NORMAN, Okla. (AP) A year ago, new Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley was scrambling to find his way after Bob Stoops' abrupt retirement put him in command just two months before fall camp.
The 34-year-old offensive mastermind now has a season under his belt and the kind of pay increase that often comes with a job well done. He led Oklahoma to a No. 3 final ranking and cashed in with a new five-year, $25 million contract.
There are plenty of reasons to believe Oklahoma's investment will will pay off. Riley's No. 1-ranked offense from last year returns two of its top three receivers, the top two running backs and three starting linemen. Though Riley has to replace Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield, his expectations haven't changed. He believes either Kyler Murray or Austin Kendall can step in and lead the Sooners back to the College Football Playoff.