The Stanford Cardinal head coaching search continues, and a new and prominent candidate has emerged from within the Pac-10. Mike Riley of the Oregon St. Beavers is apparently being pursued according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News.
Riley has restored Oregon State to relevance, being in the hunt for the Rose Bowl in 2008 and 2009. Although the Beavers finished 2010 5-7, the success of Riley in Corvallis (four straight finishes in the top three of the conference) seems to resonate well with Cardinal boosters. In terms of the Big Game rivalry, Riley would send chills through the minds of Cal fans--Jeff Tedford has lost his last four matchups against the Beavers.
However, Cardinal fans might just be praying with this one. Last year, Riley had to assure his athletic director that he would not be taking the vacant USC job with the departure of Pete Carroll, indicating he's probably committed to finishing out his coaching career at Oregon State. Current athletic director Bob De Carolis seems to be denying the idea that Riley has looked at the job. Stanford might have to keep on looking.