I was asked a question earlier about who has the most a stake for the Washington Huskies in 2009. Especially, which of the coaches has the most to lose on the new staff.
Honestly, my answer to the question is none of them. The 2008 squad was incredibly bad, but they have a fair amount of potential. It will not take them very much to get the whole team playing at a higher level.
Steve Sarkisian is in the unenviable position of reviving Washington, but he has a huge advantage over someone like Lane Kiffin, one of his best friends. Sark does not have high expectations placed on him like at Tennessee.
At the same time, if he can put together some quality wins and maybe even an upset in there, Sark will look like a miracle worker.
The offense is going to struggle next year. Those excited by the numbers quarterback Jake Locker put up in the spring game have every right to be excited by his progress.
However, playing against the Husky defense is one thing; it will be something else entirely when the LSU Tigers roll into town.
In time, Sarkisian's system could fit in really well with the Huskies and the way they have traditionally liked to play football. Sarkisian's enthusiasm has won over a lot of disillusioned fans, and in time, the style of football he plays will endear him to the Husky faithful.
The same things can be said of Defensive Coordinator Nick Holt, who has probably a more monumental task than Sark. The defense has been so bad over the last two years that any improvement will be seen as a win.
There are questions as to how good Holt is, since he was never running the show at USC and thus is mildly untested as a true defensive coordinator.
Watching the team in spring, though, there was improvement. Now, whether you are a glass half empty or half full kind of person you could see it two ways. Either it was Holt's influence, or the offense's struggles with learning a new system.
The staff as a whole has been lauded as youthful and energetic. This could really work in Washington's favor, since they can point to that in recruiting. Plus, they should be more animated on the sidelines.
Either way, true progress will show on the field come fall. Speculation at this point is moot because a full game hasn't been played yet.
I still contend that the Huskies will win at least four or five games this season, and will be close in others. If Sark and company can reach this mark, I think it can be counted as a win for them.
If they go through another winless season, trouble will continue to brew, and the youth of the staff will be called into question. Youth can be great, but it can also be a huge liability.
As I keep saying, time will tell.