My goal is certainly not to offend Oregon St. fans but Mike Riley is not the answer for USC.
This a classic case of watch out what you wish for.
That Mike Riley is Mike Garrett's TOP choice should be of concern to all of us. I mean come on is that best that Garrett can do? A guy who isn't even the most dominant coach in the state of Oregon? Come on, Garrett can shoot a little higher than that can't he?
Don't get me wrong, Mike Riley is a fine coach. He is a decent developer of his teams and players. he has put 12 players into the NFL during his tenure so I know he can coach. But if he has Garrett's seal of approval then we should be concerned. Other than lucking out in snagging Pete Carroll nine years ago have any of Garrett's "hires" really been spectacular?
Riley was in the hunt for the SC job before Carroll took it and had San Diego allowed Riley the opportunity to interview he might have well ended up in Heritage Hall. Some think that Garrett likes Riley because he will be seen as submissive to Garrett, that is not too far fetched for me to believe. It is all about Garrett. I can see why Garrett may have wanted Riley back then...SC was in the dumps, it was a shell of its former self on the college football landscape in the sense that USC had a rich tradition but a bare cupboard in terms of national stature at that time. Riley would have been better than what we had in Paul Hackett.
USC has changed significantly in those nine years but has Mike Riley? I know at one time he said SC was his dream job but what has he done to make himself The Answer for USC as they embark on their most important coaching search since McKay left?
It is not enough that Riley was a former USC assistant. Fine, he has lived USC football, but times are different, the stakes are a lot higher and the exposure is ten times greater. How do we know that Mike Riley will step up and repspond to the pressure of being the head coach at USC.
USC is an elite program that commands an elite coach...
Mike Riley has not proven to be an elite coach.
Riley's personality fits the lifestyle and demeanor of the Oregon football landscape. Riley is 57-tears old, two years younger than Pete Carroll yet he doesn't come of as someone with the the "IT" factor. He has even stated that Corvallis is his home town and that the grass isn't always greener and because of that he is not the answer for USC. USC wants someone who wants to grab the brass ring...PUBLICLY. We don't know if new Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly is going to succeed in South Bend but we do know he was NOT afraid to make his interests known about the ND coaching job. That is what I am talking about.
ND was Kelly's goal. He publicly stated it and when the job became available he jumped at the chance like a frog on a hot rock!
I am not seeing that fire from Mike Riley...I don't care what is rumored to be going on behind the scenes.
It is rumored that Riley has gone so far as to call all of his players to tell them that he is NOT taking the job at USC. A guy who has a chance at his "dream job" would find a way to not look like a fool by lying to his players while also inquiring about said dream job. If you want something bad enough you go after it 100%...No one is seeing that with Riley.
People are fooled by Riley's recent record against USC but Riley has not been as dominant as some would make him out to be. Riley has a career 64-47 .576 college record how is that dominant?
His OOC record is unimpressive...
Boise State (13-0)
Penn State (11-2)
Yes, he was the underdog in all of those games but a great coach should win one or two of those games. If Riley had done that then you might get my attention. SC will continue to schedule tough OOC games, would Riley stand up to the challenge?
Has Riley ever bagged a nationally prominent 5-star recruit? Has Riley ever gone toe to toe against the big guns in the recruiting wars and bagged the big time recruit? I laugh when people point to Riley's "discovering" the Rodgers Brothers out of Texas. They make it sound like he pulled a fast one on Mack Brown, Gary Patterson or even Mike Leach.
Like they didn't know those guys were there.
It is not up for debate that the Rodgers brothers have turned out to be pretty good players in Riley's system but lets not make them out to be world beaters. If they were so great then then why didn't the Carroll's, Browns, Saban's and Meyer's pluck these two up from the back woods of Texas for their much more prestigious, national programs?
Being a great recruiter as well as being a good to great coach is what will make a guy elite...Riley hasn't shown us that. I realize that there are very few elite recruiters in CFB but if Riley beat just one of those for a top player then it would raise my eyebrows.
Riley can only live off of Pete Carroll's recruits for so long, at some point Riley has to bring in his own talent. Is he up to the challenge?
Again, Riley is good coach but with the level of exposure he brought to Oregon State how come no one is beating down his door to go to the next level of college coaching? Heck, he is an Alabama guy but they didn't even open the their Rolodex to get his number. He doesn't seem to have the same level of energy that Carroll, Saban or Meyer have and that is key when representing with those sorts of programs. He may be good at a laid-back program like Oregon State but how will he respond to high pressure and bright lights at USC? Especially when you consider who he has to replace.
Does anyone think those expectations are going to be high?
You can only hire a guy on what you know about him...not about what you think you know about him or what you hope he might become.
Oregon State knows how good they have it...so much so that they are offering Riley a lifetime contract. He is a great fit in Corvallis, but I am not sure how his level of success translates to USC.
If he takes up OSU's offer then you have your answer...