Oklahoma Sooners

Lincoln Riley Addresses Latest NFL Rumors

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Tulane at Southern California

Death, taxes, and Lincoln Riley being rumored to be off to the NFL — It’s a tale as old as his tenure as a head coach and will likely continue to be a storyline despite the overwhelming evidence that the offensive prodigy might have a full grasp on what it takes to field a competitive defense.

The latest cycle of NFL coaching carouseling once again brought Riley’s name to the front of many minds, although the push wasn’t nearly as strong as it was before Riley’s 2023 season with the Trojans, which ended in an 8-5 record.

Riley has to explain why he’s staying put wherever he is on an annual basis, as is the case for pretty much every big-name coach in the profession.


“I wanna get it right here [at USC],” Riley said on Thursday. “I really do. I want it really bad. Not for me, I just want it really bad for this program and I want it really bad for the current team, the former players, the former coaches, the fans, the university. I just — that’s why we left everything that we left. We want it really, really bad here.

That’s still the case for 2024 as well, and Riley put any rumors of him leaving for the NFL this cycle to bed, or at least that’s what he’s telling the media.

“I’m at the place I want to be,” Riley said.


Now, by place, does he mean “Los Angeles?” After all, he told Oklahoma media that he “wasn’t going to be the next head coach at LSU,” just hours before he hopped on a plane to LA (Los Angeles, not to be confused with Louisiana).

All jokes aside, Riley did talk about some of the concerns that college coaches have to deal with in today’s game but didn’t seem to sound like it was something that would scare him off anytime soon.

“I certainly — there’s some things with college football that need to get right, not just for coaches, for certainly far more than that,” Riley said. “Certainly I hope some of those things can get corrected to continue to make the job of everybody involved with college football, I don’t want to say easier, that’s not the right word, but maybe a little more manageable. And there’s certainly some challenges there but it’s not to the point, certainly for me it’s not to the point where I’m like, ‘To heck with college football.’ We still have a tremendous product, the game is still tremendous.”

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