Lincoln Riley

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3. Oklahoma – Lincoln Riley

Lincoln Riley could not have asked for a better first year. Following the iconic Bob Stoops was no easy task, but Riley passed with flying colors. 12-2, a Heisman-winning quarterback, and a double-overtime loss in the Rose Bowl is as good as it gets. Yes, I understand Oklahoma did not win the College Football Playoff, but Riley proved that the program is in good hands. It’s crazy to think that this team might be better than last year as they are heavily favored to win the Big XII again. Riley has unfinished business, and his Sooners might be granted a rematch with Georgia if the stars align.

2. Oklahoma State – Mike Gundy

Mullet Mike continues to wheel and deal in Stillwater. Since 2010, Gundy’s teams have had six seasons of 10 or more wins. Losing Mason Rudolph to the draft is a tough pill to swallow, but top-notch coaches reload, not rebuild. Gundy can flat out coach. His 114-53 record at his alma mater leaves no doubt about it. But, T. Boone Pickens and the rest of the Oklahoma State faithful are going to be giving Gundy the side-eye if he doesn’t get them to the promised land soon. If he leads the Cowboys to a College Football Playoff birth, you can make a case for Gundy as the top coach in the Big XII.

1. TCU – Gary Patterson

Remember how I said there could be a case for Mike Gundy as the best coach in the Big XII? I lied. Gary Patterson of TCU is the top dog of the conference, and there is no debate. Patterson’s numbers during his tenure are flat out ridiculous. He has led the Horned Frogs from the WAC conference, to Conference USA, the Mountain West, and finally to the Big XII without missing a beat. Patterson has had 11 seasons of 11 or more wins including victories in the Rose Bowl and Peach Bowl. He is single-handily responsible (aside from the great players and coaches, lol) for making TCU relevant. Unbelievably, Patterson still flies under the radar regarding his coaching ability. Make no mistake about it, Patterson is one of the best coaches in the country.

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