What Are Realistic Expectations For Lincoln Riley At USC?

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David Hookstead Sports And Entertainment Editor
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What should USC fans expect out of Lincoln Riley?

This is the question everyone has been asking ever since Riley left Norman for the bright lights of Los Angeles. (RELATED: David Hookstead Is The True King In The North When It Comes To College Football)

Riley has been handed the keys to a Lamborghini, and he’s been tasked with breathing life into a disappointing and failing USC program.

How much time should fans give Riley to turn things around? I think a realistic timeline is three years.

USC is not good right now and there’s not enough talent on the roster to win right away. Riley knows how to recruit and the region is stacked with elite talent.


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However, that doesn’t mean they’ll be an 11-1 or 12-0 team in 2022. That would be stunning. If USC goes 9-3 next season and wins 10+ games in 2023, then Riley is doing an incredible job.

College football fans are very delusional, and I say that as a compliment. I’m among the most delusional of them all.

However, I’m still rational enough to know Lincoln Riley isn’t taking over USC and stringing together three straight undefeated seasons with three national titles.


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Fans should be very happy if the Trojans are 9-3 in his first season as he rebuilds the roster. From there, shoot for a 10-2 or an 11-1 2023 campaign. I expect him to be rolling by 2024 once a large chunk of the roster are his guys, but in the next two seasons, expect a few bumps along the way.