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SEC News: Lincoln Riley Leaves SEC-Bound OU For USC

Lincoln Riley is done at Oklahoma prior to the move to the SEC

In the coming years, Oklahoma and Texas will be joining the SEC. Former Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian could very well remain at Texas following a 5-7 season when the Longhorns arrive to renew the rivalry with Texas A&M.

Lincoln Riley will not be in Norman for Oklahoma.

According to Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel, USC will hire Riley as their next head coach. The news was confirmed by Matt Zenitz of On3Sports and Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger.

Riley's name was at the height of coaching rumors over the past week after a report suggested that LSU was willing to make him the highest-paid head coach in FBS history. Following a 37-33 loss to in-state rival Oklahoma State on Saturday, Riley stated he would not become the next head coach of the Tigers.

"No concerns about our administration, our AD, our president," Riley said. "We've been through a lot together. This isn't our first rodeo together. So we always have conversations about the future and certainly with all that's changing right now on the college landscape, all that's getting ready to change."

In five seasons since replacing longtime Sooners coach Bob Stoops, Riley is 55-10 and Oklahoma has finished no lower than No. 7 in the final Associated Press poll.

The Trojans finished 4-7 this season following the firing of Helton. Helton, who was fired following Sarkisian's firing in 2015, went 46-24 as the Trojans' coach, including a Rose Bowl win to cap the 2016 season. That season, USC finished No. 5 in the country.

Early names that look to be in the running for Oklahoma include former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, Kentucky's Mark Stoops, Nevada's Jay Norvell and current OU defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.

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Perhaps the biggest name that has come to mind is current Tennessee coach Josh Heupel. In his first season with Vols, Heupel finished 7-5 with perhaps the biggest win coming over No. 18 Kentucky at home.

Josh Heupel, who led the Sooners to a 7-5 record in his first season with the program.

Hupel is best known for his time as Oklahoma's starting QB in 2000. That season, Heupel was the Heisman Trophy runner-up, an All-American, the AP Player of the Year, and a Walter Camp Award winner.

Heupel led the Sooners to an undefeated season and a national championship with a victory over Florida State in the 2001 Orange Bowl. As a head coach, he is 35-15, having coached at Central Florida from 2018-20. will keep you up to date with Oklahoma's next hiring and the change of winds in the SEC. 

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