In a move that excites exactly no one, after a 9-week search in which athletic director Pat Haden made overtures to Kevin Sumlin, Nick Saban and Chris Petersen, the USC Trojans settled on Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian to replace Lane Kiffin and interim coach Ed Orgeron, who'd gone 6-2 with losses to Notre Dame and UCLA after taking over the end of September.
Offered the job of assistant head coach at a salary of over $1 million, the popular and passionate Orgeron resigned a few hours after the announcement.
Fight on, jump ship: Steve Sarkisian ditched the Washington Huskies today for the vast recruiting base and imposing tradition of USC, announced today as the Trojans new head coach after a 9-week search in which a handful of high-profile candidates passed on the job.
Sark takes over after going 34-29 in five years at Washington, 0-5 against the Ducks. He's been 5-4 in conference for the last four years, a mark that will get him fired in Los Angeles.
In his new job he'll have a rich recruiting base, a big budget and a great football facility, but nothing about his tenure at Montlake suggests he's the innovator or motivator to restore the Trojan tradition. He's taking defensive coordinator Josh Wilcox with him, but Wilcox hasn't had the success at UW that he did at Boise State.
Speculation at Washington, meanwhile, has centered around UCLA coach Jim Mora, a Husky grad and a Don James disciple. Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, a former Husky assistant, and Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, the former O-C for the Huskies.
Pinkel has a pretty good gig with the Tigers, currently in the SEC Championship Game.
From a Duck perspective, this is a move that appears to weaken both programs, and set them back in the 2014 recruiting chase. Orgeron was a dynamite recruiter who had made personal connections with a number of the Trojans' top prospects. He has said he'll be looking for a head coaching job elsewhere, although he was 10-25 in a stint at Ole Miss.
this looks like USC made a hurried choice to get someone signed be fore the end of recruiting. Sark was their 3rd or 4th choice. Now UW has less time to sign someone. They might get Mora (Better odds than USC getting Sabin but over .500?) more likely a lesser candidate.
If Sark takes his crew who can we pick up? an heir apparent DC?
I wonder if Ogeron was making an informed decision or one driven by his ego? How in control will Sark be if Ogeron was being hired to work for him? I don't think this makes sense. USC with their alumni has the ability to hire almost anyone except perhaps Nick Saban. This is a wealthy university with a storied football history. Oh well, we will see.
I think it would be poetic justice if Washington hired Orgeron and Washington ends up being better than USC.
The chase at sc for their next great coach reminds me of uclas search for the next great basketball coach. I think you nailed it. With facilities, money etc 9-10 wins a year sems about right. That won't cut it in the long run I suspect.
Mora to Wash would eventually make the road in the north div that much harder. As far as the bowl games go I'm not sure we want Bama after what just happen to them. What I want is the ducks themselves get back to just them! No more of this self imposed distractions. Prepare your game then get ready for whoever it is.
Am I wrong thinking huff yesterday tweeting " I've been disrespected " has that what is a player doing out there giving headlines to something other than the positive of who made the all conf team and who was the offensive player of the week? I love thus guys passion though.
This weekends game results I believe would have the best chance to move the Ducks BCS ranking up. Stanford over Arizona State, Ohio State over Michigan State, Auburn over Missouri, Oklahoma over Oklahoma State, Texas over Baylor, North Carolina over Clemson. It's not reasonable to assume Duke could beat Florida State, but that would be nice if it happened. I don't think we would jump Stanford, Ohio State, Auburn even if they lost so I'm picking teams I think we could possibly jump. Clemson is projected to go to the Orange Bowl so we need to have the Gamecocks put them out of contention, if we want Bama. This wouldn't move us up as Clemson is ranked thirteenth now but it would help up get to a BCS bowl game. If this scenario played out, we could be ranked as high as seventh and possibly play Bama in the Orange Bowl, or not.
After hearing all the talking heads saying that USC wouldn't have to "settle" for a mediocre head coach because of their tradition and recruiting base, they hired one.
@sozeduck I will be VERY surprised if Coach Bellotti returns to coaching. He no longer has to spend a Tuesday night in December in Des Moines. He can play golf whenever he wants, and he still keeps his hand in the game. He seems very comfortable serving on discussion panels at ESPN.
@sozeduck I am not sure what this means. Are we supposed to chant?
@SonomaDuck Plain and simple, Ed O. is a passionate guy and he seemed very angry at being passed over. It was funny that the Sark press conference was overshadowed by the news of Mariota and Grasu returning and Jim Mora signing his contract extension. USC marginalized again.
@JonSousa That would be ironic, wouldn't it. Best outcome for the Ducks would be UW winding up with Wilcox, Nussmeier, or some head-scratching choice like Lane Kiffin.
@Hoosierduck Hooz, that's a great comparison. Formerly SC walk-on utility infielder Sark is definitely not the next John Wooden or even John Robinson.
Very relieved that Mora didn't take the UW job. He has instilled a real toughness at UCLA, a dramatic culture change that reflects both good coaching and a knack for talent acquisition and evaluation.
In my view, Huff's comments were Tweets between teammates reacting to the all-conference announcements, and based on stats, he had a case after putting together one of the best wide receiver seasons in school history with a game to play. The team is off this week. Huff's numbers were better than Ty Montgomery's, equal to Paul Richardson's or Jaelen Strong's. With 11 tds and an 18.2 yard per catch average in a thousand-yard season, Huff earned serious consideration.
@duckified You nailed the Duck fans' likes and dislikes going into Championship weekend, although we'll have to hold our nose rooting for Urban Meyer to thump Michigan State. The outcomes you outlined would give Oregon the biggest boost. Lively debate at Addicted to Quack about whether Oregon fans really want Bama. Some fans want to play the biggest, toughest team possible, but others express concern about the Alabama matchup and want a well-known opponent like Oklahoma or Baylor in a game the Ducks have a better chance of winning
So the question is, do the Ducks want Bama, or a more favorable matchup in a lesser game?
@Stevoduck It is, UNLESS the Dawgs land Jim Mora. He's a game-changer and a significant upgrade.
@Stevoduck He'll probably be 9 or 10-win Sark at SC, but not a dramatic, big-impact choice, for sure.
@duckified The next shot to be fired is who gets the UW job. Huskies are trying to land Jim Mora from UCLA, a Husky grad and Don James disciple. THAT would be a huge hire, and a long-term win for the Dawgs.
Add another big gun to the north Div if that happens. I was just starting to feel good about the south again. The north has been carrying the PAC for a while
@duckified The only way to discard that label is to meet the best and compete with the best. I'd love to see how Oregon's players and coaches would respond to that challenge, although absolutely, the Tide would be significant favorites. It's an extremely challenging matchup for Oregon, as Bama does well exactly what the Ducks have had trouble with.
@Hoosierduck The power seems to have shifted, Hooz. Todd Graham is building a monster at ASU, RichRod has 27 verbal commits, Mora has transformed football at UCLA, and Ed O. awoke the echoes at SC. Utah made a bowl and Colorado has improved.
Oregon raised the bar in PAC-12 football, and every program in the conference has responded by upgrading facilities and coaching, with the possible exception of California. This is a tough, competitive conference, marked by dynamic players and great coaches. It's a 9-game gauntlet to win this conference, and you have to survive some of the most innovative offensive and defensive minds in football to win out here.