College football is a ‘what have you done for me lately’ business and that’s never more true than for one of the sport’s blue bloods, where immense success is expected annually.
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley addressed his team’s need to resist complacency on the heels of four consecutive Big 12 Championships during day one of Big 12 Media Days at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“That's always a challenge … not letting it set in and for returning guys, not assuming it's going to happen because it did before, and for new guys not assuming it's going to happen because the players did it before, when I wasn't there. It's a new team, a new challenge.”
That much is relative coach speak that you’d expect to hear from just about any head coach whose program has enjoyed a little success. It’s what he said next that was noteworthy.
Lincoln Riley is here at @ATTStadium to kick off the Big 12 season.— Scott Bell (@ScottBellDMN) July 15, 2019
And let’s be honest with ourselves. Lincoln Riley is also going to be here in a couple months at @ATTStadium to wrap up the Big 12 season, too. pic.twitter.com/SVUN3lveqG
“I think the expectations and standard of Oklahoma football are so high that it almost helps a little bit in a funny way,” he explained. “It almost helps you refocus in that, yeah, the last four were great, but what about the fifth one?”
Riley says that’s the mindset within the program at OU—not just from the outside looking in.
“I think we've got a good culture. I think our guys understand and have a healthy respect for how difficult each and every championship has been, each and every win has been,” he said. “We have had to play our tails off and coach our tails off to get it done, and that's how it should be in the Big 12.
“To make another run will be just as difficult if not more difficult and it will take everything we have.”