Skip to main content

Paul Finebaum Reacts To Lincoln Riley Leaving Oklahoma

Paul Finebaum looks on.

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07: Paul Finebaum of the SEC Network before the SEC Championship game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers on December 07, 2019, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, GA.(Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Lincoln Riley took the college football world by storm on Sunday and stunned everyone when he accepted the head coaching job at USC.

It happened one night after he confirmed to the media that he wasn't going to LSU after there were a lot of rumors that he would.

ESPN's Paul Finebaum has now reacted to the news and gave his opinion on Riley's decision to leave Oklahoma for USC.

"I was equally stunned Greg and the hot rumor was Lincoln Riley to LSU as you guys know,” Finebaum said. “I think when you look at it, in his mind, you’re looking into going into a tougher situation than you have now in a brutal league. And you say to yourself, ‘I think I could win just as easily at Oklahoma’ and I’m not surprised by that part of it. I don’t know where USC was, they’ve done a good job of just literally leading everybody in the wrong direction.”

Finebaum also doesn't think that Riley was afraid of coaching in the SEC in a few years.

"I like the move and I don’t necessarily subscribe to the predictable, ‘He was afraid of the SEC,’ I don’t believe that,” Finebaum said. “I think he had to factor in the challenge of the SEC, but when you can go to a school that has a top five tradition in college football history and by the way he’s already at one of those, and feel like you probably have a better chance of winning the national championship going there than where you are, then I think that’s a good decision."

Riley went 55-10 in five seasons with the Sooners and took them to the College Football Playoff three times.