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Candidates for Oklahoma’s vacant head coaching spot | College Football Enquirer

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  • Brent Venables
    Brent Venables
    American football player and coach
  • Mark Stoops
    American football player and coach
  • Bob Stoops
    Bob Stoops
    American football coach
  • Lincoln Riley
    Lincoln Riley
    American football player and coach of LSU

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss possible candidates for the Oklahoma head coaching job in the wake of Lincoln Riley’s departure for USC.

Video Transcript

DAN WETZEL: All right, let's go to Oklahoma. They've got signs calling Lincoln Riley a traitor on campus. The transfer portal is full, the Dr. Pepper transfer portal. Everyone's running down to that thing. Lincoln Riley is out in California basking in the sun, feeling it. It's a little ugly.

Where does Oklahoma go? A lot of discussion. I've heard the buzz on Brent Venables, the Clemson defensive coordinator. It's funny, we were theorizing would they go with the defensive coordinator from the SEC to help this transition the way they once did with Bob Stoops when they got him out of Florida if they go that route? Well, he was at Clemson. Same difference anyway.

Where do you go? Where do you go with them, and what do you need to make this work at Oklahoma?

PAT FORDE: For Oklahoma, yeah, I mean, the Venables buzz was strong today. You know, there's been some talk about Mark Stoops. There's been talk about Matt Campbell. I still found it a little bit curious at least that the announcement of Bob Stoops as the interim coach didn't say I'm only coaching one game. It just said he's the interim coach. We'll see how much Bob likes being the interim coach. I don't think they're necessarily proceeding with the thought that Bob's going to come back, but the way things are going, I mean, don't rule out anything at this point.

You know, the Venables thing is interesting. I mean, he is-- talk about a guy who has stayed put and been patient. That was one place he had great success there. There was some talk that he and Stoops had eventually fallen out a bit, but I know that Joe Castiglione still has a good relationship with Venables. And at some point in time, whether, you know, whether he fell out with-- whether Stoops fell out with Venables or Stoops fell out with Josh Heupel, who's at Tennessee, who he had fired, Bob Stoops can't make all the decisions if he's not the head coach. Joe Castiglione has to make those decisions. And if they think Venables is the guy, you get him.

And he's had success. Joe C. has had success, a lot of success, with guys who didn't have head-coaching experience. So Venables would fit into that as well.

It's one of those jobs, though, you've got to be ready, say, OK, I'm going in and I'm going to get to take on Nick Saban, and now I'm going to take on Brian Kelly at LSU, and I'm going to take on Kirby Smart and on and on and on. And it's like, wow. It's a good job, but it's a hard job.

DAN WETZEL: It was a great job in the Big 12.

PAT FORDE: Yes.

DAN WETZEL: You won and won and won and won. You had an advantage over everybody. You avoided the dysfunction of Texas, which, when they pull-- all pulling together on the occasion, does have more advantages than you because they're in the state of Texas.

But Oklahoma's formula worked for decades. You change the formula, and that's why Lincoln Riley is gone. And if you have a fan base that's a little cranky because you're going 12 and 2 and you're sitting there going, I can't-- I cannot consistently do that in the SEC. They don't have the in-state recruiting talent. They have to go somewhere else, just like Notre Dame, and win on someone else's turf. And like you said, that job's got worse.

Oklahoma has to find somebody who can recruit better than Oklahoma has ever recruited pretty much, you know? And I know how good Oklahoma's been, but Barry Switzer didn't have to play this murderer's row.

PAT FORDE: Right.

DAN WETZEL: But you have to have that level guy, and so that's the challenge for Oklahoma. They have gone-- they're going-- and I think they'll do fine. It's a great place to go play football. It's a great school to play football at. They will do all the bells and whistles. But you have to find someone who can recruit on a national level because you no longer have the advantage of local talent.

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