Lincoln Riley will coach against Clay Helton in 2025

This seems like an April Fools’ joke, but it’s real: Lincoln Riley will coach against Clay Helton in the early stages of the 2025 college football season.

Stop for a minute and think about how wild that will be.

Lincoln Riley. Clay Helton. The man who turned around USC football against the man USC fans desperately wanted to leave for several years. It seems surreal on several levels.

USC fans get to see the man who revived their program coach against the man who allowed the program to languish. It’s hard to wrap the mind around, but it’s happening. We all get to wait two whole years, but it’s now on the schedule, with Helton returning to the Los Angeles Coliseum. It’s a plot twist no one expected, but it will create a lot more buzz than a garden-variety cupcake game.

Georgia Southern can use the money and the learning experience. USC can use the less-than-imposing opponent before a full year of Big Ten football plus the 2025 road trip to Notre Dame. Both sides do get something out of this, so from that vantage point, it’s not ludicrous at all. Nevertheless, USC could have filled this slot with a lot of other opponents. Clay Helton probably didn’t exist on the short list for most observers.

More 1977 Rose Bowl!

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire