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Lincoln Log: Oklahoma is resting to prepare for November slate


Finally, the week off has arrived.

The No.4-ranked Sooners opened their 2021 roster with nine straight contests, sailing their lossless path to start the year. But now OU can take a step back and recover from a well-deserved week off.

Always, Lincoln riley said the Sooners are focused on doing whatever they can to improve during the rest week as they prepare for their three toughest games of the season against Baylor, Iowa State and Oklahoma State.

One day off

Riley argued that despite the long time to start the season, there really was only one thing different this week from the weeks off of the past – Election Day.

Due to an NCAA executive order last year, teams are required to give all of their players a day off on Election Day for all team activity.

“I guess in some ways you might be happy that it worked during a week off,” Riley said at a Zoom press conference on Tuesday. “But the flip side is it’s a little bit of a pain because it’s a day in the middle of the week, so we all have our coaches recruiting today and then everyone will be back tomorrow for the day. ‘practice and Thursday morning practice and then go back, so we had to manage to have a mandatory day off from the NCAA.

Riley said he didn’t know whether the mandatory day off put someone at a disadvantage or a disadvantage, but he knew some Big 12 teams had requested a waiver to be able to practice on Tuesday.

“Honestly, I haven’t heard if these are over or not,” Riley said. “The only good thing is if you do it for a matchweek, at least your opponent does too. It’s just something to deal with.

Indifferent to rankings

The first edition of the 2021 college football playoff standings come out Tuesday night, but Riley doesn’t care where his team is going.

“To me it’s just meaningless stuff to kill time until we get to the end,” Riley said. “I think a good example is to go back and look at where we were in the first CFP poll all the years we entered the CFP. The biggest games, the best games, the most important games across the country are yet to be played. “

If the Sooners find themselves in the top four when the initial standings are released, it would be the first time in playoff history that OU has made it into the initial top four.

Oklahoma went on to advance to four different college football playoffs despite starting out of the top four, illustrating Riley’s argument that this is just the start of a long road to the playoffs.

“Where we’re sitting right now – and I’m saying we mean college football as a whole and all the rankings – where they’re sitting right now and where they’ll be in three or four weeks is going to be a big, big difference, ”Riley said with a smile. “If we win, it won’t matter what they come out tomorrow – or today, when it is.” Shows you how much I care.

Mystery man

Caleb williams hasn’t had a chance to speak to the press since arriving in Oklahoma, a long-standing rule of the program that the real freshman must earn the right to be interviewed.

And while Riley has said he’s not yet ready to change that rule just for Williams, he has given a glimpse of the kind of person Williams is behind the scenes.

“Honestly, I think he looks a lot like what you see on game day,” Riley said. “He’s a very unique child. He has different interests. He has a unique but fun personality. He does a good job relating to different people.

“Caleb is sort of – he gets along with everyone a bit, can talk to anyone. He can have a conversation with anyone. He can have a conversation with my 5 year old. He can have a conversation with anyone on our team. He can have a conversation with an adult, interact and be very personable. He therefore has a unique ability to connect with different types of people.

Riley said Williams also had the rare gift of knowing when it’s time to relax and enjoy the process a bit, but also when it’s time to flip the switch and lock in for practice and on match days.

“He’s a football guy, I mean he’s really into it,” Riley said. “He devotes a lot of time to it, very motivated. But can also laugh, joke, have fun. He takes it seriously. He has a fairly good balance for a young man.

“Some young guys come in here and they’re so tense, they almost take it too seriously and they can’t relax everything you have to relax them.” On the other hand and probably more often you get a guy who doesn’t know how to be professional when it’s time to be. He’s got a pretty good idea for a young man, he can be pretty serious and into it, but that doesn’t stress him either. There is certainly a relaxed side to him as well.

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