HAMMER: USC Trojans To Win Pac-12 Under Lincoln Riley

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I’ll risk looking stupid here because no one else will … The 2022 USC Trojans are going to bumrush the Pac-12 in new head coach Lincoln Riley’s first year on the job. It feels like the football nerds are being too safe with their preseason predictions of USC. 

But, I’m BETTING the USC TROJANS TO WIN THE PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP (+220) at DraftKings Sportsbook. Riley should find instant success in the soft Pac-12 and he dominated the transfer portal

Riley’s Track Record

Head coach Lincoln Riley of the USC Trojans walks on the field during the 2022 USC Spring Football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
USC Trojans head coach Lincoln Riley. (Getty Images)

Riley improved Oklahoma’s football program immediately after succeeding Bob Stoops. He brought a lot of his staff with him from Oklahoma including defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. Grinch is used to going against prolific aerial attacks in the Big XII and will have it easier vs. Pac-12 offenses.

There aren’t five better coaches in the country than Riley and none in the Pac-12. In his first three years at Oklahoma, Riley won three Big XII titles and made three College Football Playoffs. 

Riley turned all three of those starting QBs into Heisman finalists. Two of them won back-to-back Heismans (Baker Mayfield in 2017 and Kyler Murray in 2018) and 1st-overall NFL draft picks. What’s even crazier is all Oklahoma QBs from 2017-19 were transfers! 

USC Crushed The Transfer Portal

Quarterback Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans warms for the 2022 USC Spring Football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum
USC Trojans QB Caleb Williams. (Getty Images)

Speaking of which, stud sophomore QB Caleb Williams followed Riley to Southern California. Along with Williams, USC acquired RB Travis Dye from the Pac-12 rival Oregon Ducks. Dye was the Pac-12’s 2nd-leading rusher in 2021. Poaching him from an Oregon program that’s been the class of the conference obviously benefits USC. 

Fred Biletnikoff Award-winning Pittsburgh-transfer WR Jordan Addison and Oklahoma-transfer WR Mario Williams moved to Southern California. These two could form the best WR tandem in the nation. 

Riley is a quarterback whisperer and Williams is going to make it rain on the Pac-12 in 2022. Addison will dominate Pac-12 cornerbacks and Dye will be atop the Pac-12 leaderboards in rushing stats again. 

Furthermore, USC winning the conference championship (+220) at DraftKings Sportbook is so juicy because the conference is dogshit. Pac-12 football might sink into the ocean by the decade’s end. USC and UCLA are allegedly bolting to the Big Ten

Granted, Riley inherited a better program at Oklahoma in 2017. But the Big XII then, and now, is much tougher than the Pac-12. There isn’t a single College Football Playoff contender aside from maybe Utah. The gap between Riley and the other Pac-12 coaches is about the driving distance from Norman, Oklahoma to L.A. 

Go to DraftKings Sportsbook and get a little action down on the USC TROJANS TO WIN THE PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP (+220).

  • A $100 bet returns a $220 profit.

Written by Geoff Clark

Geoff Clark serves as OutKick’s sports betting guru. As a writer and host of OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark, he dives deep into the sports betting landscape and welcomes an array of sports betting personalities on his show to handicap America’s biggest sporting events.

Previously, Clark was a writer/podcaster for USA TODAY's Sportsbook Wire website, handicapping all the major sports tentpoles with a major focus on the NFL, NBA and MLB.

Clark graduated from St. John University.

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