We should have learned by now: Never assume.
As USC’s off-season football season dragged on, the most interesting part of it seemed to be the hunt for the great Trojan coach, and the weekly handicap whose stock was going up or down. James Franklin of Pennsylvania, Luke Fekle of Cincinnati, Matt Campbell of Iowa, and Dave Aranda of Baylor were the supposed firsts, but isn’t that obvious? Athletics director Mike Boone and his chief lieutenant, Brandon Sosna, weren’t paying attention to helpful media advice.
They got it right anyway. enormously.
When news broke on Sunday afternoon that Lincoln Riley of Oklahoma would be the choice, it was so Safe to say no one saw that coming. But when you think about it What USC needsAnd, and what Riley can deliver from his five seasons on OU’s top-tier show, it’s a natural fit.
Experience in one of Blue Bloods college football programs? Check. Riley is 55-10 in five seasons in Oklahoma, which is another program in which the national championships are contested. It is assumed that he will not submit to the expectations of the faithful in Troy.
Anyone acquaintance with the college football interlude? Check. Riley’s teams have been there three times, and while they’re 0-3 (losing to Georgia in season 17, Alabama in season 18 and an LSU final national champion in season 19), keep in mind that the Pac-12 teams have collectively played in three of the CFP’s adult games. Their number is 21 since the current format began in 2015, and they haven’t played at all since 2017.
The ability to develop a quarterback? Check and check. I suppose you’ve heard of Baker Mayfield and Keeler Murray. if jackson dart She is the real deal, and his life is about to get even more interesting.
Recruiting shards in SoCal? Check. OU’s oral commitments for the next two seasons It included players from Mater Dei – which Riley had previously mined for talent – and Los Alamitos. If he can get California kids to play in Norman, Oklahoma, imagine what he can do with the runway, the white horse, etc., in his arsenal.
Remember in September when We suggested that the Trojans stab Nick Saban just because? Yes, that was partly a hoax, because the chance of getting Saban out of here was probably 1 percent. But the most salient point was that Boone needed to think big, to go after the best coach possible rather than just the best coach available, in order to remind Trojan fans – and donors, current players, and recruits – that this school has historically had an overriding football ambition Time to get serious about it again.
The best coach available seemed to be where the most speculation centered as the season went on. It was a group of coaches who may be Worked out but didn’t make that big swing.
Franklin settled back into the Penn State program, but he couldn’t pass Ohio (or Michigan this year) in his Big Ten. Fickell was having a great G5 season but he was a man from the Midwest who I’m not sure would like to come here anyway. Campbell was a prototype candidate for the Dark Horse, and he was seven to five years old in Iowa this year, which probably didn’t do much to market it. Aranda had a background in SoCal (Redlands High, Cal Lutheran) and Baylor will play for the Big 12 title this week against Oklahoma State, but he was only in his second year as head coach.
(One of the things that Great Trojan Coach Search, and its counterparts at LSU and Florida, have achieved is to create some serious pay increases across the industry. Franklin and Fickell have got a contract extension and Aranda is about to get one.) Mel Tucker of Michigan, whose name has not It even appears in USC speculation, capitalizing on his two years at East Lansing to a 10-year, $95 million extension.)
But USC is not a place for vocational training, or for someone who may or may not succeed. Not at this point, not with all the empty seats frustrated fans have deserted in recent years.
It’s not just about winning the Monday afternoon press conference. It’s about reassuring the many Trojan Football stakeholders that the administrators care about it as deeply as they do. Officials have beefed up the program’s infrastructure, and now they have a trainer capable of doing something with it.
And again, we’ll repeat this simple fact: When USC soccer is appropriate nationally, so is Pac-12. The Los Angeles schools lead the narrative of this conference, as much as people in Oregon may hate to admit it, and a successful USC program will restore credibility throughout the conference.
Riley will now have the legacy of John McKay, John Robinson and Pete Carroll to live up to. Then again, Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer, and Bob Stoops, among others, left wonderful shadows in his former workplace.
This is the point. It will be business as usual.
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