Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley has dispelled speculation that he could he could take the same role with LSU -- and, according to multiple reports, he's actually headed to USC.
On Saturday night, following his team's loss to Oklahoma State, Riley responded to rumors linking him to LSU while speaking with reporters. The defeat eliminated the Sooners from Big 12 title contention.
"I'm not going to be the next head coach at LSU," Riley said.
In response to a followup question, Riley again seemed to suggest he was planning on staying put, saying he had no issue with the structure of the program or its personnel, and adding that the next step was transitioning to a new conference.
Conspicuously absent from Riley's denial, however, was an assurance that he wasn't leaving the Sooners for any other job aside from LSU.
Instead, by Saturday afternoon, multiple reports indicated Riley's carefully worded denial had in fact left him room for another sort of exit, this time to be the next head coach of the Trojans.
The 38-year-old, fifth-year coach guided Oklahoma to conference titles in each of his first four seasons at the helm. His career record stands at an impressive 55-10, with four top-10 finishes in the final AP poll.
Riley's early success has naturally fueled rumors linking to him any number of prominent coaching openings in the college ranks, including LSU's. The Tigers are searching for outgoing coach Ed Orgeron's successor. The departure of Orgeron, who led the team to a national title as recently as 2019, was announced earlier this season.
Similarly, USC was seeking a replacement for former head coach Clay Helton, was relieved of his duties in September after five-plus seasons at the helm.