Carolina Panthers: Six college coaches the team should consider

Baylor University head coach Matt Rhule (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Baylor University head coach Matt Rhule (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley
Head coach Lincoln Riley of the Oklahoma Sooners (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Lincoln Riley

For the past two offseasons now, one of the biggest names on the coaching market has been Lincoln Riley. Riley has led Oklahoma to the College Football Playoff in each of the past three seasons, and has won the Big 12 championship each time. It’s also worth noting that he has fielded three Heisman Trophy finalists, with two winning the award. Over that same span, Riley has overseen a top-six scoring offense each year.

During his three years as a head coach, Riley has a record of 36-6, and was named the Big 12 Coach of the Year in 2018. He has yet to finish outside the AP top four, and has won 12 games each year. At 36 years old, Riley would be the second-youngest head coach; however, earlier this offseason, Tepper made it known that he wouldn’t mind such a young coach. Prior to being the head coach of the Sooners, Riley worked under Mike Leach and Bob Stoops. In addition, he has become one of the best, if not the best, playcallers in college football.

As enticing as Riley sounds, he wouldn’t be the most practical hire. He has been unable to fix Oklahoma’s defensive woes, nor has he found anyone capable of running his defense. If you need proof, look at Oklahoma’s defensive performance in the CFP semifinal. Adding Riley to a Panthers team that struggled mightily on that side of the ball in 2019 would do nothing but set the team up for defensive disaster. On top of that, it’s unlikely that he would leave Oklahoma for any job but the Cowboys.