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- American football player and coach
Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel, and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Lincoln Riley’s departure from Oklahoma to take the head job at USC, and debate what it means for the Pac-12, as well as, the other open jobs.
DAN WETZEL: Quote, "I'm not going to be the next head coach at LSU." End quote. One Lincoln Riley, resident of Norman, Oklahoma at the time, stated on Saturday night. And he said, next question. And unfortunately, no one said, what about USC, buddy?
PAT FORDE: That should have been the next question.
DAN WETZEL: Well, you know, I don't blame them. Instead, they asked about all sorts of stuff, and he was talking about how well he works the AD and no concerns. And yeah, he had no concerns about transitioning to the SCC because he wasn't doing it.
He's like, I got a little get some SPF, and I get some flip-flops. I'm heading to USC. We said this would be a while. Coaching-- coaching carousel and this one's the biggest craziness of yet.
Lincoln Riley's been raiding Southern California recruits, now returns, and he can try to keep them home. Thoughts on the higher, Lincoln Riley with the USC. Pat.
PAT FORDE: He's not won at all yet but he's won a lot. And he's on the cutting edge obviously offensively. He's on the cutting edge in recruiting USC needs sizzle. He brings offensive sizzle to the table. As Dan noted, he's been recruiting in California already and in the West on the Western United States.
There was a lot of wondering like where exactly is USC going. And I think they wound up, they may end up being the big winners out of this carousel churn. We'll see how it all turns out, but I think LSU thought they were getting Lincoln Riley, and wound up having the rug pulled out from under them.
And we'll see what happens with LSU in all of this. I think there's some panic in Baton Rouge, but this is a big, big news. You don't have coaches very often go from places like Oklahoma to USC. This is huge. And I can't wait to see how it works out. And I welcome USC back to relevance. They have their best coach since Pete Carroll.
PETE THAMEL: Yeah. It's a monumental hire for-- for SC. I don't actually think LSU thought they were getting Lincoln Riley. I really just, I didn't buy into any of that stuff. I just didn't think it was real. I just didn't-- I don't think like LSU got the rug pulled out from under them.
As we tape this on Sunday afternoon, I still think that Scott Woodward wants Jimbo Fisher. Now that door may be closed by the time this podcast populates in your feed but that has been his target. And I'm not saying he didn't knock on the door, Lincoln Riley or anything like that.
Like, I think all these guys do their whale due diligence, right. And right now, Scott Woodward's whale is still-- it's still Jimbo Fisher after he lost it in the stadium the other night, Saturday night. So but back to Riley to USC, I really think this is not only a jolt for USC's relevance essential for the Pac 12.
The Pac 12 is down right now and it reminds me a little bit of one Urban Meyer got to Ohio State. The whole league needed a boost. It needed like an electric, a little bit of an electrical shock. And Mario Cristobal has given that to some extent, but Lincoln Riley is different, man.
It's going to be hard for skill kids to not go play for Lincoln Riley. That's really what this comes down to is if you are the next DJ Uiagaelei, if you are the next Bryce Young, there is a lot more incentive to stay home now than there was during the Clay Helton era.
It'll be interesting to see what he does on different sides of the ball, how the staff stuff works out. There's a lot of different reverberations from all this. But right now, as-- as we sit here on the first Sunday, USC has won the coaching carousel. It would take-- it would take a pretty seismic hire to top them.
This is one of the biggest hires in years and you know, props to-- props to folks at USC for getting there whale.
DAN WETZEL: It's 55 and 10, 37 and 7 in the Big 12. He's young. He's got the offense. He's exciting. Look, let me give this credit to USC because this is the problem that I don't know what LSU is going to do. Now, they may prove me 100% wrong.
But if you fire your coach early, you better have a plan. You can't just and it looked, it looked until this announcement like, USC was like, who are we going to ask? Like, if you use this time to set this up, hey, they set it up, man. I mean, they set it up. Bedlam ended you know, whatever, 14 hours before they make this announcement.
So he didn't just wake up on Sunday morning, and there was a call and he said I'm going, that unlikely to how it went down. So excellent job by USC, running your search, identifying a guy, and bringing-- bringing in somebody who's going to add a lot of pop, and should greatly change the recruiting dynamic.
I mean, I expect all of those kids to flip to USC. They weren't going to Oklahoma because they like the barbecue. They were going because of Lincoln Riley. And now, Lincoln Riley's in their backyard.