USC Trojans News: Lincoln Riley's old program implodes, SC finds beef in portal, more

Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans
Lincoln Riley, USC Football, USC Trojans / Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

USC Football Head Coach Lincoln Riley's extraordinary Year 1 performance with the Trojans was put into even further perspective. As if it wasn't already massive enough that Riley took the Trojans from 4-8 to 11-2 in just his first year on the job, the massive weekly failures of his former program show how dominant his impact as a coach is.

Oklahoma went 6-6 in their first taste of college football without Riley this season. They made a laughably irrelevant bowl game: The Cheez-It Bowl. It somehow got worse on Thursday, however, when they lost the Cheez-It Bowl.

The only thing more embarrassing than playing in the Cheez-It Bowl is to then lose it and drop to below .500 for the first time since 1998. It's safe to say that Riley is incredibly elite at this coaching thing. His old program dropped from 11-2 with him last year (in his worst year with the program) to 6-7 as soon as he left for the better job in Los Angeles.

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USC Football beefed up their O-Line on Friday after picking up Florida starting Offensive Tackle Michael Tarquin. Tarquin started eight of the 13 games UF played this year (was injured for the other five games). Tarquin not only is a starting tackle, but also was a four-star prospect coming out of high school (all recruiting ratings and rankings in article are as of 247Sports).

Tarquin was the No. 22 Tackle coming out of the 2019 recruiting class. Tarquin will likely at least compete for a starting spot next year with Mason Murphy, Courtland Ford, and Elijah Paige. Also, keep in mind that one of these guys could potentially be kicked inside to play guard. Perhaps that raises Tarquin's chances of starting at tackle.


The Pac-12 has dropped to 3-2 in bowl games this season, after UCLA hilariously lost the Sun Bowl to the Pitt Panthers on Friday. UCLA lost in the final seconds, when Pitt hit a game-winning field goal with just four seconds left on the clock. The only other team to lose a bowl game for the Pac this year has been Washington State, who lost the LA Bowl to Fresno State.

Next. Ranking USC Football's Heisman Trophy winning seasons. dark

There are two more Pac-12 bowl games left, one being the Rose Bowl between Utah and Penn State, and the other being the Cotton Bowl between USC and Tulane. Both games are on Monday, and both Pac-12 programs are favored. SC shouldn't have much trouble as long as QB Caleb Williams plays, as he is currently working to recover from a popped hamstring.