With Harbaugh going to San Francisco, cardinalreport.com is stating Mike Riley is one of five candidates for the Stanford job.
This brings up some interesting points for debate.
1. Do you think Riley would do as well as Harbaugh with the added resources, boosters, etc at Stanford, or would he still recruit 2-star hiding under rocks salamanders?
2. Is this something we, as fans, want to see? Riley has a lifetime contract. Maybe the only way we get out of that and get someone in here who can take the next step is to have someone pouch our coach. Would this be a blessing in disguise?
3. Does Riley have any interest in Stanford? He has ties in California, but not the bay area. He says he loves Corvallis and wants to remain there, but deep down does realize he's maxed out what he can do at OSU and hand over the baton?
4. Who would you like to replace Riley if he were to leave?
5. Do you think this rumor has legs, or is it a pipe dream (much like Notre Dame before Brian Kelly and USC before Lane Kiffin)?
Personally, I think it's close to the point where Riley moves on. He hasn't been able to take the next step. He's built a solid foundation, but the school now needs an uber recruiter and motivator to rise above respectability. Is there risk? Sure. We could get a horrible coach and regress. Is there possibly reward? Obviously. If Riley were to leave for Stanford, I'd feel good about that. The lifetime contract was a mistake, and any way out of it is good for the program. I'd also be energized and excited to see what new, young blood could build upon this foundation. I'd love to see us hire the entire Air Force staff if Riley & Co move south.
All this being said, the report, much like our offensive linemen, likely has no legs. We're stuck being "walk-on U" for the next 11 years.