Five OU football coaching candidates following the departure of Lincoln Riley to USC

There is a search going on in Norman.

The Oklahoma football team took a huge blow on Sunday after it was reported that head coach Lincoln Riley accepted an offer to become the new shot caller at USC.

The most desirable coaching job in the country is now open after the departure of Riley, who went 55-10) during his five seasons at the helm of the Sooners' program.

There are five candidates for Riley's replacement.

Carlson thinks that Sooner Nation shouldn't lose hope because of Lincoln Riley.

Venables became the highest-paid assistant football coach in the country on Wednesday.

Venables is named after Brent.

It would be fitting if Venables returned to Norman.

The OU staff had a member of their staff who was the defensive coordinator from 1999-2011. He was an assistant head coach and defensive coach at the Sooners.

Since joining the staff at the school, Venables has experienced a lot of success. The nation's top assistant coach, Terry Venables, won the 2016 Broyles Award, which went to the national champion.

Venables' experience with both the program and the College Football Playoff makes him an ideal candidate to lead the Sooners when they move to the SEC.

Bob Stoops will be the interim football coach with Lincoln Riley going to USC.

The gamecock walk before the game against the Tigers at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia was led by South Carolina head coach Shane Beamer.

The man is named Shane Beamer.

The Sooners have a connection to Beamer.

The South Carolina head coach was an assistant to the OU head coach. He was a part of the staff that helped the Sooners to a nation-leading scoring offense.

The first-year head coach secured four commitments from four four-star recruits and improved the team from 2-8 in 2020 to 6-6) this season.

If OU came calling, he would be in for a pay raise even though he signed a five-year deal with South Carolina.

Lincoln Riley left OU football for Southern Cal after five seasons as head coach.

Lincoln Riley and Dave Aranda shook hands after an NCAA football game in Texas.

Dave Aranda is a person.

This season, no program in the country experienced a bigger comeback than the one that happened at Baylor.

The Bears finished the regular season with a 10-2 record and a ticket to the Big 12 Championship Game, after going 2-7 in Dave Aranda's first year as head coach.

Aranda was a part of the LSU team that won the national championship in 2019.

Aranda is a popular name in the coaching carousel. He is an obvious candidate for LSU's vacant position, as he was connected to the Florida and USC openings.

According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, Aranda is expected to sign an extension with the Bears over the next two weeks, but that could change if OU hires a new head coach.

After the Bedlam loss, the Sooners left wondering what's next.

Lincoln Riley talked with Iowa State coach Matt Campbell.

Matt Campbell.

Campbell helped Iowa State take a huge leap last season.

Campbell led the program to a 9-3 record in 2020 after leading the program to a 2-7 record in his first season.

Iowa State was the biggest threat to the conference crown, but it finished the regular season with a disappointing record. Campbell is still a two-time Big 12 Coach of the Year and one of the most desirable candidates in the country.

USC expressed interest in Campbell, but the six-year Iowa State head coach should get some consideration in Norman.

It's unlikely that Campbell will leave Iowa State because of his contract buyout of $28.3 million.

The loss for OU was gut-wrenching.

Alex Grinch walks on the sideline during a game.

Alex is a villain.

OU has a good track record of hiring from within.

The decision to hire Riley as its head coach after Bob Stoops' retirement worked out well.

The group that was turned into the OU defensive coordinators was ranked 28th in the total defense in 2020. Since joining the staff three seasons ago, there's no denying the impact Grinch has had on the program, as his stock fluctuated this season as the Sooners' defense experienced ups and downs.

According to many reports, Grinch was interviewed for the Texas Tech head coaching position, but that position has since been filled by a colleague.

He made it clear that he wanted to become a head coach.

"It's there," he said. It is, and that is something for the off-season.

You can reach him by email at or on the social media site, "J The SportsDude". You should subscribe to The Oklahoman to stay up to date with local sports.

The article originally appeared in Oklahoman.