While opinions may be mixed regarding Steve Sarkisian's hire at Washington, Pac 10 blogger Ted Miller has a rather positive take on the whole situation:
Sarkisian, at 34, will bring youthful energy and a winning attitude he cultivated at USC. He's also far more cerebral than other former USC assistants who struggled after becoming head coaches.
But, at 34, he won't know everything. And it appears he's not going to be afraid to recognize that and listen to others.
That means hiring an outstanding staff, including some grizzled veterans, will be the most important thing he does. It's also notable that Sark immediately recognized that the Huskies strength and conditioning program hasn't been up to snuff for years, and that it's critical for him to mend fences with state high school coaches who don't like how business has been conducted the past couple of seasons.
But that's internal stuff.
Sarkisian bringing back openness will generate the most enthusiasm from the sagging Huskies fan base.
I think everyone who follows USC football knows that fans opinions on Sarkisians play calling are mixed at best, but the fact of the matter is that Sark's success up north will likely not be hugely dependant on his ability to call plays. I think a lot of people are now beginning to think that there is really only so much a coach can do to affect their team's fortunes once they take the field, and that playing calling and schematic adjustment, while undoubtably important, are not nearly as much of a difference maker as people would like to believe. As we have seen with old Charlie Weiss at Notre Dame, the game takes significantly more than knowing your Xs and Os and having a schematic advantage.
What Sarkisian is doing right now is what is really necessary to building afootball program. As evidenced from the above article he is already working to build media exposure for the program and he is also likely starting to create relationships with those rich alumni who help grease the wheels of a college football machine.This all plays probably into the single most important factor determining whether a team will be able to have and sustain success: talent and the development of that talent.
The fact of the matter is that the Washington Administrators responsible for Sarkisian's hire are not stupid. They probably knew that they were not getting a genius play caller, but they did know that Sarkisian worked with basically the best group of recruiters in college football. To Washington there may be lnow skill more valuable than than the recruiting skills he learned at USC and that special force of personality taken from Pete Caroll, especially considering UW's dreary location. If Sark is successful in this aspect then it actually will not matter if he is actually successful or not as Washington may actually be looking for an Orgeron situation, especially considering what Houston Nutt has done in one year with the talent Orgeron brought in. However, if the players come then there should be no reason for Sark not to be successful, but I guess we will just have to wait and see.
Fight On Sark and good luck (except when you play SC)!