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Oklahoma Sooners Football Hot Links: New contract details for the OU football staff, Phil Steele likes the Sooners to win the Big 12 (again)

College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl - LSU v Oklahoma Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Happy Hump Day, friends and fans!

Entering his fourth season as the Oklahoma Sooners’ head coach, Lincoln Riley has officially agreed to a two-year contract extension, giving him six years total on his current deal. The news was first reported by The Athletic’s Bruce Feldman. Now in place to remain at OU through 2025, Riley’s contract includes several annual raises and a pair of significant stay benefits.

Below, the Tulsa World’s Eric Bailey broke down Riley’s reconstructed salary situation going forward. Following a university budget cut due to COVID-19, Oklahoma’s front man will receive $6.15 million in 2020, and in 2021 will see a steep jump into the $8 million range (including a $500K stay benefit). That’s a whole heck of a lot of cheddar. At this point, I’d say he’s earned it.

Riley isn’t the only Sooners staffer receiving a raise. The Athletic’s Jason Kersey reported that second year defensive coordinator and safeties coach Alex Grinch has had his salary increased from $1.4 to $1.8 million on his current three-year contract. After taking OU’s total defense from 114th in the FBS to 38th in just his first season in Norman, expectations for the rising DC are climbing.

For more details on the rest of the Sooner coaches to receive pay bumps, check out OU Daily’s Chandler Engelbrecht’s salary breakdown right here.

Make sure you check out Feldman’s piece he penned for The Athletic, further breaking down all the contract news coming out of Oklahoma. You’ll need a subscription to read the article in full, and if you’re not already a subscriber I highly recommend you reconsider so that you can enjoy the great work from reporters like Feldman, Kersey and others.

Now onto today’s Hot Links! Phil Steele sounds off on the Big 12 in 2020, Hollywood transforms his physique, dugouts clear between L.A. and the ‘Stros and more!

OU Links

  • 2021 four-star DL Marcus Burris out of Texarkana, Texas has trimmed down his list of possible colleges to three, and Oklahoma has made the cut. It’s also a classic Lone Star recruiting battle as the Texas Longhorns and Texas A&M Aggies round out the finalists.
  • Phil Steele recently released his predicted final standings for the Big 12, and he expects the Sooners to once again finish atop the league for a sixth consecutive season. The respected college football guru cites that OU will be favored to win every game this season, and has the best overall talent in the conference.
  • Now that Lincoln Riley is set to stay at Oklahoma through 2025, Sooners Wire’s Steven Plaisance puts the young head coach’s 36 wins in three seasons into historical perspective. From that standpoint, the company he currently shares is rather remarkable.
  • Pro Football Focus tracked the top big play collegiate receivers since 2017, and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb and Marquise Brown rank Nos. 1 and 2 with 22 receptions and 20 receptions of 40 yards or more, respectively in that span. Boomer!
  • Speaking of Hollywood, his rookie season with the Baltimore Ravens was a definite success, but after transforming his body by fully rehabbing his foot injury and adding even more muscle to his frame without losing his elite speed, he’s poised for a breakout campaign that should have opposing NFL defenses burning the midnight oil game planning for.
  • Another episode of the CCM Recruiting Podcast is here, and co-hosts Kamiar and Stephen caught up on all the latest happenings on the trail involving OU, such as five-star RB Camar Wheaton’s recruitment, the ‘Sooner Summit’ and more. The guys also discussed Lincoln Riley’s contract extension and played a game of ‘Buy or Sell’. As usual, keep in mind that some NSFW language may be used on the pod.

Around the Sports World

  • Things got spicy between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros on Tuesday night after Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly struck out the Astros’ Carlos Correa. As both dugouts cleared, for a brief moment in time it felt like all these CDC guidelines and coronavirus headlines were simply a thing of the past. Just beautiful. L.A. went on to win, 5-2.
  • The Iowa State Cyclones had a 2020 non-conference slot to fill after the Big Ten announced it would be playing league games only, resulting in in-state rival Iowa being taken off the schedule. That spot has now been filled with Ball State out of the MAC.
  • Three-year veteran safety Tedric Thompson, previously with the Seattle Seahawks, has signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. Throughout this offseason, the reigning Super Bowl champs have maintained the majority of their team’s core that led them to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy, but this addition does add a bit more stability to KC’s secondary depth.
  • On Tuesday, Baltimore Ravens super fan Mo Gaba, 14, passed away after four hard fought battles with cancer. He made NFL history by becoming the first person to announce a draft selection written in braille. For Oklahoma fans, that factoid is particularly special because the player drafted with said pick was former OU guard Ben Powers. Rest easy, Mo.

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