Oklahoma football: Five ways 2021 will be national championship year

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 11: Master Teague III #33 of the Ohio State Buckeyes rushes against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the College Football Playoff National Championship held at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 11: Master Teague III #33 of the Ohio State Buckeyes rushes against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the College Football Playoff National Championship held at Hard Rock Stadium on January 11, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 30: Head coach Lincoln Riley of the Oklahoma Sooners looks on against the Florida Gators during the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on December 30, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 30: Head coach Lincoln Riley of the Oklahoma Sooners looks on against the Florida Gators during the fourth quarter at AT&T Stadium on December 30, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

Coaching staff

Lincoln Riley is one of the best offensive minds in college football, and with just a couple of exceptions the Sooner coaching staff has been stable all six seasons Riley has been in Norman.

Cale Gundy, an OU alum and former quarterback, has been in place coaching quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers since Bob Stoops’ first season in 1999, and offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh is widely recognized as one of the best in the profession.

Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has shown what he can do, orchestrating a major turnaround in OU’s defensive capability.

This is an outstanding team of coaches and a big reason Oklahoma has made three College Football Playoff appearances in the last four years and four in the last six. And another reason why the Sooners are strong contenders to make it back to the playoff again this year and make some real noise.