Why Lincoln Riley is Wrong for USC

Coach Riley

There is no honor or loyalty in college football anymore. Now, we have something called a transfer portal. If players are disgruntled with their playing time, they can enter the virtual turnstile portal and find something more to their liking. Apparently head coaches can do the same thing. If college football coaches don’t like their lot in life, they can leave for what they perceive to be greener grasses. I don’t like it. It hurts programs. It hurts players. It causes confusion. It shows loyalty doesn’t matter anymore. It does not instill the right values in young men. It just feels wrong.

Rarely in life are you given an opportunity to continue and sustain the greatness that someone else has built. Most of the time you have to achieve greatness by building from the ground up. It takes blood, sweat and tears to build and sustain a winning model. Bob Stoops watched Bill Snyder do it in the seven years he spent with Snyder at Kansas State. Then he watched how a winner sustains success during the two years he spent at Florida as defensive coordinator for Steve Spurrier. Finally, Bob Stoops decided to take on the challenge of rebuilding and sustaining a program himself.

Bob Stoops rebuilt the Oklahoma Sooner program into a powerhouse. Before Stoops came along, the Sooners were a dumpster fire. From 1987 to 2000, Oklahoma was absent from the national college football stage. Then, lightning struck, and the Sooners won the national championship during Bob Stoops second year as head coach. Stoops continued to build and sustain the program ultimately recruiting four Heisman trophy winners and many first-round draft picks. Stoops collected wins against the premier coaches in College Football on a consistent basis. He built and sustained a dynasty…and then he gifted it to Lincoln Riley. Stoops didn’t have to retire. Riley was handed a trust fund and he let it stagnate.

Lincoln Riley is abandoning Oklahoma for USC. Why? Well, for starters Oklahoma is heading to the SEC. Apparently, he wants no part of recruiting or competing in the best football conference America. Sure, he has been successful at Oklahoma over the last five years but what has he really done? Has he won a national championship like his predecessor? No. Has he beat Alabama like his predecessor? No. Yet, Bob Stoops left the Oklahoma Sooner program in his hands. Stoops retired specifically because he thought Lincoln Riley would be a stayer. Stoops retired because he thought Riley could carry the Sooners to new heights and keep the long history of high-level Sooner football alive. Unfortunately, Riley wasn’t up to the task. He has failed to elevate the program. Now, Riley is heading to USC where he will continue to disappoint.

USC is another top-level college football program. They routinely get some of the best recruits in the nation. Yet, they somehow find a way to underperform every year. I am not sure Lincoln Riley is the answer to their malaise. USC is bringing in the wrong man for the job. Riley thinks he can bring a national championship back to USC. Undoubtedly, as head coach of USC, he thinks his pathway to glory is easier. Yet, there is no logic to that assumption. Even if he makes USC competitive again, he will still have to beat an SEC team to win a national championship for USC. The path of least resistance is not always the right path.

When you are top level program you don’t make a lateral hire. Lincoln Riley is the epitome of a lateral hire. He has done nothing to elevate the Sooners Football program. In fact, he may have even hurt it. His sudden unexpected departure has already tossed the Sooners recruitment into the woodchipper. Sure, he is 55 and 10 as a head coach. However, what has he really accomplished in his career? How many of those recruits for his first 3 years at OU were really his recruits? Oklahoma has had a history of attracting the best recruits in Big 12 country during Bob Stoops tenure. When he took over, Lincoln Riley was billed as the new young offensive genius in football. Surely, he could bring another national championship to Norman. Nope. He failed. In fact, he is 1-3 in bowl games. All three of those losses were college football play-off losses. Sure, he has won the Big 12 in four seasons but is that really an accomplishment? No. Of the Power 5 conferences, the Big 12 is unfortunately in fourth place…right in front of the PAC 12. That ain’t great.

Lincoln Riley left a job unfinished. He left recruits in a lurch. He dropped Oklahoma like a bad habit. He has no history in actually building up a program let alone achieving the pinnacle of greatness in the sport. He was handed an inheritance and he squandered it. Now he is taking on the challenge of building a program from scratch. He will be found wanting. USC would have been better off hiring Mel Tucker for a Brinks truck than hiring “Norm” from Norman. All Riley has to show for his time in Oklahoma is disappointment. Riley not only let Oklahoma down, but he also let Coach Stoops down. Why do you think Bob Stoops is acting as interim Head Coach for the Sooners?

For an alternate perspective on why Riley was the right hire for USC, click here.

Leave a Replay

One Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.


Hello fellow sports fans! My name is Joseph Jordan. Welcome to our page. Welcome to our website. I hope you are as deeply passionate about sports as I am. Julien and I have spent a lot of time writing our sports opinions on Facebook over the years. … Read More>>


Follow Us

Your The Sports. Your Inbox. Everyday