Maybe you’re not shocked that Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma, but you probably are shocked at the destination. Multiple reports now confirm that Riley is headed west to accept the USC job after several days of LSU chatter.
Oklahoma lost last night to Oklahoma State, essentially ending the Sooners’ season and perhaps making this timing work for both sides. Riley now takes the premier job in the Pac-12, while also avoiding Oklahoma’s move to the SEC. Not a bad trade.
Of course, now the Sooners are left without a coach, and let’s just say Knoxville is officially nervous. Josh Heupel played and coached at Oklahoma, making these dots easy to connect for anyone. After an impressive 7-5 opening season in Knoxville, building off of his UCF success, Heupel is a natural name to consider for the opening.
However, as a few in the national media have pointed out, Heupel and Oklahoma didn’t separate on the greatest terms.
Never say never, but Josh Heupel and OU getting involved in any serious way would be more stunning to me than Lincoln Riley leaving Oklahoma.— David Ubben (@davidubben) November 28, 2021
This came up yesterday when the buzz was centered on LSU. There’s bad blood there that makes it tough/less likely https://t.co/Zzc7SATEDa— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 28, 2021
Heupel was fired as offensive coordinator back in 2014, which sent him to Utah State, and then Missouri and then eventually the UCF head coaching job.
“It gave me a chance in some ways to restart and relook at what I wanted to do on the offensive side of the football,” Heupel said earlier this year of the firing. “As a coordinator, you’re always going to try to carry out your head coach’s vision.”
Everyone’s mind is immediately going to go straight back to 2009, when Lane Kiffin bolted from Tennessee for his dream job at USC. Based off those in the national media, maybe there’s nothing to worry about here, but it definitely something that you’re going to hear about over the next several days.