Oklahoma Texas Football

Oklahoma Coach Lincoln Riley gives instructions to quarterback Spencer Rattler during a game against Texas in October. Riley is leaving Oklahoma to become USC’s head coach. Jeffrey McWhorter/Associated Press

Southern California hired Oklahoma’s Lincoln Riley to be its next coach Sunday in a stunning and rare move of one traditional college football powerhouse swiping another’s highly accomplished head coach.

Riley, 38, went 55-10 in five seasons leading the Sooners, winning four Big 12 titles and making three College Football Playoff appearances in his first head coaching job. He is widely considered one of the top offensive minds in the college game, and USC sold him on the chance to return the Trojans to their glory days as a national championship contender and the West Coast’s premier program.

“USC has an unparalleled football tradition with tremendous resources and facilities, and the administration has made a deep commitment to winning,” Riley said in a statement. “I look forward to honoring that successful tradition and building on it. The pieces are in place for us to build the program back to where it should be and the fans expect it to be.”

Riley “will immediately transition to USC,” according to the school. Interim coach Donte Williams will lead the Trojans in their season finale at California on Saturday night.

USC fired Clay Helton in September, and the school has been searching for a head coach to revive a program that has had meager success since a dominant run through the 2000s under Pete Carroll that included two national titles.

Riley was the anointed successor at Oklahoma for Bob Stoops when the veteran coach retired in 2017, and the Sooners have owned the Big 12 ever since. Riley produced two Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks – Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray – and some of the most prolific offenses in college football history.

Riley led the Sooners to yet another 10-win season this year, but Oklahoma’s string of Big 12 titles was snapped when the Sooners (10-2) narrowly lost to Oklahoma State on Saturday night.

AP TOP 25: Michigan jumped to No. 2 in The Associated Press poll, and Oklahoma State joined the top five for the first time since 2015.

Georgia was the unanimous No. 1 team for the eighth consecutive week. For the fourth straight week, there is a different No. 2 team behind the Bulldogs.

Michigan has its highest ranking since it peaked at No. 2 in 2016. The Wolverines moved up four spots after emphatically beating Ohio State on Saturday to break an eight-game losing streak in the rivalry.

Cincinnati moved up to No. 3, flip-flopping with Alabama at No. 4. The Crimson Tide slipped after beating Auburn in overtime.

Oklahoma State moved up two spots after beating Oklahoma for the first time since 2014. Notre Dame dropped a spot to No. 6 and Ohio State tumbled five spots to No. 7.

FLORIDA: The Gators hired Louisiana-Lafayette’s Billy Napier to be their next head coach.

The move ends a quick process that landed Florida its top target, one week after it fired Dan Mullen.

Napier, 42, will remain with the Ragin Cajuns (11-1) this week as they prepare to host Appalachian State (10-2) in the Sun Belt Conference championship game Saturday. He is 39-12 in four seasons in Lafayette, including 32-5 the past three years.

TCU: Sonny Dykes is set to be introduced as TCU’s new coach on Tuesday after four seasons at SMU, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram was the first to report plans for Dykes to be formally introduced Tuesday.

Dykes’ return to the other side of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is a much-anticipated move. The son of former Texas Tech coach Spike Dykes had been considered a top candidate for the TCU job since Gary Patterson and the school mutually agreed Oct. 31 to part ways with four games left in the season.

Previously the head coach at California and Louisiana Tech, Dykes is 30-18 in four seasons at SMU, including 8-4 this season.

DUKE: David Cutcliffe won’t return for a 15th season as Duke’s coach after the school announced a “mutual agreement for separation” following the Blue Devils’ winless Atlantic Coast Conference record.

The school’s announcement came a day after the Blue Devils (3-9, 0-8) closed their season with a 47-10 home loss to Miami. That marked the first winless slate for Duke in league play under Cutcliffe, who transformed the Blue Devils from one of the nation’s worst performers into a regular bowl contender and even claimed a division title in 2013 before the program slid badly in the past two seasons.

 

Comments are not available on this story.