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Coaching Carousel Has Begun by TJ Chapman


Riley leaving Oklahoma for USC

Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley will be named the next head coach at USC, per reports from Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. Riley and USC are in the process of working out the details of a contract that will bring the 38-year-old to Southern California. Riley spent the last five years as the Sooners head coach going 55-10 with four Big 12 championships and three playoff appearances. The last few weeks had reports of Riley being named the next LSU coach, but he squashed those rumors in his post-game press conference after last night’s 37-33 loss to Oklahoma State. He never said he was not leaving Oklahoma. Riley will replace Clay Helton as the USC head coach as Helton was fired after a week two loss. A few reasons that attracted Riley to USC are the fertile recruiting grounds that California has to offer as well as the very deep pockets and commitment to winning that USC has. The downside is that USC was 4-7 this season and he will need to completely rebuild the Trojans program. At Oklahoma Riley was the offensive coordinator prior to becoming the head coach. He did not need to rebuild the Sooners as he will need to do at USC. He already knew the Sooner players and the recruits coming in. He does not know anyone at USC and will need to establish relationships with the players and scramble to put a recruiting class together. The early signing period starts December 15, 2021. My two cents: if I am Oklahoma, I am calling Baylor head coach Dave Aranda and offering him the job ASAP. Aranda is a defensive guru and Oklahoma’s defense has been terrible during Riley’s tenure. Aranda can coach defense and in the Sooners three playoff games their defense was shredded. Then Aranda needs to hire a top-notch offensive coordinator to keep the Sooner offense as lethal as it has been under Riley.

Napier to Florida

Many news outlets are reporting that Louisiana head coach Billy Napier has been hired as the next head coach at the University of Florida. The 42-year-old from Cookeville, TN, released a statement saying he is “humbled and honored to accept this incredible opportunity to be the head football coach at the University of Florida.” Napier has led Louisiana to a 39-12 record over his four seasons in Lafayette. He will coach the Ragin’ Cajuns in the Sun Belt Conference championship game Saturday. Napier has turned down other SEC jobs over the past few years and was also a name floated around a lot for the major head coaching jobs open this season. Virginia Tech and LSU were reported to both be interested in Napier. The upside for Napier choosing Florida is he has access to one of the top recruiting areas in the country in the state of Florida. The downside is Florida completely collapsed this season and with the coaching change there may be a mass exodus that he will need to rebuild. Napier has worked under both Nick Saban at Alabama and Dabo Swinney at Clemson, so he is familiar with the SEC and recruiting against the SEC. And he also knows how to build a program. My two cents: I like the hire, a lot! Napier is a great coach and I think he can do what Jim McElwain, Will Muschamp and Dan Mullen could not at Florida, win the SEC.


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