Riley, 32, is in his first season at Oklahoma and also coaches quarterbacks. He would become the youngest head coach in the FBS ranks if he's hired. The Sooners are ranked third nationally in scoring offense (45.8 points per game) and just wrapped up the Big 12 championship last weekend. Riley is considered one of the brightest young offensive minds in the game and is a Mike Leach disciple. He was at Texas Tech for seven seasons under Leach and runs a version of the Air Raid offense. Before joining Bob Stoops at Oklahoma, Riley was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for five seasons at East Carolina.
Even though Riley's offense is fast-paced with elements of the spread, he's a firm believer in running the football. The Sooners have averaged 300 rushing yards per game during their seven-game winning streak, and quarterback Baker Mayfield blossomed into a Heisman Trophy candidate under Riley's tutelage in Mayfield's first season as Oklahoma's starter.
The Gamecocks, who finished 3-9 this season, are looking for a replacement for legendary coach Steve Spurrier, who resigned at midseason. Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp is also on South Carolina's list and was a top candidate last year had Spurrier quit following the 2014 season.
Two others South Carolina had targeted, Houston's Tom Herman and Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, are out of the running. Herman has agreed in principle to remain at Houston, and Smart is headed to Georgia to be the Bulldogs' next head coach, according to reports.