What Steve Sarkisian's Record Against Oregon and Stanford Means for Trojans

Rick McMahanSenior Writer IMarch 11, 2014

New Southern California football head coach Steve Sarkisian looks on during a news conference on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013, in Los Angeles. USC hired Sarkisian away from Washington on Monday, bringing back the former Trojans offensive coordinator to his native Los Angeles area and the storied program where he thrived as Pete Carroll's assistant. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

When Steve Sarkisian was announced as the new USC head coach late last year, his hiring was met with a resounding "what???"

Fans of the program generally fell into two camps regarding the hiring, one being the "bring back coach O!" group and the other a contingent of folks who wanted USC to bring on a more splashy hire.

Few people were satisfied with the hire, and many took to the message boards to complain about the decision to bring Sark back to the Trojans.

When pressed for a reason for their ire, those who denigrated the hiring of Sarkisian pointed to his less-than-stellar record in his five years with the Washington Huskies and suggested that USC could find that kind of mediocrity pretty much anywhere.

Of course, when more objective fans pointed out that Washington was 0-12 the year before Sark arrived, those fans passed it off as pretty much irrelevant.

In fact, undaunted, those same naysayers dug further and offered Washington's record against the best in the northern Pac-12—Oregon and Stanford—and asked if USC could expect more than the 1-9 record Sark produced over five years against those fine teams.

To which most rational people would say that is a fair point.

Or is it?

Can the more cynical of these fans when it comes to Sark really be of the opinion that his record against the Ducks and Cardinal translates from Washington to USC?

Or is this just really a case of mixing apples and oranges?

To be certain—and no offense to my Husky friends—USC is not Washington.

Want proof? Take a gander at the recruiting class that USC just landed under the very short-term direction of Sarkisian and his staff.

Operating at a distinct disadvantage, Sark delivered a solid class that many felt was one of the 15 best in the nation.

Do you think that could have happened at Washington? Of course not.

Now Sarkisian embarks on a new era as the head coach of the mighty Trojans.

As he does so, he will have the embarrassment of riches resource-wise available to him that comes along with being the top dog at USC.

And given the fine job that Sark has done already at USC, there is little reason to not believe that will continue as the season ensues.

So for those who still complain about Sarkisian and have the temerity to point to his record against Oregon and Stanford while at Washington, take a deep breath.

After all, Sark coaches at USC now.


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