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The college football coaching carousel is spinning out of control, and a high-profile NFL coach has now joined the fun. Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury is being targeted by Oklahoma to be its next coach with Lincoln Riley reportedly leaving for the same job at USC, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday.
Kingsbury, of course, is no stranger to the Sooners program, as he was the coach at Texas Tech, his alma mater, from 2013 to 2018. Though Kingsbury never beat Oklahoma, he was a part of some classic shootouts, including the fabled 2016 game (a 66-59 win for the Sooners) in which quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield orchestrated 1,700 yards of total offense.
Alas, the likelihood of Kingsbury leaving his post in the NFL for the SEC-bound Sooners seems far fetched.
Kingsbury’s Cardinals are 9-2 with six weeks left in the season — not including a possible playoff run — and quarterback Kyler Murray is making a case for league MVP. Also of note, Kingsbury would be entering the last year of his contract in 2022, marking a prime opportunity to posture for a competitive raise and extension.
If Kingsbury is Riley’s replacement, it wouldn’t be too much of a shock to Oklahoma’s system. The two coaches employ high-scoring systems and have the same youthful energy that plays well with prospects. In reality, though, this seems more like an agent gaining leverage for a client more than anything else.