Nebraska shocked the college football world on Thursday by hiring longtime Oregon State head coach Mike Riley to replace Bo Pelini. Almost immediately, rumors began that former USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron could be joining the Huskers’ coaching staff.
Editor’s note: In a previous version of this article, there was misinformation posted. A photo of Ed Orgeron with his sons in Nebraska was confirmed to be old. It’s been removed accordingly.
Tom Lemming of CBS Sports talked to Coach O about the opportunity immediately, and Orgeron said he was interested.
This morning, that was followed up by Riley telling the media that he was pleased of the interest.
This all comes less than a month after Bill Plaschke of the LA Times wrote an article on Orgeron, which brought about talk of a potential to return to USC. At the time, Orgeron said “I will be a USC Trojan forever,” and was open to the idea of talking to the Trojans.
Fans got excited, media chomped at the bit to ask Steve Sarkisian about it and there appeared to be legs to the story. That raised questions about the future of current USC assistants like defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and defensive line coach Chris Wilson.
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But if Nebraska beats the Trojans to the punch –assuming that Sarkisian was even actually interested– then it’ll all be for not.
On the surface, Orgeron going to Nebraska would be a be a near perfect fit. Riley needs to up his recruiting profile, especially into the South, where Orgeron is arguably the best in the country.
Plus, Riley’s defenses under Oregon State defensive coordinator Mark Banker has been with a traditional 4-3 defense that had USC considering him to replace Monte Kiffin two years ago. Orgeron’s a well-known proponent of the 4-3.
For now, we wait and see what happens. But where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And you can’t deny sight of the billowing plumes emanating out of Lincoln.