USC, Lincoln Riley Avoid LSU for 2024 Season Opener

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Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma for USC because he didn’t want to face the tough competition in the SEC. But guess what? USC is moving to the Big Ten, so he can’t escape forever.

That’s ironic, right?

Matt Hayes from Saturday Down South shared that USC tried to avoid playing LSU in Week 1. Despite joining a tougher league and getting a new athletic director, Jennifer Cohen, this move seems questionable.

Oklahoma fans have a nickname for Riley: TBOW. I’ll let you figure out what that stands for. His Air Raid offense scores points but lacks defense. Sure, his quarterbacks win Heisman Trophies, but they don’t win College Football Playoff games.

Meanwhile, Brian Kelly left Notre Dame for LSU because he wasn’t scared of competition.

I’m optimistic about USC’s potential this year, but I can’t trust Riley to be reliable under pressure.

Lincoln Riley and USC trying to avoid LSU looks bad.

On our podcast False Start, Cody Williams and I discussed how Dan Lanning didn’t avoid Georgia when he started with Oregon. They played in Atlanta and lost badly, but Lanning showed up.

Gotta respect Lanning for taking his lumps and moving forward. That game was a turning point for Oregon; they became more physical and dominant. No more Chip Kelly softness.

Lanning’s been at Oregon as long as Riley’s been at USC. Who’s more respected? Honestly, people like Kelly more because he took a risk leaving Notre Dame for LSU. With Jayden Daniels’ help, Kelly did something surprising: he became likable.

Change is possible if you want it. Moving on from Alex Grinch to D’Anton Lynn was smart for USC. Miller Moss might connect better with the team than Caleb Williams did last year. Moss isn’t an all-star, but he’s relatable.

Ultimately, shortcuts won’t win championships for Riley. At Oklahoma, talent made winning easier. But the Big Ten is different, and USC has a storied history with Pete Carroll’s legendary run. Riley needs to face his fears head-on.

It starts with looking Brian Kelly in the eye on September 1st and saying, “I am not afraid of your team.”

ESPN College GameDay 2024 Changes
ESPN College GameDay 2024 Changes