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Riley, Lanning and DeBoer's new Pac-12 coaches are in the spotlight.arts & entertainment

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Coaching changes at the Pac-12 are a given, but changes are rarely seen in the conference’s three most famous programs.

Southern California, Oregon and Washington have new coaches this season. The school has won 5 of its last 6 conference titles.

“It’s funny and unique. That’s what’s fun,” Jackson Kirkland, Washington’s offensive lineman, said during the conference’s media day on Friday. It’s cool to see everyone chasing each other.”

USC made waves last December when it convinced Lincoln Riley to leave Oklahoma. After Mario Cristobal left Oregon for Miami, the Ducks tabbed Georgia defensive coordinator Dan Lanning.

The biggest upheaval was in Washington, where Karen DeBoer became the Huskies’ third coach in four seasons. DeBoer was at Fresno State University.

The coaching changes have not changed preseason expectations. Media chose Utah to defend the conference title, with Oregon in second, USC in third, and Washington in sixth.

Riley faces the most pressure right after leading the Sooners to a 55-10 record in five seasons and two appearances in the College Football Playoffs. Pressure was a daily occurrence for Riley, who was 33 when he replaced Bob Stoops at the University of Oklahoma.

USC was picked by the media to win last year’s Pac-12 South, but went 4-8 and waived Clay Helton after two games of the season.

“Without the pressure, you probably don’t have the same opportunities as everyone else. You have to see the opportunities. “This is one of those programs, one of those cities. If you do it well, there are no limits.”

“I don’t come to USC or Los Angeles to do little things.”

With a lot of help from the Transfer Portal, Riley was able to rebuild his Trojan horse for a conference title this season. Quarterback Caleb Williams, also from Oklahoma, ran Travis Dye, who moved from Oregon, and Biletnikov Award-winning wide receiver Jordan Addison from Pittsburgh.

Williams said he hasn’t noticed much change since Riley moved to the West Coast.

“I think he might wear flip-flops more often, but other than that, not much has changed.

This is the first head coaching job for Lanning, who has been on the Georgia staff for the past four seasons. He admitted that it was a bit of a whirlwind to pick up speed.

“Sure, it takes a lot of stuff to be a head coach. You wear a lot of hats,” he said. “It’s fun to piece together talent. It’s also about bringing in a coach on relationships and development.”

The Ducks, who went 10-4 last season, will face defending national champions Georgia on September 3 in Atlanta. Bringing most of the front 7 back on defense, including linebacker Noah Sewell, and adding former Auburn quarterback Beau his Knicks.

“I’m certainly excited to go back to compete with my mentors and friends in Kirby Smart and see some familiar faces going there,” Lanning said. , I know you’re excited to be on the national stage early on and face an elite opponent in Georgia, but we’re really focused right now.”

Washington is DeBoer’s third head coaching job. He was with Sioux Falls for his five seasons (2005-09) and after winning four of his NAIA National titles, spent his last two seasons as a coach at Fresno State University.

DeBoer has been well aware of the upheaval in Washington since his last Pac-12 title in 2018 and is working to make the transition to staff as seamless as possible. The Huskies went 4-8 last season, but will return some talent, along with potential competition at quarterback between Dylan Morris, Sam Hurd and Indiana transfer Michael Pennix Jr.

“I have had some players who have coached multiple positions. Told. “Trying to keep it simple and focus on winning the day, that’s what we’re trying to do, worry about what we can control, and make a name for the team in 2022.”