Lincoln Riley is the new head football coach for USC. He replaces Clay Helton who was fired after four seasons leading the Trojans. The hire comes at a time when college football’s top programs are struggling to maintain their status in an era of increased talent migration to major conferences, with Ohio State being just one recent example.
Lincoln Riley is the new head coach for USC. He has been married to his wife, Danni, since 2009. Read more in detail here: lincoln riley wife.
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Six years ago, then-USC athletic director Pat Haden took a small group of reporters into a dingy conference room and said that Steve Sarkisian would be taking an indefinite leave of absence from the institution. Sarkisian would ultimately be fired, but Haden appointed Clay Helton as the interim coach on same Sunday.
It was a watershed moment. Helton lacked experience as a head coach, but his lack of baggage appealed to the program, and his affability and stability made him the perfect option to save face. USC, on the other hand, needed to rescue more than simply its reputation. It needed to bring its football program back to life. Helton failed to do so six years later and is no longer alive. Haden and his successor, Lynn Swann, are in the same boat.
For the last decade, USC has been a game of musical chairs at the top, with the person calling the decisions on the field unable to propel the Trojans to the top. New athletic director Mike Bohn, on the other hand, has brought a fresh start and, now, a major hiring. By hiring Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley as the Trojans’ next head coach, USC has officially begun a new era. So, where does Riley fit in at USC, and what problems and possibilities does he have ahead of him?
What do you think Riley’s chances are at USC?
With a home run hiring come home run expectations. If USC selected a less successful coach, it would be seen as reforming a program that has struggled in recent years. With Riley in tow, though, the stakes for success will be higher than usual. Riley’s hire sends a clear message to USC fans: the Trojans are ready to win at any costs once again.
Riley’s acceptance of the position indicates that USC is still one of the top positions available. The name brand and infrastructure have taken a beating, but USC’s location on the West Coast and in a league ripe for a true powerhouse raises the potential to new heights. It’s why the immediate targets are a Pac-12 championship at the very least, and a College Football Playoff spot as soon as possible. Riley has guided Oklahoma to three postseason berths in the last four years, while USC has yet to make the cut. And it’s reasonable to assume that getting back there in the Pac-12 will be simpler than getting back there with Oklahoma whenever the Sooners join the SEC.
There’s a lot of work to be done to bring USC back on top, and it won’t happen overnight, but Riley’s pedigree, both on and off the field, means the Trojans are in good shape to return to the top. Paolo Uggetti (Paolo Uggetti)
What problems does he have to deal with?
Prior to Bohn’s arrival at Heritage Hall, USC had continued to get in its own way with internal appointments that flopped on and off the field, including athletic directors Pat Haden and Lynn Swann, and coaches Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian. The institution has been rocked by a number of scandals, a new president, and a bevy of other issues.
Meanwhile, the product on the field has fallen well short of the USC standard. USC has gone 22-20 over the last four seasons, struggling to establish consistency and identity on offense and losing any semblance of toughness on defense. The Trojans have gone through multiple quarterbacks, including highly regarded talents like JT Daniels, due to injury or bad decision-making, and have yet to find one that provides the same level of skill and enthusiasm as previous quarterbacks. They’re no longer reliably generating All-American lineman capable of competing with SEC and Big Ten powerhouses in the trenches.
All of this has resulted in a new challenge: the USC fan base’s overall disillusionment and disinterest. Take a look at the photos of the nearly-empty LA Coliseum that have been circulating on social media every Saturday this season. While there has been a significant culture change behind the scenes in recent years, Riley will have a difficult assignment in making it a reality on the field.
The truth is that the Trojans can no longer completely rely on the legacies of Pete Carroll, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart, and the rest of those squads. For years, it looked like those in charge of the program lacked the self-awareness to recognize how far behind the rest of the collegiate football world they were. However, it seems that the new administration is cognizant of the work that has to be done, as Riley’s appointment demonstrates.
It won’t be easy, however. The Trojans are in in need of repair. USC has always had the necessary resources, and Riley now has the task of living up to expectations at a school that has never ceased thinking it should be at the top of the college football world. Uggetti –
Is Riley capable of reviving USC’s recruiting efforts?
In recent years, USC has battled to maintain Southern California athletes while other blue bloods such as Oklahoma, Alabama, and Ohio Area have delved into the state and snatched up prized prospects. Take a look at some of the best quarterbacks in the country: Bryce Young of Alabama, C.J. Stroud of Ohio State, and Matt Corral of Ole Miss are all California natives.
Riley, who has coached two Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks, knows how to correct it right away. He could even be doing something about it right now. Malachi Nelson, a five-star quarterback from Los Alamitos High School in California, has committed to Oklahoma. He may now continue to play for Riley while remaining at home. Makai Lemon, a five-star wide receiver, can do the same. Raleek Brown, a five-star running back from Southern California who has committed to Oklahoma, told ESPN on Sunday that Riley’s decision changed everything for him.
Riley’s decision is a game-changer in terms of recruitment. His presence on the West Coast will have an impact on other initiatives both in and out of the area. It also helps USC to reclaim ground in the West while still being able to recruit at a high level nationally. They are still in the greatest position in the Pac-12 to assemble a group capable of winning a national title; they have just wasted that chance in recent years. For example, with early signing day only a few weeks away, USC only has seven total pledges in the 2022 class. Oklahoma, on the other hand, is expected to have another top-10 class. Uggetti –
What does this imply for the offense at USC?
There is a widespread belief that USC must play a specific manner. Run the ball like a pro, etc. Those voices got stronger when Graham Harrell’s Air Raid failed to achieve the kind of success that USC had hoped for. It’s a ludicrous way of looking at things, and it’ll be amusing to watch folks who wanted USC to return to its origins do a complete 180 now that Bohn has Riley, who is perhaps college football’s best regarded offensive coach.
Riley runs the ball more than Harrell did at USC, but the way he built his squad at Oklahoma is quite similar to the way USC is structured now. Oklahoma has run the ball 46.9% of the time over the last three years, compared to 37.8% for USC. Oklahoma gained 59.2 percent of their total yards via the air, compared to 72 percent for USC. Riley’s current emphasis on more mobile quarterbacks — Kyler Murray, Jalen Hurts, Caleb Williams — is a trend that USC has never really embraced. The Trojans had had athletic quarterbacks in the past, but none in the mold of Riley’s Oklahoma players. Baker Mayfield’s success under Riley demonstrates that it isn’t a must, although Riley is expected to prefer more mobile quarterbacks in the future. — Kyle Bonagura is an actor who has been in many films.
What does this imply for the Pac-12 Conference?
As the Pac-12’s reputation has degraded in recent years, the consensus answer to its problems has always centred around USC. While other institutions have had high-level success in recent decades, most notably Oregon, Washington, and Stanford, none of them have anything like the cachet that USC has when it is firing on all cylinders.
Of course, the Trojans of Pete Carroll’s era are the best example, and as great as Oregon’s Chip Kelly teams were and as wonderful as Mario Cristobal’s current recruiting has been, it’s simply different when it’s happening in Los Angeles. A dominating USC has the ability to boost the conference’s media rights arrangements in value. It gives the conference a level of legitimacy that it now lacks. If USC achieves its full potential, other colleges will be forced to spend in order to stay up.
With Riley on board, all of these things seem to be not just conceivable, but also expected. His presence will likely make winning the Pac-12 more difficult for teams, but the trickle-down effect should help the league as a whole enhance its standing in comparison to the rest of the country. Bonagura’s
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Lincoln Riley to USC is a statement that was released by the University of Oklahoma’s head football coach. The announcement came as a surprise to many, and it has been speculated that the move was made due to NCAA sanctions. Reference: lincoln riley statement.
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