MIKE RILEY, AFTER eschewing an offer to coach USC a few years back, is leaving Corvallis for Lincoln. "It is truly an honor to join the University of Nebraska family," Riley said in a statement released by Nebraska. "Though we love Corvallis and Oregon State, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to coach at one of the nation's most storied football programs and I can't wait to get started."

Mike Riley will be introduced at a news conference on Friday morning at Nebraska. The coach will begin work immediately, but he will not be involved in the team's bowl preparation.

Nebraska fired Bo Pelini on Sunday after seven seasons.

Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst chose Riley after a stealth search - it was unclear how long Riley had been in contact with Nebraska.

Others had been speculated on since Pelini was fired, including Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost -- but never Riley. Oregon State finished 5-7 this season.

“There was one coach who fit all the characteristics that I was seeking to lead our tradition rich football program," Eichorst said in a statement. "Mike Riley has a proven record of success, a sound approach to football and teaching, an understanding of the educational mission of our university and the integrity and values that we cherish at Nebraska.

"I have no doubt that Mike will assemble a tremendous staff and lead our student-athletes to win Big Ten titles and compete for national championships in the years ahead.”

It remains to be seen who Riley will take with him among his staff to Lincoln. Oregon State will need to name an interim coach and work on the verbal commits, of which there are 21, quickly.

We'll have more as the story develops but count on this: it's going to be a wild ride in the coming days and weeks.

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