Lincoln Riley Leaves Oklahoma for USC after Average Betting History with Sooners
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Lincoln Riley
Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley will become the new head coach at USC, a source confirmed to The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy on Sunday afternoon.
It’s a stunning move for a coach who made three College Football Playoff appearances over his four years in Norman.
But Oklahoma is in the midst of its worst season in recent memory. The Sooners will miss their first Big 12 Championship Game since 2009 after losing to Oklahoma State on Saturday.
The most recent Associated Press Poll has Oklahoma ranked at a season-low 13th.
Oklahoma had been -150 preseason favorites to win the Big 12 and +800, fourth-best favorites to win it all. Neither will happen.
The horrible season has been punctuated by Riley’s inability to get the most out of five-star recruit Spencer Rattler, who was the preseason Heisman Trophy favorite. Rattler has not started a game since the first week of October.
Riley finishes his Sooner tenure 31-31-1 against the spread. He had a losing record against the spread against the Big 12, going 23-24-1 overall.
Meanwhile, a testament to his style of play comes through a statistical analysis regarding his over/unders. If you had bet $100 on the over on every Oklahoma game since 2017, you would have won $656 total — the sixth-highest mark in college football over that timeframe.
Riley also finished his Oklahoma career 4-1 against the spread over Oklahoma State, including a cover last week in a 37-33 loss.
While the Sooners made three straight semifinals, they lost each time. The first happened after the 2017 against Georgia in the Rose Bowl, the second after the 2018 season against Alabama in the Orange Bowl and the third time against LSU after the 2019 season.
He finished his tenure 55-10 straight up, with four straight Big 12 Championships. Riley also won the Big 12 Coach of the Year Award in 2018.
The move precedes Oklahoma’s impending move to the SEC, which could happen as soon as next season.
The news was first reported by Matt Zenitz from on3sports.
Riley will replace Clay Helton at USC. Helton had finished his career with the Trojans as the least profitable coach against the spread out of all 27 head coaches who have worked in the Pac-12 since his hiring in 2015. He was 28-39-2 ATS.
Helton also ranked 331st out of 332 coaches ATS vs. schools from the Pac-12, Big 12, ACC, SEC and Big Ten.
Riley previously had a contract with Oklahoma that ran through the 2025-26 season, and his contract with USC figures to run for longer.