With Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley’s name surfacing for the South Carolina opening, Oklahoma columnist Berry Tramel weighed in. His advice: if the chance is there, don’t hold out.
“OU offensive coordinators often get head coaching jobs,” Tramel wrote in his column for The Oklahoman. “But how often do they get really good head coaching jobs? Jim Donnan left OU for Marshall. Chuck Long left for San Diego State. Kevin Wilson left for Indiana.
“Not any South Carolinas on that list.”
He compared Riley’s situation to that of Mike Leach, the Sooners’ offensive coordinator for one year in 1999.
USA Today’s Dan Wolken tweeted he would be surprised to see either Riley or Auburn defensive coordinator/former Florida coach Will Muschamp land in Columbia. He added Bowling Green coach Dino Babers is more likely involved with Syracuse and Maryland, but that was before news the Maryland job had been filled.
ESPN’s Chris Low tweeted whoever South Carolina gets should strongly consider bringing back former defensive coordinator Ellis Johnson. In four seasons in Columbia, Johnson fielded three top-15 defenses. He went on to one disastrous season as head coach of Southern Miss and two seasons as Auburn defensive coordinator.
Low also floated former Gamecocks staff member Shane Beamer and pointed out if Will Muschamp lands in Columbia, he wouldn’t be the first to get another shot.
ESPN’s Mark Schlabach said he’d heard Muschamp and Riley were in play, adding Beamer would be worth a call.
SBNation’s Steven Godfrey fleshed out news of mutual interest between South Carolina and Muschamp, adding information about a potential staff. The group would include Auburn defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Lance Thompson, though Robinson could also land on D.J. Durkin’s Maryland staff.
Godfrey also reported Muschamp would not try to implement the ball-control offense that helped run his Florida tenure off the rails.
He also referenced a Tiger Illustrated report Muschamp could try to raid the Gamecocks’ in-state rivals after contacting Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott. Under Scott, the Tigers have maintained the prolific attack built by Chad Morris, and Scott is considered a top-flight recruiter.