With the end of most NFL teams seasons, comes the search for different leadership. This year, Big 12 coaches are being highly sought after.
The war on Big 12 coaches- who’s gone?
Before I begin, you must know where we are at in this situation. The Giants, Panthers, Browns, and Cowboys are all in the process of finding a new head coach. No big deal, right? Well, sources coming from the organizations have publicly stated that they are looking for a big 12 coach to run their programs. By process of elimination, it’s most likely coming down to two guys: Lincoln Riley (Oklahoma), and Matt Rhule (Baylor).
Matt Rhule has shown he is nothing less than impressive as a head coach. Give him credit, or don’t, but his success is shown in the stats and the new culture surrounding the Baylor football program. He came in at a disgustingly embarrassing time, and was forced to clean up a classic Art Briles catastrophe. This alone should get him credit, but in 2017 the Bears were a 1-11 team, and this year they became 11-2. While, some might think he wouldn’t leave Baylor at its peak, he almost left for the NFL last year when the Jets offered him the head coaching position. Rhule declined the offer when the Jets told him he could not hire his own coaching staff. He’s already discussed the possibility of leaving on the Adam Schefter podcast, before he had multiple interests.
Baylor’s Matt Rhule is prominent in Giants coach search, per sources. He served as assistant under Tom Coughlin in 2012.— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) December 30, 2019
Jets job was Rhule’s to turn down last season. He said no to Jets.
Source to me with knowledge of @BUFootball HC Matt Rhule and possible #Cowboys consideration: 'If you're looking for a guy to change a program, Rhule is the real deal.' Full story to come ... pic.twitter.com/Lc6lno5gi1— mike fisher ✭ (@fishsports) December 30, 2019
Matt Rhule interviewing with Carolina.— Brandon Olsen (@WNS_Brandon) December 29, 2019
He’s said that in order for him to leave Baylor, the situation would have to be ideal. Ideal includes a QB in place and uniformity throughout the staff for him.
Unless Carolina keeps Cam, I don’t think they fit that first requirement.
My take? If he goes anywhere, it will be to his home state, New York, with the Giants. I think Matt Rhule has now come across too many possibilities to not take an NFL job. Knowing why he didn’t go with the Jets last year; I wouldn’t be shocked if he has the same request at any job he interviews for. Will this make or break him? We’ll have to see as the conversations progress in the upcoming weeks.
Lincoln Riley is definitely in the conversation for the Cowboys. Even though the Sooners performance in the CFP semifinals was less than acceptable, this shouldn’t be the reason for NFL teams to rule him out. Riley has reached the playoffs in 3 seasons with Oklahoma, and even has a personal relationship with the Jones’ already.
From @NFLGameDay: The #Cowboys won't fire Jason Garrett midseason, but why is #Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley a name to watch if they do? The Jones family already is close to Riley thanks to the courtship of walk-on QB John Stephen Jones... who ended up at Arkansas. pic.twitter.com/qgUgSexs9h— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 1, 2019
My take? Lincoln Riley’s situation is a little trickier to decipher than Rhule’s. Riley has a strong love and dedication to the Sooners, and has spent some serious time there recruiting and creating relationships. It’s all really going to come down to whether or not he is ready for a new chapter, and less job security. The Cowboys fanbase and ownership are going to expect a winning season right out of the gate, and with no NFL experience is that something Lincoln Riley is prepared to give them?
As always until its official, expect the unexpected. These 2 big 12 coaches are being considered, but there are even rumors floating around that Urban Meyer and Jason Witten could take the Cowboys head coaching spot. Dez Bryant even volunteered himself for the position, so it really is up for grabs at this point.
I think I would do a great job if I was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys no joke— Dez Bryant (@DezBryant) December 30, 2019
Recapping the CFP- are we shocked?
Like I briefly mentioned earlier, Oklahoma’s performance was subpar. I expected a fair fight until the second half, so I was shocked in that sense, but I expected LSU to dominate. Joe Burrow proved to the world that if they had doubts about his Heisman, they should probably sit down now. Pitted against Jalen Hurts it’s hard to even believe they were up against each other.
Just for comparison…
- 29/39 (CMP/ATT)
- 74.4 (CMP %)
- 493 (YDS)
- 12.6 (AVG)
- 7 (TD)
- 0 (INT)
- 15/31 (CMP/ATT)
- 48.4 (CMP %)
- 217 (YDS)
- 7.0 (AVG)
- 0 (TD)
- 1 (INT)
There’s really not much to say about that game except that. The Sooners were out-defensed and out-scored.
The Clemson and Ohio State game has some mixed emotions associated with it. Ohio State Coach, Ryan Day, post-game explained his thoughts and he primarily focused on the play calling. While that targeting call is indisputable (the launch and head lowering are targeting by definition), I could understand where he’s coming from on the reverse fumble that erased an Ohio State touchdown.
Left foot, right foot, left foot drag that’s a catch. Well, in slow motion, yes, in real time the call was much less clear. I was going back and forth until Dan Orlovsky explained this call perfectly on desk Monday morning- while the 2 feet rule would have been acceptable as he was going out of bounds on the sideline, a catch has to have full control of the ball and its motion. The referee cleared this call up after the game.
"After the video, instant replay in the stadium as well as back at the video center, they both looked at it slow and fast and determined that when he moved, the ball was becoming loose in his hands and he did not complete the process of the catch." 2/2— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) December 29, 2019
In all honesty, that kind of controversial call is going to upset people who wanted Ohio State to win. I had Clemson, so in my utmost professional opinion, it was an incomplete catch.
Clemson proved they deserved to be a topic of discussion this season, but how do I expect them to fare against LSU? To put it simply, not well. LSU is having a powerhouse year, not that I doubt Clemson’s talent, but I can’t see them overpowering this explosive offense or defense that LSU has maintained all year.
How did the curse of the no. 1 fare?
For 5 weeks straight, the no. 1 team has fallen once they got to the top. Last week, we saw it happen with Kansas in a 56-55 loss to no. 18 Villanova. Gonzaga stepped up to that spot this past week, and were going to have to break the curse if they wanted to stay there. I can say with pride that they were able to win, handily. Gonzaga gave the Detroit Titans their 12th loss, beating them 93-72 at home. Gonzaga will play a conference game against the 8-7 Portland on Thursday.