(Partial headline credit to ParagonSC of Conquest Chronicles.)
Rece Davis just dropped a bomb on ESPN during the halftime of Louisville-Rutgers (in which the Scarlet Knights are up 49-0; Mike Teel has thrown 7 TD passes and pushed Steve Kragthorpe into the river with cement shoes), and announced that USC offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will be the head coach at Washington next season, after both Pat Hill and Mike Leach supposedly interviewed to replace Ty Willingham. This came from Joe Schad, who now has it up on the Four-Letter’s dot-com apparatus.
Most Trojan fans will be more than happy to wish Sark well and send him on his way. Sarkisian is a better choice to revive a moribound program than an intense guy like Hill (who reportedly took his name out because U-Dub wanted to wait to name a coach and he wanted to know before his bowl game) and an offensive mind like Leach, who probably used the interview partially to drive up his hand in Lubbock (and also to drive interest in Auburn)?
I was actually waiting to write a post telling U-Dub to do anything it has to in order to get ahold of Leach and bring him to the Pac-10, because what this conference needs is an outsize character to recruit and compete with Pete Carroll on and off the field. (Rick Neuheisel isn’t there until he at least makes the annual UCLA-USC game competitive.) Not only that, but Leach would have given something for the Seattle sports fan to feel good about in a year where Land Thieves invaded and stole the Sonics, the Mariners hit rock bottom in baseball, and the Seahawks look like the J.V. squad of the NFL after years of dominating their lame division.
Additionally, rescuing the last couple years of Jake Locker’s collegiate career are a priority. Sark is a good QBs coach and okay calling the plays, but trying to bring back a program to respectability and salvage the talent of a star QB, so far wasted by Willingham, is not for an offensive coordinator considered nowhere near his mentor Norm Chow.
Any coordinator not named Chow is not a giant loss to USC, because the emphasis on the styles of play both offensively and defensiely comes from Carroll — the assistants are there to execute it, but the fount of what the team wants to do comes from the Humanitarian.
Sark certainly has the ability to become a good head coach, and training under Chow and Carroll isn’t a bad place to get your bearings. But it’ll take a lot more to convince me that U-Dub will be anything in the next couple years with him. At least with Lane Kiffin, you know the guy was nuts about recruiting. I’ve never heard such a thing abotu Sarkisian. The brass in Seattle needed a slam dunk; instead, starved sports fans in Seattle will be hearing the sounds of their neighbors from Bellingham, Death Cab for Cutie, when Sarkisian is introduced: