Jon Gruden’s name is getting attention this week for the USC job. But why isn’t there more buzz for Mike Riley? Oregon State is 6-2 and he always has a good offense. And he finds players who are overachievers like wide receiver Brandin Cooks, not to mention offensive tackle Sean Harlow.
Defensive coordinator Mark Banker is widely respected too. USC’s spoken to him for past openings but that was when Mike Garrett was the athletic director. Riley might feel different this time around.
USC athletic director Pat Haden spoke today about the job done by Ed Orgeron and his coaching staff.
“Ed has put a lot of juice into the team and the coaching staff,” Haden said. “I give the coaching staff a lot of credit. This is not an easy thing for them to do not knowing their future, and I understand that. They are working their tails off.”
The venerable betting publication, the Gold Sheet, picks Oregon State to defeat USC, 27-17. “The Trojans have failed to cover any road game the L1+Ys (0-10!).”
Here’s my ballot for the Associated Press college basketball preseason poll:
That is the question posed in my analysis in today’s paper. The Trojans are 2-1 with two victories over teams they were supposed to beat and a loss as an underdog at Notre Dame.
Excerpt: “It is probably unrealistic to expect Orgeron to completely change a team in midcourse. Instead of wondering if USC is better, perhaps the smarter question is how much worse would USC be if Orgeron were not keeping the Trojans together?”
I didn’t mention this in my original post on Sean Harlow but here’s a couple other things: First, he is playing right tackle for Oregon State and starting as a true freshman. That is usually considered the toughest position on the line so wouldn’t he easily be able to left tackle for USC?
If you think he was not good enough to play for USC I’d argue he can probably false start just as well as anyone else. Everyone knew about Harlow, especially USC, while he was at San Clemente. So yes, this was a recruiting blunder.
Maybe it lends some support to Ed Orgeron’s decision to take commitments from three stars recently.