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USC head coach Lincoln Riley got honest about his big move from Oklahoma this offseason in a recent interview with ESPN


Despite receiving criticism for his abrupt move to California, the 38-year-old revealed he couldn't turn down the combination of "elite academics" and "proven football history" that USC offers.

"Every coach in any job is going to look at what kind of roster do they think they can build, and I don't think anywhere is positioned like this place is to build an elite roster," Riley told ESPN when asked what attracted him to the USC job.

"Most of college football fits into small market, average-to-good academics and then your varying degrees of different programs. The combination here of the elite academics and you've got a proven football history -- it's been done here -- and then that big L.A. market, all of that ... I just don't know of anywhere else that has those three."

Riley was rumored to be a candidate for the LSU vacancy prior to accepting the USC position. During his interview with ESPN, he set the record straight, revealing that USC was the only phone call he took this offseason.

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"No, and I've told people this all the time. I learned this from Mike Leach, and he probably still says it," Riley said of the LSU job opening.

"You're on one of two lists as a head coach. You're on a list to get fired or you're on a list of other people wanting to hire you. And he's right. I never had one year at Oklahoma where people didn't call in-season. I never subjected myself to it. It's never rocked me. It's never had anything to do with me doing my job. I've taken one phone call in seven years at OU, and it was the USC phone call after the Oklahoma State game. That's the only phone call I've ever taken -- ever. I didn't take one NFL call. I didn't take any of them.


LSU hired Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly on November 29, just one day after USC announced the hiring of Lincoln Riley.

Riley kicks off his first game as USC head coach on September 3rd against Rice.


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