Riley leaving Oklahoma for USC, sources say

  • Senior college football writer
  • Author of seven books on college football
  • Graduate of the University of Georgia

Lincoln Riley said he wasn’t leaving Oklahoma for LSU.

He didn’t say he wasn’t leaving the Sooners for USC.

In a stunning move on Sunday, Riley, 38, accepted the head-coaching position at USC, according to ESPN and multiple reports. He replaces former Trojans coach Clay Helton, who was fired in September after posting a 46-24 record in seven seasons.

Riley guided the Sooners to four consecutive Big 12 titles and three College Football Playoff appearances in his first four seasons. Oklahoma was eliminated from the Big 12 championship game following a 37-33 loss at Oklahoma State on Saturday night.

Following the Bedlam loss, after there was widespread speculation that he was LSU’s choice to replace the departing Ed Orgeron, Riley said, “I’m not going to be the next head coach at LSU.”

It’s a big blow to the Sooners, who are about to transition into the SEC. Riley had a 55-10 record in five seasons, including a 37-7 mark in the Big 12.

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