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#pounditWednesday, January 26, 2022

Lincoln Riley reportedly expected to become next USC head coach

Lincoln Riley in a hat and headset

The USC Trojans are trying to make a splash with their next head coaching hire, and it looks like they might succeed.

The Trojans are targeting Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley to fill their coaching vacancy, according to Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. Negotiations are advanced enough that Thamel expects a formal announcement within the next 24 hours.

The report was confirmed a short time later by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic.

This is an absolute stunner, and it comes out of nowhere. Riley had been linked to LSU over the past week, but he firmly denied those rumors on Saturday. That was taken by most as a signal that Riley had no interest in leaving the Sooners. Apparently, it may have been because he had something else in the works instead.

Riley taking the USC job signifies an enormous shift in the college football landscape. He has established himself as one of the sport’s top coaches, posting a 55-10 record with Oklahoma since taking over in 2017. It will be a huge coup for USC, a program that has been looking to re-establish itself as a title contender for the better part of a decade. This would bring that goal closer to reality, and will undoubtedly provide a huge boost to recruiting as well.

Photo: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

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