If I take my allegiance for the Huskies out of it, then I understand. USC has the broader national spotlight. He will be able to recruit players to that school he just couldn’t hope to bring here. USC will have an easier road to a national championship because all the major media drones already have that respect for the Trojans. They’re more likely to be ranked higher in pre-season polls, which dictate how programs are perceived throughout the regular season (until you lose a few too many games and become downgraded accordingly). If you start the season as a Top 10 school and you win a bunch of games, your road to the Top 4 in the BCS (or whatever they’re going to call it) is a lot easier than coming from the unranked and winning a bunch of games. USC also certainly has more money to offer. They’ve got nicer weather down there. Prettier girls. And he has a history with that school. We gave him his first opportunity to be a head coach in major college football, but USC gave him his first opportunity to be a coordinator (which, in turn, led to his being offered a head coaching job).
I get all that. If this were the Minnesota head coach getting hired away by Ohio State, I wouldn’t think twice; “Yeah, that sounds about right. Who wouldn’t want to be the coach of Ohio State?”
And make no mistake, that’s a pretty apt analogy. Minnesota used to be an elite school. Now, they’re just kind of middle-of-the-road. That’s Washington.
But GOD DAMN IT, it doesn’t have to be!
Just, fuck off Sark! I hope you fucking fail miserably and are run out on the rails just like Kiffin!
Do I appreciate what he’s done for us? Of course. He took an 0-12 team and made us respectable. Yes, he has us trending upward, but that was with the assumption that he and his coaches would stick with the program indefinitely! You can’t say we’re still trending upward when we’re losing our entire recruiting base! When we’ve got to start over again with a brand new staff! Granted, they won’t be starting over at the nadir Sark was starting over with, but now we have that stigma again: “Washington Isn’t Good Enough”.
We’re not USC. We’re not Ohio State. We’re not Alabama or Florida or Texas or Michigan or Oklahoma. At best, we’re a stepping-stone to one of those schools. Maybe we can aspire to be a Wisconsin or a Stanford or an Oklahoma State or a Nebraska – if everything breaks right.
What’s worse? Sark proved us all right. All of us with that inferiority complex. All of us who feared from day one that he’d leave us for greener pastures just as soon as humanly possible. His allegiance was never with Washington; it was always with the next big opportunity.
Could I blame him? Yeah, I think I could. This isn’t a situation where someone like A-Rod was a free agent and was blown out of the water by an infinitely bigger contract. This was a guy currently signed, currently making millions of dollars, who will still be making millions of dollars, and probably not that many MORE millions of dollars. He could have levereged USC into getting a raise at Washington and I would have respected the move. But, dumping a program he built from scratch just when we were ready to take those next steps towards being elite again is just a selfish, chickenshit move.
I don’t understand people with Sark’s mentality. Yeah, USC is probably a better opportunity, but it’s not THAT much better! You could do here what they do there. Believe me, it’s possible. It’s been done before, under a much better man in Don James.
You know what happens when you succeed in a place like USC? When you take that team to Rose Bowls and contend for championships? Yawns. The expectations are so high in a place like USC that something so enormous as going to back-to-back Rose Bowls is met with disappointment (see: the been-there-done-that attitude of many players at Oregon this year). You know what happens when you succeed in a place like Washington? You’re adored for life and spend your twilight years on our Mt. Rushmore of Awesome People.
Do you think USC fans lionize Pete Carroll the way Husky fans worship Don James? Fuck no! Pete Carroll simply did what was expected of him! Don James, however, did the impossible, turning a middling program into a national powerhouse. Don James made it so current Husky fans can demand the best out of our program, because we’ve been there before. We can be hard on our coaches and expect better than a 5-4 conference record, because we know we deserve better!
With Pete Carroll, I bet they look back with a bit of disappointment. Not for the way things ended, but because he didn’t win them MORE games. With Washington, if someone was able to do what Pete Carroll did down there, Husky fans would never shut up about how amazing he was!
Bottom line: Sark just doesn’t want to put in the work. He wants all the heavy lifting done for him. In this case, the heavy lifting is the locale and the tradition. He’s got an over-abundance of talent in SoCal and that talent is inherently aware of how great of a school USC is. When you coach for Washington, you have to out-work your opponents to get the type of players you need (conversely, when you coach for Oregon, you can just out-spend your opponents, but that’s neither here nor there).
I was disappointed and saddened for about two minutes when I heard about Sark leaving for USC. Now, I’m pissed. Yeah, he seemed to be one of the good ones, and I had all the faith in the world that he’d get us where we wanted to go. But, his leaving this way will not have me looking fondly on his time here, whatsoever. He can eat shit.
Sark did a lot of good here, but let’s not forget he did a lot of mediocre as well. 7-6 comes immediately to mind. 0-5 against Oregon is right up there. Our pathetic road record, getting blown out by the elites, having this team look absolutely un-coached at times. Don’t forget that we were one blown Apple Cup away from shit-canning his ass after this season. Sometimes, people can just see the writing on the wall. He staved off execution for one year, but what would have happened next year if our record declined in the face of guys like Price, Sankey, and ASJ leaving? He probably got out of here at the exact right time. Nevertheless, even if he stayed and then was fired after next year, I would have been against it.
Sark is merely a footnote, Husky fans. A 5-year intermission between being the worst and being the best. Hopefully, the people in charge will poach from the right schools to get us going again. I wouldn’t mind seeing anyone from the SEC (coordinators included, obviously) get wooed away to the Pacific Northwest. I also would be heavily in favor of Jim Mora getting his shot at returning home. If USC can do it, why can’t we? At least we’ll know that Mora won’t constantly be looking for his next big opportunity. #HuskyForLife