A few days before Thanksgiving speculation was increasing that Lincoln Riley was going to leave Oklahoma for LSU, which forced OU administrators to compile a list of potential replacements.
Among the candidates included Sonny Dykes.
According to multiple sources, the SMU head coach was approached by Oklahoma people to gauge any interest in the Sooners’ position should it become vacant.
At least according to sources, this was a conversation and Dykes said no.
Dykes had already agreed in principle to become the next head coach at TCU to replace Gary Patterson. Dykes had already scheduled to interview TCU assistant coaches starting on Sunday, Nov. 28 in Fort Worth.
On Sunday, news broke that Riley was not leaving Norman for LSU but rather for USC.
According to sources, Dykes remains committed to accepting the job at TCU.
He is still expected to be named TCU’s next head coach on Tuesday at a press conference.
“Never say never,” one source said.
In this chaotic college football season, just don’t rule out anything no matter how stupid it sounds.
When Dykes interviewed for the Texas Tech opening, he told the people in that process there were four jobs he would leave SMU for: Tech, TCU, Oklahoma and Texas.
Oklahoma will be coached in its bowl game by former Sooners coach Bob Stoops, who has remained around the program since he retired in 2017 when Riley was handed the job.
How serious Oklahoma’s interest was/is in Dykes we will likely never know.
The most likely scenario is that Dykes was merely on a list of names. And his inclusion on that list is something that his agent could use as leverage in negotiating with TCU.
He makes (some) sense as a potential replacement in Norman. He has ties all over the region, and he’s the first coach since the mid-1980s to make SMU a winner.
The Sooners could do a lot worse than Sonny Dykes.
This is the same school that hired John Blake (RIP, Coach).
For Oklahoma fans, however, to accept Sonny Dykes as the head coach of their precious program would be considered a bigger slap than Lincoln Riley leaving for another college head coaching position.
Of all of the developments in the history of Oklahoma Sooners football, Lincoln Riley leaving for USC is the biggest punch in the face this program has ever sustained.
People don’t leave a destination job like Oklahoma unless they are fired, or they retire.
Lincoln Riley didn’t leave Oklahoma for the NFL. He left Oklahoma for another coaching job.
He didn’t even leave for the SEC.
While Riley hangs out at the beach in the Pac-12, Oklahoma now must conduct a coaching search for the first time since 1998.
With top facilities, a tradition of winning titles and a future home in the SEC, the Sooners are only too sure they can get any candidate they want. (Ironic because they couldn’t even keep the coach they had.)
ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter reported that the Sooners are targeting Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury.
He will say no.
And maybe the next candidate says no.
And then maybe the candidate after that says no.
And maybe Oklahoma gets to Sonny Dykes.
He is still committed to TCU, but in college football these days even the most implausible scenario now is not only plausible but likely.
After all, Lincoln Riley just left Oklahoma for USC.