Why deny taking a job when you are already accepting it?
This morning Steve Sarkisian appeared on KJR-AM in Seattle and was asked about his interest in the vacant USC job as word broke during the interview that the then-Washington head coach had spoken with his former employer with the position.
"I didn't interview for the job," Sarkisian said. "They've reached out to me. I talked to them. 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. They reached out. I was a college football fan this weekend and got a chance to watch that game, and they had a tough loss to UCLA, a good UCLA team.
"Like I've always said and I'll continue to say: I've got a great job. I love my job here at the University of Washington. I'm fired up about where this program is headed and couldn't be more proud of the work we've done this year and can't wait to get started on next year. We've got one more game to win, I think we'll win that ninth game and I think we're building something special here."
Sarkisian was then asked if he expected conversation about his connection with the USC job to continue. "I don't know. I really don't know," Sarkisian said. "Again, I've never tried to speculate and talk about the hypothetical. I focus on what I can control and that's our football team and me going out recruiting today and my opportunity to go to the Seahawks-Saints game and be supportive of this community and the great things we have going on here."
Less than two later, of course, Sarkisian was USC's new head coach.
Been able to confirm what others have been reporting. Steve Sarkisian is the new coach at USC. Offered job last night. Accepted this morning— Dave Softy Mahler (@Softykjr) December 2, 2013
Sarkisian issued a similar denial back in October, telling the Dan Patrick radio show, "I love my job. I hope I get to coach here longer than Don James did."
While it's one thing to issue a denial on a job in the middle of your own team's season, doing so on the very morning you accept that same job is another thing entirely.
The five finalists for the Broyles Award have been announced
The Broyles Award has narrowed it down to five finalists. This prestigious award has annually gone to the top assistant coach in the country.
The finalists for 2013 are:
Pat Narduzzi - Michigan State defensive coordinator / assistant head coach
Rhett Lashlee - Auburn offensive coordinator / QB coach
Kurt Roper - Duke assistant head coach / offensive coordinator / QB coach
Jeremy Pruitt - Florida State defensive coordinator / DB coach
Philip Montgomery - Baylor offensive coordinator / quarterbacks coach
Winners of the award over the past five seasons include; Notre Dame's Bob Diaco (2012), LSU's John Chavis (2011), Auburn's Gus Malzahn (2010), Alabama's Kirby Smart (2009), and Oklahoma's Kevin Wilson (2008).
That's some pretty elite company. Two of the five winners from the past five seasons alone have moved on to head coaching position and the other three remain as some of the top coordinators in the country.
Our hats go off to each of these coaches for their hard work and success on the field and off. Each one of them is more than deserving of this recognition.
The winner will be announced December 10th.
USC hires Steve Sarkisian
Steve Sarkisian has accepted the head coaching job at USC.
Steve Sarkisian has accepted the USC head coaching position— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) December 2, 2013
Sarkisian spent most of his coaching career as an assistant at USC working the most prolific quarterbacks the Trojan's have ever had (2001-2003, 2005-2008), and spent one season on Lane Kiffin's staff with the Raiders before leaving for Washington.
Sarkisian was asked about his interest in the USC job in October on the Dan Patrick radio show. "USC is a good place, don't get me wrong. I had a wonderful time there, but man, we are doing something special here," Sarkisian said. "It's been taking up four-and-a-half years to build this thing the right way.
"I love my job. I hope I get to coach here longer than Don James did. I hope I win more national championships than Don James did. That's the goal, but things happen in this world in my favor, not in my favor. That's the reality of life."
Sark took over a winless Washington program on December 8, 2008, Sark took over a winless Washington program and has compiled a head coaching record of 34-29 during that span, including a 1-2 record in bowl games. In his first season, Sarkisian and the Huskies upset No. 3 USC and finished the year at 5-7. In just his second season Sark had the Huskies in a bowl game at 6-6 where they beat nationally-ranked Nebraska.
His career at Washington included wins against nationally-ranked USC, Stanford and Cal and a 3-1 record against rival Washington State in the Apple Cup. While he irrefutably leaves the Washington program in a much better state than he found it, the major critique against Sark is that he could never push the Huskies from good to great. Friday's win over Washington State gave Sark eight wins in a season for the first time in a half-decade as a head coach, and he never seriously challenged regional rivals Oregon and Stanford for the Pac-12 North crown. Washington never finished a season ranked under Sarkisian, either.
Sark is clearly a guy that understands the dynamics at USC, and has seen the potential that they have to become a dominant national power again.
We will update this as more information becomes available.
Steve Sarkisian was assistant for 7 seasons at USC, from 2001-03 and 2005-08. Trojans were 74-15 with Sarkisian on staff under Pete Carroll.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 2, 2013
Three straight Carroll assistants (Lane, O, Sark) have been the HC (or interim) at USC. Familiar-sounding.— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) December 2, 2013
Sarkisian the last 3 yrs vs Stanford, Oregon and UCLA: 1-6— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) December 2, 2013
Sarkisian was always popular at USC but he was 34-29 at UW and 24-21 in conference. Never thought he'd be the guy.— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) December 2, 2013
Sarkisian has a career record of 34-29. USC just can't get outside of the Pete Carroll box.— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) December 2, 2013
A guy at UCLA just called and said they are “relieved” SC didn’t hire James Franklin…said he would have changed the dynamic in LA— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 2, 2013
Justin Wilcox will join Sark at USC per @Softykjr— FootballScoop Staff (@footballscoop) December 2, 2013
VIDEO: You know you're doing something right when you can do this
Believe it or not, there's more to Appalachian State football than that 2007 upset of Michigan. The Mountaineers played their first game in 1928 and have since made 20 playoffs appearances with 18 conference championships and national titles in 2005, 2006 and 2007.
As Appalachian State moves from the SoCon to FBS - they'll join the Sun Belt beginning in 2014 - the Mountaineers' video department put the trailer you see below to celebrate the program's history. It's really well done.
Take a look at Baylor's throwbacks for Saturday
Saturday afternoon's game with Texas will be the final football game held at Floyd Casey Stadium, Baylor's home since 1950. While Art Briles' program moves into the future, with its offensive style, uniform choice and brand-new Baylor Stadium opening in 2014, the Bears will take one final day to reflect on the past.
Baylor will don throwbacks imitating what the team wore in its first seasons at Floyd Casey Stadium. You can see these uniforms in action on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX. No word yet on if Art Briles will be required to trade his trademark Nike hat and Baylor windbreaker for a tie and a fedora.
O'Brien's deep ball strategy: 3 or 4 out of 10 is good
In Penn State's win over Wisconsin on Saturday, Penn State was able to connect on a number of deep throws to keep drives alive which was an integral part of their 31-24 win.
After the game, O'Brien explained his deep ball strategy by drawing a comparison to baseball.
"My theory always is that if you throw ten deep balls down the field, and I'm not sure if we threw ten, but we threw quite a few, and if you can hit three or four of those, that's good."
"That's like a guy batting .400 in baseball, that's the equivalent in football because the deeper the throw, the less percent you're going to hit and so I think we did a good job of that."
With a young quarterback - receiver combo like Christian Hackenberg and Allen Robinson, expect for that percentage (and their deep ball shots) to go up over the next few seasons and chances are really good that they're going to work themselves into one of the more exciting offenses to watch in all of college football.
Kelly: 'We're here to win, so that's not good enough'
Coaches and players alike understand that as a part of the Notre Dame program, expectations are higher than most places and a premium is placed on winning and doing things the right way.
After losing a close one to Stanford on Saturday night, after not being able to convert on big plays when it counted, Brian Kelly had an important message for his guys, and it's one that they'll remember for years to come.
"We go on the road with the expectation in this program to beat that team. We needed to beat that team, and we didn't...and you know why? Because we didn't make the play that we needed to make." he said, pretty fired up.
"We said, 'Let's make it to the fourth quarter' and then what did I say to you at mental edge? 'Someone has to make a play,' right? Someone has to make a play, and that's what it came down to."
Then his tone changed a bit.
"I am proud of everyone in this room. I love everybody's effort, but lets understand. We came to Notre Dame to play for championships, and 8-4 is not what we signed up for. We've got work to do. We have to get better and we all know that. Coaches have to get better, we've all got to get better."
"So I want everyone to understand this message so there is no misunderstanding. Nobody is disappointed in you. Nobody is disappointed in your effort, or your commitment, or that you didn't battle today, all we're saying is...we're here to win and because we didn't win, that's not good enough."
Video: Three monster hits during D-III punt return
Linfield (D-III - OR) is nationally known for flat out getting after it on defense and special teams, and in their second round playoff game this weekend they had a punt return for the ages.
Unlike a popular field goal return from the weekend though, the part that's going to make you rewind this one over is and over is the players without the ball. Special teams guys, this is why you hammer home the importance of keeping your head on a swivel to your punt unit.
Against Hampden-Sydney on Saturday, Linfield recovered from a 21-3 deficit to come back and win 31-21. The victory sets up a quarterfinal showdown against UW-Whitewater this weekend..