Can Steve Sarkisian Clone Pete Carroll's Success at Washington?

Ian PetersonCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 19:  Head coach Steve Sarkisian of the Washington Huskies talks with quarterback Jake Locker #10 during the game against the USC Trojans on September 19, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The Huskies defeated the Trojans 16-13. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

When head coach Steve Sarkisian started his tenure at the University of Washington, he made no bones about copying a lot of the things that the USC Trojans did.

First on the list, opening up practices to the general public. He was trying to lift the death cloud that seem to hang over the program after an 0-12 season.

Second, he raided USC's pantry for quality assistants and support personnel. Nick Holt was the most visible pickup, signing on as the defensive coordinator for Sarkisian.

However, Sarkisian also signed Demetrius Martin, a USC graduate assistant, to be the Huskies' new cornerbacks coach. Jared Blank was signed to be the director of player personnel. 

The biggest pickup? Ivan Lewis signed on to run the Huskies strength and conditioning program.

Beyond that, Sarkisian also approached current Trojans defensive coordinator Rocky Seto to be the defensive coordinator and former Trojans offensive graduate assistant Yogi Roth to be quarterbacks coach.

Apparently Sarkisian wanted more from the Trojan cupboard.

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Both Seto and Roth turned Sarkisian down. Seto ended up as the defensive coordinator, replacing Holt, and Roth decided to pursue broadcasting.

The Huskies ended up with Holt and current offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier coaching quarterbacks, and that seems to have worked out well considering the play of the defense and quarterback Jake Locker.

Third thing Sarkisian did? He patterned the practice days at Washington like the ones for the Trojans.

Sarkisian has made it clear that he needs to be his own coach, but if you look at the program that is being set up in Washington, it can be hard to see.

To some fans, it may not matter, considering USC is one of the most marquee names in the country. Others may have a problem with such blatant cloning of USC, but they will be few and far between if UW keeps winning.

The question going into the game last Saturday was whether the similarities between the programs now would give them an advantage going forward against USC in particular.

The conventional answer is yes, after seeing the final score of that game.

The question now is whether or not momentum can be built off of this win. So far teams that have knocked off USC the last five years have gone 2-3 the next week.

If Sarkisian wants to distinguish himself from his mentor, he needs to go out and win the small game after the big game. In other words, avoid the letdown.

This win is great food for Sarkisian to feed his recruiting machine on, one which has been churning this season

To match USC, the great challenge for Pac-10 teams requires getting the athletes. The rest is all just window dressing. 

At the end of the day, Sarkisian can copy the administrative design of USC's program all he wants, but without the athletes the success will not come.

While this win is great, it is far from seven straight Pac-10 titles.

But it's a start.

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