Everybody thought that Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley was going to take the LSU job. Well, Riley shot down those rumors following the Sooners’ loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday night. Then, not even 24 hours later, the USC Trojans named Riley as the new head coach in a shocking move.
Nobody saw this coming at all, and now the entire landscape of college football has shifted in just a matter of days.
Lincoln Riley shocks the world by becoming the new head coach at USC
The decision to hire Riley was out of the blue by the Trojans. But man, what a hire this is for both Riley and USC. In September, the Trojans moved on from Clay Helton and had long been discussed as the best opening in college football.
Now, Riley heads West and has the challenging task of turning around a program that went downhill quickly. The best-kept secret was Riley to USC and how quickly things changed.
As it turns out, the Sooners were working hard for an extension with Riley before he shocked everybody.
Yes, Oklahoma is now left scrambling for another head coach. Even with the Riley-to-LSU rumors circulating for the past month, nobody ever mentioned USC whatsoever.
But, it is a reality, and Riley immediately heads to USC with Bob Stoops coaching the Sooners in whichever bowl game they are a part of.
Remember, this is only the beginning of the chaos that will unfold. Riley spent time recruiting players to Oklahoma, and some of his commits have already backed out and re-opened their recruitment. Could they follow him to USC?
It is likely. After all, Oklahoma had a top 10 recruiting class, while USC’s class wasn’t as strong after the disaster Helton caused.
Things can change quickly with Riley going to USC in the recruiting world, too.
For years, USC was looked at as an afterthought in the Pac-12 after being a dominant force in the Reggie Bush era. With Riley rocking the headset, the Trojans are back.
More than that, Riley’s move will also affect the SEC, which is preparing for Oklahoma and Texas to join the conference.
What the Sooners do for the vacancy remains to be seen, but they certainly weren’t anticipating Riley leaving, especially for USC.
While Riley to USC was a massive bombshell dropping, there are still quite a few changes on the horizon. Now, Oklahoma joins LSU as prestigious programs searching for a new head coach.
Florida hired Billy Napier as the new guy in Gainesville, and the SEC itself will look vastly different.
With all the chatter around USC since September, nobody expected Riley to be the replacement. But here we are, and the entire landscape of college football has shifted in favor of USC once again.
After years of mediocrity, Riley has his hands full. If he can return the Trojans to relevancy, this could go down as one of the best hires in the history of college football.
RELATED: Who Is Luke Fickell and How Did He Turn the Cincinnati Bearcats Into College Football’s Most Controversial Team?