Lincoln Riley to USC, Billy Napier to Florida. GAME ... ON ...

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Lincoln Riley to USC, Billy Napier to Florida. GAME ... ON ...

Coach Hot Seat

Lincoln Riley to USC, Billy Napier to Florida. GAME ... ON ...

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Lincoln Riley to take the open Oklahoma job, and Billy Napier will go to Florida. Now for both programs it’s Game On.


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Lincoln Riley takes USC head coaching job, Billy Napier to take the Florida job

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Two of the biggest college football head coaching questions were answered, but that just opens up more big jobs.

Forget Fight On at USC. It’s Game On with Lincoln Riley now about to be the highest-profile – and by a mile, the highest paid – head football coach in the city of Los Angeles.

The fan base wanted an A-lister of A-lister, and it just got it.

Here’s the guy who’s about to bring the high-octane offense, the resumé with four Big 12 championships in five seasons, four top six finishes, two Heisman Trophy winners and a finalist in Jalen Hurts, and three College Football Playoff appearances.

Now USC is a thing again. Not just because it’s USC, and not just because it’s supposed to be a Power Five conference. Now this ups the game in a huge way for recruiting, the overall profile of the football program, the conference, and what the Pac-12 is about to be.

It also says one very important thing – the prime SEC jobs aren’t quite what everyone thinks they are.

Of course the LSU job is huge, and of course the pressure is going to be National Title or Bust at USC, but the expectations are at a whole other level of insane in the SEC – you can never, ever, ever lose.

Who wants to beat their head against the SEC West wall when you can live life in the Pac-12 South?

Billy Napier wants to give it a try in the SEC East.

The Louisiana head coach was on every Next Coach Up list as the rising offensive coordinator coaching star at Arizona State before the head coaching job went to Herm Edwards.

Napier needed a head coaching job first, he guided Louisiana into a steadily-winning power in the Sun Belt with a national profile, and it became a question of just how big the jump up would be.

But now he has to win right away.

There’s not going to be any sort of a grace period at Florida.

Maybe a 9-3ish season is okay in Year One as long as the team looks like it’s about to be built up into a super-power again, but then it’s SEC Championship or Bust.

Dan Mullen got the team to the SEC title game. Jim McElwain got Florida there a few times. Napier now goes from battling with Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina for the Sun Belt title to needing to beat Georgia. Now.

Louisiana is a solid job at a program that’s a great stepping-stone gig. It’s going to attract a high-profile riser like Napier was. And now the Oklahoma gig is an A-list job opening, too.

It’s Oklahoma. It’s going to be in the SEC. It’s now as big of an opening – if not even stronger – than anything else that’s currently available.

It’ll have its pick of top coaches who’ll want to step into a turn-key situation and keep it all going.

But for now, Florida and USC have two of the best and hottest coaches in the game at two of the best and hottest programs when it comes to powerhouse potential.

Again, Game On.

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