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Sport Did Kirby Smart just call out Lincoln Riley for ducking the SEC?

21:56  03 december  2021
21:56  03 december  2021 Source:   fansided.com

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Georgia football head coach Kirby Smart may have just called out new USC head coach Lincoln Riley for ducking the SEC.

  Did Kirby Smart just call out Lincoln Riley for ducking the SEC? © Provided by Fansided

With the biggest game of the season ahead of them on Saturday, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart may have taken a not-so-subtle shot at former Oklahoma and new USC head coach Lincoln Riley.

There has been some debate as to if Riley ducked the SEC. His former employer is slated to join the SEC in a few years to make it a 16-team league, along with arch rival Texas. Riley had elite job security in Norman and would have made the transition to the new league had he stayed put. Though the opportunity to rebuild at a place like USC is appealing, here is what Smart had to say.

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"The amount of pressure that's put on coaching staffs to win now is immense," said Smart ahead of the 2021 SEC Championship game vs. Alabama on Saturday. "I think you have to understand when you get into this business, the nature of this business and the high stakes that are involved in the SEC coaching, that's part of it. It's not for everybody."

He may not have named names, but Smart seems to be more in favor of Brian Kelly leaving Notre Dame for LSU than Riley leaving Oklahoma to take over at USC.

Georgia football: Did Kirby Smart just call out Lincoln Riley for ducking the SEC?

Smart would follow up with, "I think people find that out when they get in our league, not only how physically tough it is, but the grind in recruiting and year-round transfers and portal. It's taxing, so you'd better have a very quality staff, a great administration, and you'd better be able to manage a lot of situations."

Report: Bob Stoops Will Coach Oklahoma in Bowl Game After Lincoln Riley Departure

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Georgia may have one of the best programs in the country, but the Dawgs compete in the same SEC as Nick Saban's Alabama Crimson Tide, Jimbo Fisher's Texas A&M Aggies and now Kelly taking over the Bayou Bengals. The SEC will devour even the most accomplished head coaches alive. Just ask Bret Bielema, Dan Mullen and Ed Orgeron how that goes. But did Riley duck the SEC, though?

This is all about the ever-changing dynamic of the college football landscape. Oklahoma had been the preeminent program in the Big 12. The Sooners were a top three job nationally, behind only Alabama and Ohio State. However, Oklahoma is going into the SEC and that changes everything. Without a deep recruiting base in-state, how much better will the Sooners be over an Auburn?

By going to USC, Riley takes over a downtrodden West Coast blue-blood with only one big threat in-conference in Oregon. Though Kyle Whittingham's Utah Utes are a menace, USC should be favored to win the Pac-12 South by 2023. From there, it is all about getting into the College Football Playoff for the Trojans. Besides money and a change of scenery, this is why Riley left.

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  Lincoln Riley will find immediate success with USC football USC football has struggled in recent years, but make no mistake, new head coach Lincoln Riley can turn things around immediately for the Trojans. All new hires deserve a bit of patience. It takes time for a head coach to put their stamp on a program. In the case of Lincoln Riley and USC, the T rojans are coming off a dismal season with a 4-7 record. They have an inconsistent offense and woeful defense. Their recent recruiting in the trenches has left a lot to be desired. Yes, Riley deserves a bit of patience…but he shouldn't need it.

On the other side of the coin, Kelly leaving another great job at Notre Dame for LSU speaks volumes. It tells the college football world that Kelly accepted he could not win a national championship at Notre Dame. A combination of academic restrictions and not playing in a conference hurts the chances of the Irish going undefeated and winning it all. This is why he left.

In his early 60s, it seems as though Kelly is not afraid of the smoke. He might be flexing his newfound southern accent at LSU basketball games, but he is ready for the challenge and the massive expectations that come along with taking the high-profile SEC job. While both moves make a ton of sense, it is pretty clear what move Smart respects the most out of the two of them.

If Riley wants to win a national championship at USC, he will have to beat an SEC power anyway.

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.

Oklahoma Fans Need to Get Over Lincoln Riley .
Oklahoma fans are hating on Lincoln Riley. They need to move on.Things have gotten downright nuts on Oklahoma message boards this week, with wild rumors and accusations flying at Riley and the assistant coaches he's bringing with him. Wild conspiracy theories about an affair and a lawsuit that would force USC to fire him ran rampant -- these kinds of rumors always run wild when a coach leaves a school. But for the most part there has just been a lot of petty vitriol aimed at a coach who opted to take a fantastic opportunity.

usr: 1
This is interesting!