Sunday Buzz: Why Didn’t Luke Fickell Take USC Job?

I spoke to a source in the USC university administration yesterday who told me an offer sheet was presented to Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell.

“His wife said no,” the source said. “And that was the end of it. But he was the first choice early on. Carol Folt approved. They had a contract prepared. It was all set if he approved. Or if she approved.”

If Fickell’s wife said yes, Lincoln Riley might be at LSU today.

54 thoughts on “Sunday Buzz: Why Didn’t Luke Fickell Take USC Job?

    1. He will need to wait a while, but seems that he has Cincy overachieving. What we do now is that no way Fickell would have turned around recruiting in the last two-three months like LR has.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re wrong, 67. Mike Bohn was in his office —thinking and planning ….and planning and thinking… when Riley called up and said “Hey there, goofus, you can stop looking at Jonathan Smith —I’m coming!”

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s when the tan & gold blazer & the mini came out…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Secretary: Mike, Lincoln Riley is on the phone.
        Mike Bohn: Bullshit! Mike Garrett is pranking me again.
        Secretary: I think it’s really him.
        Bohn: Oh my god, what should I say to him?

        Liked by 3 people

      3. Well, Michael, sometimes it is better to be lucky than smart. Pete Carroll was another lucky SC pick-up

        When I see all the great books I will never have the time to read, I realize I am not that smart, but I have been amazingly lucky most of my life,
        and I don’t know why. But maybe having a song-in-my-heart at all times has helped out.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Yah —my favorite prayer is “Thank You for such good fortune!”
        Peace and prosperity. Hope we can hold onto both long enough to get a government that cares about the working man and woman [rather than the global elites] back in power.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I doubt if any of us know whether Fickell or Riley would be the more successful coach in the long term, but either one would have been a big win. Seems like Riley is a better fit with LA and probably is better able to leverage USC to get the top recruits.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. And watching how Smiley Riley handled his last press conference showed me he has a quiet confidence, is respectful to the sometimes meddling press, and is a coach the players will play for. He also strikes me as a man who although appears calm on the outside, has a burning inner drive to be a champion.

        As MG said, Betty White would have been an improvement over the last guy, but it appears SC lucked out with the arrival of Riles.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I am happy with what LR has done in the last 60 days particularly on the O side of the ball. He’s a huge improvement over the Village Idiot. I am on the record as saying I wanted Luke Fickell and Dave Aranda because in November this team needed defense and discipline. I hope LR and Grinch saw that glaring need in that week leading up to the Cal game and have a plan for addressing it. I believe that in the spring if Grinch and LR see that same soft and minimal effort from the D, they will address it.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I think the “dynamic offensive HC who builds the stout D” is the modus for today.

      Even Nick Saban admits that the rules favor offensive football, and the best talent in HS and college play on the offensive side of the ball. This is why he brought in Kiffin to improve the QB play. When Bama has lost the Natty game, it was because Bama’s QB was not as dynamic as the opponent and Bama lost in a slugfest.

      Riles is the guy. He knows the O game. Just needs to bring in the D talent, have Grinch coach ’em up and let ’em play every day against a dynamic offense, and then they get to the CFP where anything can happen.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Just a reminder that Dave Aranda coached up Baylor to beat Riley at Oklahoma this year. Riley’s offense scored just 14 points.

        So we are not going to breeze by teams with good defenses. Riley might be a great offensive coach, but great defenses usually win more games.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, he is Luke Fickell, but his wife is Mrs. Fickle, as in being capricious and unsteady. Mrs. Fickle’ s attitudes would have rubbed off on hubby Fickell, so no thanks.

    She probably enjoys being a big fish in a small Cincy town, but now she has to step aside for the beloved NFL Bengals’ team.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. While all of us “love LA” in a weird way that only Angelenos can, we must remain cognizant that most think the City of Angels is a shithole.
      USC and Fickell would have been a disastre. USC and Aranda? Heaven.

      I’m on the Riley train. Hoping it’s a bullet train.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Bourbon, for that bullet train, we will need to look at a state other than California. Don’t get me started on that horrendous waste of funds…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It is indeed public info that the Fickles have tons of kids (well, at least 5), and that Mrs. F is a midwest kind of gal. So, just how good is Scottie’s inside info?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I am with you 67, if I remember right Fickell and his wife were saying no way to coming to CA long before USC was ready to make a move. I do believe Riley was #1 choice, and they timed it just right.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Surprisingly, a member of the Clay Helton coaching tree …

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mike Bohn fired Eric Bienemy and held onto Clay Helton to save some money for USC. He’s a doofus and his assistant saved his arse by listening to Carson Palmer, going big and asking Riley for interest when the rumors were going around on Riley to LSU. Don’t forget, they tried to lowball two assistants and were burned by Brian Kelly and 7 game Sark. That’s on Bohn.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Carol –like Kirk Douglas — is good at everything she tries –wrestling, sword fighting, horseback riding, dancing on the oars of a Viking ship…you name it….

        Liked by 3 people

  5. USC paid a million for a new women’s basketball coach was this a sound investment by Mike Bohn? After watching the team this weekend the team looks about the same if not worse than last season, and the players lack intensity with little concern about winning or losing. Attendance is terrible and it appears Bohn overpaid for this new wonder woman coach, and he could have gotten a coach for probably alot less than half then he is paying Gottlieb.

    I don’t mind watching a team that lacks talent compared to the other teams in the Pac 12, but I do mind watching a poorly coached team that lacks intensity, discipline, and a strong will to win which all comes down to the head coach. Yes, it is only year 1 of the Gottlieb era, but I just don’t see her coaching talent nor do I see the program ever finishing above UCLA, Stanford, Arizona, Oregon, Oregon State, and probably Arizona State so why pay a coach that type of money especially compared to the other coaches in the Pac 12?????

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Why didn’t Mike Bohn invest in the USC Track and Field Program after winning national championships. Specifically, he should have awarded the coach a substantial raise for bringing the USC Track and Field program back to national championship level.

    Well, we all know the story our great track coach left for Georgia, and Bohn instead invested in the women’s basketball program which has been going nowhere due to stiff competition in the Pac 12. I would invested the money and kept our Track Coach rather than over spending on a women’s basketball coach who basically has not won a thing in women’s college basketball, and by the looks of the team this year it is not well coached, and the players seem to lack intensity and desire in the games. For 1 million bucks we should be getting a well coached team with players who play with intensity, and a strong will to win at least until more talent is recruited into the university. After watching today’s game against Stanford our players were laughing and smiling on the bench despite being down 20 points, and it appeared from the opening tip-off the team appeared to have no hope so why compete hard. It appears even losing is fun in our current program, and for that reason I believe the program at the moment appears to be about the same as under the previous coach who made less than half the money our current coach makes.

    I am very happy for Coach Gottlieb, and I am sure the program will improve but nothing like the level the track program has grown at USC, and we let one of the top coaches in the country get away becuase shewanted a reward for a job well done.


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