Coaching moves are always one of the highlights of the offseason, even if they don’t directly involve your favorite team, there’s often a domino effect associated with coaches leaving and going to new schools.
But for Pac-12 fans, the madness began today, when it was announced that Steve Sarkisian has accepted the USC head coach position. It’s shocking, yet not surprising considering Sark was an assistant under Pete Carroll. Why it’s a shock — I was thinking USC might go for more of a home run hire. Or at least try to distance themselves from the Lane era.
Here’s a quick look at what it all means — in a completely speculative way.
This move could backfire for USC. It could’ve made a splash and gotten a bigger name. If you are a USC fan, you’ve got to be a little disappointed. It’s not like Sark was tearing it up at UW. This was his first season with 8 wins, and with UW’s advantages, that’s definitely under achieving. After as many years as he’s been there, the Huskies should’ve been contending for BCS bowls. Plus, his staff always struggled to recruit good offensive linemen.
The real interesting part of Sark’s move is where does UW go from here? It might be a blessing for the program, as one has to wonder if Sark would’ve ever gotten the Huskies over the hump. Early rumblings include DC Justin Wilcox and UCLA head coach Jim Mora as possibilities. You have to wonder if a program like UW would appoint someone as young as Wilcox as its head coach. Wilcox has a lot of potential, but he’s never been a head coach. He could be a major risk. Meanwhile, does Mora really want to leave what he has at UCLA? He seems to have them headed in the right direction. I can’t see Chris Peterson leaving Boise State for UW, but then again, his star is probably fading.
And don’t get me started on UCLA if Mora were to bolt. That’s why this time of year can be so fun!
So how does Sark leaving UW for USC impact OSU?
Right off the bat, Riley and staff need to get after it on the recruiting trail when it comes to players that both OSU and UW are recruiting, especially when it comes to a certain offensive lineman. Riley should also be thinking about poaching any displaced UW assistants that could bolster his staff. And no, I am not advocating he bring KHJ back into the fold.
Or . . . Maybe Riley will make a side trip while in Seattle. Just kidding, just kidding.
Overall, it will be interesting to see what UW does. And hopefully, the OSU coaching staff takes advantage of the chaos that the coaching musical chairs game creates!