ESPN reporting Lincoln Riley will leave Oklahoma for USC

ESPN Radio is reporting that Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley is leaving for USC.

This is a great hire for USC. Bad hire for the rest of us. But the Pac-12 needs USC to get back to greatness.

I’d argue it’s great for the PAC-12, period.


LA Times:

USC is closing its three-month search with a bombshell hire, landing Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley to turn around the Trojans program.

USC fans have been waiting for three years for the school to bring in a coach that can restore its treasured football program to glory.

Riley has agreed to terms and will be the 30th head coach of the Trojans, ending a search characterized by its quiet with a boom that will be felt across college football, a source with knowledge of the search not authorized to speak publicly about it told The Times.

The question has lingered for three months: Would USC athletic director Mike Bohn take advantage of the long runway he gained by firing Clay Helton Sept. 13 and land a coach that could quickly rally the Trojan legions?

Chatter surrounding the USC search centered on Luke Fickell, Dave Aranda, James Franklin and Matt Campbell before Riley was linked to the job.

The Trojans have not appeared in a College Football Playoff in its eight years of existence and have won just one Pac-12 title since 2008 when the Pete Carroll era was still going strong.

It used to be a guarantee that USC, with its abundant riches to pick from across the Southland, would compile a top-five recruiting class. But it has not done so since 2018, the most glaring sign that the program had lost prestige under Helton.

Riley is the first hire that USC has made since Carroll who is nationally relevant on his own merit. Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian were Carroll proteges who were brought back to keep the good times rolling after the NCAA handed the program massive sanctions in 2010 because of the Reggie Bush scandal. Helton, hired as an assistant by Kiffin, had never been a head coach when he was promoted to the permanent role by then-athletic director Pat Haden in 2015.

Bohn, after deciding to keep Helton in place after the 2019 and 2020 seasons, fired Helton after USC was beaten soundly by Stanford 42-28 at the Coliseum in the second game of the year. His final record with the Trojans was 46-24.

The rest is paywalled:

Just saw this on ESPN. That’s kind of crazy, just when they’re headed to the SEC.


I don’t buy this sentiment. The Pac 12 needs a great team, it doesn’t have to be USC. Utah was getting all the respect in the world a couple of years ago and would have been in the CFP if they hadn’t fallen apart at the end of the season. Dynasties come and go, it’s fine with me if USC has cycled down, someone else’s turn to step up.


Are you seriously trying to compare Utah to USC in the minds of the public? Seriously? It’s like BYU trying to say they are the same as Notre Dame.

USC is a brand name in football that goes back decades. Utah simply is not. We love them, but do you think someone from New York knows anything about the University of Utah? I’m pretty sure they think it’s some hick school out in the desert somewhere that has like 250 students studying in mud huts. And as someone who went from Utah to New York, I can assure that’s what they think.

USC is in the city of glamour. Utah is in the middle of deep red MAGA territory with most of the knowledge of Utah based on the HBO show, Big Love.

We shouldn’t apply the BYU delusional arrogance to our school. We’re recognizable, more than we were 20 years ago. But we don’t have the cachet of USC.


Relax, I didn’t compare Utah to USC. All I’m saying is that if the PAC 12 has a great team, That team will get the recognition and a seat at the table. I don’t buy into the old head tradition that ruled over college football since before the BCS days.


I hear where you’re coming from, but for what it’s worth after 37 years in Los Angeles I returned to Salt Lake City. I was surprised. Salt Lake is not Utah, of course, but it is the Austin of Utah, a large blue dot in a red state. It is certainly not MAGA country. It is a far different city from the one I left in 1982, and although it’s not anything like Los Angeles (that idea is laughable) it’s much more than what you might remember. My colleagues in Boston, New York, and Washington DC tend to think of Utah is a great place to ski, but also recognize the SLC area as a significant technology center. Large law firms are opening offices in Salt Lake in order to be close to that tech center. It will be a while before that accelerating changes wailing on, but it is a reality, I think. (So much so that we are thinking of moving someplace else. We already left a city with tons of traffic problems, bad air and poor urban planning. We don’t want to be back in a smaller version of the same thing.)


Don’t you like it better when we’re good? The PAC gets more pub when we are.


I’m a Californian, so I have a natural bias. But I have lived in Utah as recently as 2002, and I still find the politics and societal norms as being problematic to me. I didn’t raise my children there, because I find it so stifling.

I lived in Park City, which is about as much of an antithesis of the Utah memes as one can get, and still I couldn’t avoid the Utah thing. I always tell the story of taking over a business unit for a Big Pharma company in Salt Lake, and one of my direct reports anonymously dropped a copy of the Book of Mormon on my desk.

I’m just saying that Utah does not have much of a brand name. I remember telling my arrogant daughter, who went to Boston University, a very expensive and best in the world school, that Utah got into the AAU, actually just a few years after BU did. She was shocked. Her memory of Utah was mountains.

I just don’t think Utah will ever be USC in brand awareness. In fact, if Utah and USC were tied for some imaginary future CFP ranking, USC would get the nod, just because it’s a historic brand.

I love Utah, both the school and state. But I figured out a way to live there (by hiding in Park City). The funniest story about Utah was when I accepted my new job in SLC, the company HR department sent me a corporate video about living in Utah. it had at least a 15 minute section on how to deal with alcohol laws there (and maybe its changed recently).

Image matters in marketing. And Utah has a lot to do there.


Nope, I don’t like anything that makes it harder to get where we want to get. I don’t want to be like all the teams in the SEC (except maybe Georgia) that seem to revel in the shadow of glory that is Alabama and are just happy to be in the same conference…a pathetic approach to competition.


Georgia’s last National Championship team the youngest player was born in 1962. LSU has three titles this decade, Auburn 1 and Florida 2. I don’t think those programs live in Alabama’s shadow.

SC getting a splashy hire like Lincoln Riley doesn’t mean much. He took over a program that was already good in a conference that was down. The dude is 1-3 in the post season.

1 Like

Lincoln Riley: “I’m not going to be the next head coach at LSU.”

The man has a future in politics.


He already has an endorsement:


I’m sure USC is delighted O.J. is reminding everyone he’s an alum.


Lincoln’s taking the job at SC but moving he’ll be moving to Bakersfield.


More than a home run hire. He’s a grand salami in the bottom of the 9th game 7 word series hire. How in the world did USC pull that one off. Dart will use his gunslinger skllls and be all-world by the time he’s done. Mind boggling hire.

Wonder what his buyout was and what his contract


That’s where you’ll find primarily wealthy people, many of whom are devout LDS. These days, if you spent your time in the area on the map below you’d see a different Salt Lake, especially the farther north you go. I’m not arguing with you, just sharing my own experience. My own neighborhood is so blue it makes me laugh.

So when we beat U$C next fall, does he spontaneously combust?

Commuting in from Bakersfield-tucky to LA??? :joy::joy::joy::joy:

Why not Victorville-tucky, Hesperia-tucky, Apple Valley-tucky.

1 Like

You need to learn your Oklahoma to California during the dust bowl history. It’s how we got the Bakersfield sound.

1 Like