Is Lincoln Riley on the Hot Seat? Paul Finebaum Thinks “It’s Over” At USC Football

Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Has the match made in heaven already spoiled? Lincoln Riley has faced plenty of criticism after a 19-8 start to his coaching tenure with USC Football, but is his job already at risk?

After the former Oklahoma coach joined the jewel in the crown of the Pac-12, expectations were sky high. After just two years, at least one college football analyst is calling it curtains for the 40-year-old heading into his eight-season as a head coach. It just so happens that that analyst is one of the biggest and most respected voices in the game.

Is Lincoln Riley Already on his Way Out At USC Football?

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Paul Finebaum made the case on his show recently that Riley’s job security isn’t only on the rocks, but that he has already lost complete control of the program.

“I think it’s over for Lincoln Riley, anyway,” Finebaum said,” To me, he’s lost control. And once you lose control, you’re like in the middle of quicksand.”

“Bruce Feldman said a minute ago that he thought they are looking at about seven wins, which is pretty dangerous when you are the USC coach and you have two back-to-back bad seasons,” Finebaum said.

Things seemed to be pointed in the right direction after going 11 and 3 in his first season, but a defenseless defense turned 2023 into a lost cause. Caleb Williams and Riley’s offense couldn’t score enough points to make up for the damage done by opposing teams.

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Riley has completely renovated his defensive coaching staff and recruiting efforts to address the issues, but is it too little too late for the decision-makers within SC? Making matters worse, they just lost two top defensive recruits and rumors are swirling that top QB prospect, JuJu Lewis may defect to Auburn. Begging the question; Is Riley the big talent draw USC football thought he was when he was hired?

USC Football’s entrance into the Big 10 was supposed to be triumphant, but now it seems that they will come in like a lamb to the slaughter. By some accounts, the Trojans’ schedule is one of the hardest in the nation. They open their season against LSU, then play Michigan, Penn State, Washington, Notre Dame, and the plucky Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Finebaum has been highly critical of Riley’s efforts;

“I don’t know that I’ve seen a worse coaching job by anyone than Lincoln Riley this year,” Finebaum said after USC’s loss to UCLA.

“It’s a complete disaster, and quite frankly, he ought to pack up. I don’t really see what his path is moving forward.”

“Maybe, Lincoln, you ought to look in the mirror,” he said. “Maybe you’re just a total fraud as a coach.”

NCAA Football: Southern California at Notre Dame Lincoln Riley
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