Roundup: All about Sark
As one of the highest-profile jobs in the country, reactions were bound to be strong one way or another when news got out that Steve Sarkisian would take over as the next full-time head coach of USC football. Not surprisingly, anyone that’s anyone in college football had his or her take on the matter. Without further ado, here’s a link roundup dedicated to all things Sark, USC and Washington.
Let’s start with the official announcement from USC that Sarkisian is the new head coach. Pretty much what you’d expect out of a press release, but a good foundation. Also in here is the news that Ed Orgeron, the interim head coach who took over for Lane Kiffin and led the Trojans to a 6-2 record, is not going to stay on as an assistant in order to pursue a head coaching opportunity. Interesting quote from USC AD Pat Haden on Orgeron, calling him “one of the greatest Trojans ever.”
Keeping it on the USC athletic website, you knew Jordan Moore would deliver some gems in The Ripsit Blog, and his piece is a nice add-on.
More on Orgeron resigning from USC courtesy of Yahoo! Sports, with an interesting tweet about how some USC players left their final meeting with Coach O with “tears rolling down their cheeks”. Best of luck to Coach O wherever he lands.
On that note, here’s a video from Fox Sports West of USC defensive lineman Antwaun Woods sharing his thoughts on Orgeron leaving, and he says that the players were sad to see Coach O leave. And, while he had a great run as interim HC, the Orgeron Era at USC was over before it began, writes Rahshaun Haylock (also of Fox Sports West fame).
What about the school Sark is leaving behind? UW Dawg Pound has a pretty good roundup of Washington players’ reactions regarding Sark’s departure. Understandably, a wide range of emotions. Speaking of Twitter and wide range of emotions, CBS Sports neatly compiles Twitter’s reaction to Sarkisian’s hire at USC.
The question many people are asking is whether or not Sarkisian is the right choice for USC. In the preceding video, Pat Forde is taking a wait-and-see approach.
A lot of people are pointing out that Sarkisian was one of the top candidates for the USC gig back in 2010 when Kiffin got it, but that he didn’t want to leave Washington after just one year. After four more years of coaching under his belt, Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News writes that now the time is right for USC and Sarkisian.
Of course the Worldwide Leader would drop its two or four cents on the matter. Ivan Maisel writes that Sarkisian offers USC a quick transition since he is so familiar with the school and the area as a whole, while Ted Miller notes that Sarkisian critics have gotten their wish (not everyone at U-Dub was a Sark supporter).
SI’s Stewart Mandel is not as enthused as Maisel, believing that USC made a questionable move by tapping Sarkisian, pointing to a good-but-not-great record as UW as one piece of evidence.
You can count Mandel among the crowd that thought USC could get a “bigger name”, but Chris Dufresne doesn’t seem too bothered by it. The Los Angeles Times writer agrees that sure, USC’s hiring of Sarkisian isn’t sexy, but it feels right.
Check off Bill Plaschke among those who agree with USC’s decision, and he writes that Sarkisian isn’t Lane Kiffin and that’s a good thing for USC. Even though the two are good friends (Sark and Kiff), they are very different people.
Of course, Pac-12 Networks was on the scene, and here’s Yogi Roth’s take on Sarkisian to USC as seen on Pac-12 Sports Report. Great stuff from Yogi, as usual.
One of the funnier things about all this was that Sarkisian went on the radio just hours before his hiring at USC became official and said “I’m not anywhere near along the course of taking that job or not and by no means am I there in that place at all,” leading Football Scoop to ask why deny taking a job when you are already accepting it?
You had to know something like this would come from people in the Pacific Northwest, as the Northwest Progressive Institute believes that Sarkisian abandoned his players and put his own personal ambition over the greater good of the team. I mean, it’s college football and this happens all the time, but I guess someone was bound to say it.
So where does Washington go from here? While this article’s feature image is that of Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin, you figured there’d be reaction from UCLA beat writers, and Jack Wang of the Los Angeles Daily News ponders whether we will see Jim Mora jump to “the head of the line” for the Huskies job. The UCLA head man played at Washington and was a grad assistant for the Huskies (and made some infamous comments about his desire to be the Huskies' coach while he was still the head man for the Atlanta Falcons). All speculation, of course.
But hey, conveniently enough, Adam Jude points out that Jim Mora is scheduled to be in Seattle this week for a charity event.
Let’s get the official Washington athletic department response to all this, and there’s no person better to turn to for stuff like this than the great Gregg Bell. As such, here’s his piece on how it all went down and what’s next for the Huskies. We’ve already linked to some of the Husky players’ responses, but you gotta like this quote from Keith Price, the unquestioned leader of the Dawgs: “It doesn’t matter who’s coaching. You could have a janitor coaching us, but we’re so motivated.”
Also, classy press release from Washington, pointing to Sarkisian’s family ties to the USC area. Scott Woodward is already on the hunt for a new head coach.
Sarkisian wasted no time getting to Los Angeles, and, thanks to the LA Times’ Gary Klein, here’s a first look at the Sarknado arriving in Troy, from last night (this photo is also in Kevin Zimmerman's solid piece on Sarkisian leaving Washington for USC):
— Gary Klein (@LATimesklein) December 3, 2013
I’m looking forward to next season in SoCal already.