The Monday after Week 17 of the NFL season is always one with multiple coaching headlines. Those who failed to meet expectations for the season are finding themselves unemployed and looking for a new home for the following season. With the firings of multiple coaches comes the question of who it will be that will replace those who lost their jobs. Media outlets all across the nation put out lists of hot names who could potentially be replacements for the specific teams that they cover. Among the names that have been making the lists are Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley, Baylor’s Matt Rhule, and Iowa State’s Matt Campbell, all out of the Big 12. All three have succeeded at their current schools and could possibly be looking to test the professional waters of the NFL. Though it is unlikely that all three of them will accept an NFL job, there is a good chance that at least one will try their hands at a new home for the 2020 season.

While bringing in a new coaching staff can be exciting for the organization that is doing so, the organization that is losing their head coach as a result may not have the same feelings. Lincoln Riley has been a coach that has flourished for the Oklahoma Sooners. For each of his three seasons for the Sooners, he has sent his starting quarterback to New York for the Heisman Trophy Ceremony, winning two. Along with the individual success of his players, each team that he has coached has made the College Football Playoff under his leadership. One could say that Oklahoma appears to be set for a very long time to come. Although, what if Riley were to accept the Dallas Cowboys Head Coaching position? What would this mean for the Sooners? It is the popular assumption that current Cowboys Head Coach Jason Garrett will be fired sometime within the next 24 hours, and it has been Lincoln Riley’s name that has been a popular topic of conversation as the replacement. If Riley were to become the new head coach in Dallas, this could spell trouble for the Sooners. Yes, the Sooners roster is littered with talent, but would they be able to produce the same results under a new head coach. The answer could very possibly be yes, but a bringing in a new head coach never comes with the promise that the previous success will be continued. This could pose a shift in power in the Big 12, opening the door for one of the other nine schools to leap forward and become the new “powerhouse.” Possibly the runner-up Baylor Bears? Even they could be facing a dilemma of their own with the NFL.

Matt Rhule has proven to be a winner and have the ability to build a program in his three seasons in Waco, Texas. After going 1-11 in his first season in 2017, Rhule lead the Bears to an 11-2 record in 2019 which included an appearance in the Big 12 Championship Game. The Bears, much like the Sooners, appear to be set for years to come. That is if Rhule decided to stick around. On Monday morning, the New York Giants fired Head Coach Pat Shurmur after two seasons and a 9-23 record. At the top of the list of potential candidates is Matt Rhule himself. Once being an assistant for the New York Giants under Tom Coughlin, not only is Matt Rhule familiar with the organization, he may just have enough connections to lure him away from Baylor. What has been built in Waco during his three years is impressive to say the least. The talent is now there to be competitive in a deep Big 12 for the foreseeable future. However, if their leader were to leave, would they be able to continue this success? Much like Oklahoma, it would not be a given that the Bears would be able to continue the level of success they have experienced under new management. Also opening the door for another one of the conference’s schools to make the jump over them and take their place in the conference. Could this give way for a team like Iowa State to become one of the new “top dogs” in the league? Well, much like the previously two mentioned schools, the potential for them to be conducting their own coaching search in the near future is a possibility.

Matt Campbell has been a hot name in the coaching carousel for the last three seasons. After he gave the Cyclones new life in just his second season on the job in Ames, it was all that expected that Campbell would have been gone by now. Though he has continuously chose Iowa State over the many different “big time” College Football jobs that have came open over the course of the last few seasons, could an opportunity in the NFL be too much to pass up? One of the jobs that his name has been mentioned for is none other than the Cleveland Browns, the NFL’s real-life soap opera. While this may not be a very ideal destination for Campbell, the dollar signs just may be too much for Campbell to pass on if he were to interview and be offered the job. Out of the three names from the Big 12 that have been mentioned for NFL jobs, Campbell is the least likely to test the professional waters. Though if he were to leave Ames, how could this affect the Cyclones program? Could it be a monumental setback that would find them in the continuous 3-9 cycle that they were in under Paul Rhoads? For a program like Iowa State, losing a head coach of the caliber of Campbell could be a major blow.

No matter which job it is, the chance at an NFL head coaching position will always be intriguing for an up and coming coach. If any one of the three Big 12 coaches were to leave their schools to accept one of the opportunities, the outcome could be a very different looking Big 12 moving forward. Riley, Rhule, and Campbell are all superb head coaches that are doing tremendous jobs for the programs they are at. With all three of them at the helm of a Big 12 school, it makes the conference deeper and looks better for the conference champion in the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee. While it is likely that at least one will be on their way out, Big 12 fans should hope that it will not be the case. For the sake of the Big 12, having Riley, Rhule, and Campbell back roaming the sidelines for the 2020 season makes for much better entertainment than would the absence of just one of them.