When it comes to anything related to the SEC, you can imagine that it’s going to be a sore spot for Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
Bob has been losing Big 12 conference members to the SEC for years now. Previously, he watched as Missouri and Texas A&M took off. Now, he’s losing his crown jewels in the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns. The ever-shifting landscape of college football has not been kind of the Big 12, even as it prepares to welcome new members into the fold.
The angst that Bowlsby feels towards his southern counterparts was on display again in a recent interview on Sirius/XM in which he discussed Lincoln Riley’s abrupt move from Oklahoma to USC. It had been reported a day earlier that Riley was set to take the job at LSU but Riley emphatically denied that right before leaving for the Pac-12. Bowlsby apparently never saw Riley as a fit at LSU anyway because of “cultural” reasons.
— Ross Dellenger (@RossDellenger) December 3, 2021
“Those were certainly surprises,” Bowlsby said on SiriusXM. “Coach Riley had been mentioned in conjunction with the LSU position, and I really thought that there wasn’t much credence to that because I just, I know what a fine guy Lincoln Riley is. He’s an outstanding coach, obviously, but he’s a high-quality person and he is mature beyond his years. And so, you know, it was a little bit surprising that he jump ship (for USC), but I wasn’t surprised that he wasn’t interested in the LSU position because culturally that’s just not what Lincoln Riley is. And I was frankly surprised by the Brian Kelly move.”
One does wonder what kind of culture and cultural fit Bowlsby is referring to when it comes to LSU. What is it that’s so disagreeable for someone like Riley, a “high-quality person,” or even Brian Kelly, who eventually did take the job?
We have to imagine LSU fans are going to have some thoughts on the matter. We look forward to hearing about it.