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Locked On: After Lincoln Riley's departure, who will coach OU?

Riley departed OU right in the middle of some other shakeups at local high-profile NCAA football programs.

DALLAS — Now that former OU head coach Lincoln Riley has departed the plains of Norman for the sunny skies of Los Angeles, speculation has now turned to who OU will hire as its next head football coach.

Riley departed OU right in the middle of some other shakeups at local high-profile NCAA football programs. Texas Christian University parted ways with head coach Gary Patterson in October after more than 20 years. Southern Methodist University head coach Sonny Dykes moved across the highway to Fort Worth to take up rival Patterson's mantle, and former SMU offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee returned to the Hilltop from Miami to take the top spot left open by Dykes.

Deep breaths.

But who will the Sooners choose as their next head coach? Locked On has some ideas.

University of South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer

Beamer spent three years on Riley’s staff before going to South Carolina.

University of Tennessee head coach Josh Heupel

The head coach at the other UT just went 7-5 in his first year on Rocky Top. But will he make a break for Oklahoma? It's not too likely.

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury

The former Texas Tech coach went to the NFL in 2019 and is now 9-2 in his third season at Arizona. He's told reporters the Sooners job isn't something he wants to discuss right now. 

Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables

Venables has a long-standing history with the University of Oklahoma as its former defensive coordinator, and some sources say he's currently the lead choice for the job.

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule

The current Carolina head coach and former Baylor head coach isn't leaving the Panthers, according to reports.

Watch the full podcast episode below for more speculation on who might be the next leader of the Sooners.