During an interview with Sirius XM at Big 12 Media Days last week, Riley discussed the defensive coaching and game-planning in the league, which he views as second to none.
In fact, Riley went as far as to call the Big 12 the “most innovative” conference in the nation on the defensive side of the ball.
“I think this league defensively is the most innovative league in the country, from what I’ve seen,” Riley said. “I’m not saying there’s not other good defenses or other good players so everybody relax. But, as a coach and as somebody who does offensive football, you sit back and look at the challenges and all the things people do in this league and how unique some of those are, it is innovative.
“You’ll go through this league, play everybody, and I don’t care who you play in the non-conference, bowls, whatever, you’re gonna play good teams but you’re not gonna play people as innovative. You’re going to see everything you’re going to see right here. There’s some really good coordinators, position coaches. The league has really evolved in a nice way.”
There’s a certain stereotype about Big 12 defenses in the world of college football.@OU_Football Head Coach @LincolnRiley told @GabeIkard, @AriSports & @archerqb16 at Big 12 Media Days why that belief isn’t true #Boomer. pic.twitter.com/vEyfXAPv1C
— College Sports on SiriusXM (@SXMCollege) July 16, 2021
It would be fair to say that Big 12 defenses played at a higher level than we’re used to in 2020. If that carries over to this fall, Riley might look like a genius.
More importantly for him, if his OU defense is stout in 2021, Riley could be looking at a return to the College Football Playoff, and possibly a national title as well, because the Sooners’ offense will have plenty of firepower.
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