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Oklahoma Sooners give Lincoln Riley big long-term deal

The Oklahoma Sooners are showing their commitment to head coach Lincoln Riley after a strong 2017 college football season. The Sooners will pay Riley $25 million over the next five seasons, which includes $4.8 million for this season. The 34-year-old Riley led Oklahoma to the College Football Playoffs last year. While quarterback Baker Mayfield deserves a lot of the credit, the second-year coach has proven he has what it takes to run a national powerhouse. That’s the main reason why Oklahoma’s Board of Regents approved the long-term deal.

Riley was the highest paid college football assistant coach under Bob Stoops and has kept the team on pace after Stoop’s retirement. Oklahoma finished the season 12-2 and also finished at No. 3 in the 2017 final college football rankings. The Sooners ended their season after a wild 54-48 shootout with Georgia in the Rose Bowl of the first round of the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma started the season ranked seventh and dropped as low as twelfth before climbing back up to third. After being groomed for the position by Stoops, Riley still receives mentoring from the legendary college football coach. He may continue to do so as Drake Stoops committed to Oklahoma back in the winter.¬†

This could be the year where Lincoln Riley earns his money though. The Oklahoma Sooners will be without Heisman Trophy winner Mayfield that seemed to have played in Norman for an eternity. They will now turn to Kyler Murray who was recently drafted by the Oakland A’s in the MLB draft to lead them on offense this season. Leading rusher¬†Rodney Anderson returns which definitely helps the cause. Murray will have an easier learning curve with Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb returning at the receiver position. If the defense can step up, Riley may be able to get this team back to the playoffs for a second consecutive season.

Through the years, the Oklahoma Sooners have done a great job at identifying good college football coaches and keeping them long-term. The school has the resources to sign their coaches to big-time deals and did so once again with Lincoln Riley.