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Pac-12 News: Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley Reportedly Will Be USC's Head Coach

Sooners coach leaving nationally established program to rebuild Trojans

In a shocking piece of news, Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley has accepted the head coaching position at USC, according to multiple reports on Sunday.

Riley, 38, will have the task of rebuilding a USC program that was the best in the country under Pete Carroll, but is 4-7 this season and will finish with its second losing season in four years.

He replaces former Trojans coach Clay Helton, who was fired in September after posting a 46-24 record in seven seasons. Donte Williams is the interim head coach.

Riley took the Sooners to four consecutive Big 12 titles and three College Football Playoff appearances in his first four seasons. Oklahoma was considered a prime candidate to reach the College Football Playoff again this season, but the Sooners are 10-2 and were eliminated from the Big 12 championship game as a result of a 37-33 loss at Oklahoma State on Saturday night.

On Saturday, there was speculation that he was LSU's choice to replace Ed Orgeron. Riley addressed that by saying, "I'm not going to be the next head coach at LSU."

He was not asked about the USC opening.

There had been questions whether the USC head coaching job was still attractive. Luring Riley seems to answer that question.

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Presumably, Riley will receive a lucrative contract to try to take USC back to the top of the Pac-12. 

Meanwhile, Oklahoma will try to find a successor to Riley, who has a 55-10 record in five seasons, including a 37-7 mark in the Big 12. The Sooners will move to the SEC in 2025


Cover photo of Lincoln Riley by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman, USA TODAY Network


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