baton Rouge is the most remarkable accomplishment of his career. Truly amazing.
Riley has, of course, given the typical coach-speak when asked about the possible move. Your “I’m the coach at Oklahoma and we’re not focused on any of the rumors” bullshit, which is exactly what you’d expect even if the contract with LSU had already been signed.
But if he’s trying to ignore all of the speculation about his future, Oklahoma State did their best to make that hard on him during their rivalry week matchup with the Sooners this weekend.
Early in Oklahoma’s meeting with Oklahoma State in Stillwater, viewers quickly noticed the song playing in the stadium was none other than Garth Brooks’ “Callin’ Baton Rouge” – and Twitter was loving it.
If you listen closely in the background — Boone Pickens Stadium is blasting "Calling Baton Rouge".
“Callin’ Baton Rouge” is, of course, a staple for LSU and the Tiger football team at home in Death Valley (and one of the coolest traditions in college football).
The winner of the matchup between #9 Oklahoma and #7 Oklahoma State would get the opportunity to play in the Big 12 championship game, so if Oklahoma State was trying to get in Riley’s head to gain an advantage, it might have worked: The Cowboys came back from being down 33-24 in the fourth quarter to beat the Sooners 37-33.
With Oklahoma making the jump to the SEC, it could be the last time the two programs meet in Stillwater – and if the rumors are true, it may be Riley’s last game as coach at Oklahoma.
No less than 10 well-connected people have text me that they’re hearing there’s merit to the Lincoln Riley to LSU rumors.
I’m skeptical but man a lot of smart people think there’s something to this.
DEVELOPING: #LSU entered the night with a verbal agreement from #Oklahoma Head Coach Lincoln Riley, according to multiple sources. They could meet as early as tomorrow depending on the results of Bedlam.
Of course it was only verbal so things could change, stay tuned.