College Football Futures: Which New Coach will have the most impact?
Obviously the deals that can be made for Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) are rocking college football. That’s because for the first time, the players are putting themselves in the driver’s seat.
As BetOnline patrons can probably sense, there are schools that will get on top of this first. Those are going to be the ones that might realize a competitive advantage. There are coaches who are “hip” to the money game because they play it themselves.
And some of those coaches have changed places for the 2022 season, more often than not for huge paydays. Is it greed? Well, Brian Kelly left Notre Dame for LSU, chasing the bucks while it had not been determined yet that the Irish weren’t going to be in the four-team playoff.
It’s all business. And as we move closer to fall practice, which new coach might make the biggest impact, the fastest?
Lincoln Riley, USC
He has immediately upgraded the offense – in a big way
Riley is a genuine operator. As an on-field coach, you can’t doubt his ability to work with quarterbacks. When you have one guy after another who is a Heisman Trophy candidate (or winner), that much is confirmed.
But Riley has been positively cutthroat when it comes to poaching players from his former employers at Oklahoma. Most prominent among them is Caleb Williams, who managed to displace a pre-season Heisman candidate in Spencer Rattler last year and threw for 21 touchdowns with just four interceptions.
Riley also grabbed Travis Dye, who gained 1271 yards last year, from Oregon. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that USC helped itself more than anyone when it came to impact transfers.
College Football recruits will be drawn to him
And Riley also had an immediate effect on high school recruiting. The Trojans signed four of the top seven Pac-12 prospects.
As BetOnline patrons undoubtedly know, California is a fantastic breeding ground for high school talent. And when you think about it, USC’s major competitors for talent from the Golden State are in the Pac-12 Conference.
Should we be assuming so much this soon?
The infusion of talent is considerable, but let’s remember that this team was 4-8 last season. So it won’t be automatic that they take control of the Pac-12. But they’re not far away; Oregon and Utah might be ahead of them at the moment, at least in the opinion of some. But it’s not going to require a quantum leap for this team to win a conference title. They have eight returning starters, but that doesn’t tell the story, with the new people coming in. The biggest area of concern is the defense, where, frankly, his Sooners struggled in the past. Riley brought over defensive coordinator Alex Grinch from Oklahoma.
College Football In summation…..
This is a successful coach who has employed an explosive system. He has stepped on a lot of toes to get the players he needs to win now. He as a lot of rich almuni and the athletic department generates a lot of revenue. So spreading money around is not a problem. It’s in a favorable and glamorous locale. Everything is set up for him to succeed, and succeed big.
The oddsmakers at BetOnline obviously believe Riley’s impact will be immediate, and very meaningful.
USC is actually listed as the +210 favorite to win the Pac-12 championship. And only Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia have shorter odds to win the national title than USC’s +1400.
For those of you who like pick’em propositions, the over-under on the Trojans’ regular season wins is 9.5, where you’d be laying -115 either way.
Certainly we’re optimistic about what Riley can do. As for whether our expectations are such that he can beat that win total….. Well, without Oregon on the schedule, the biggest obstacles are a road game at Utah and a home meeting with Notre Dame.
So maybe, just maybe…..
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