I just turned the TV off at halftime and went to a friend’s house at halftime. That’s how abysmal it was watching the Huskies compete, or should I say “try to”, against the Arizona Wildcats. I came into this game thinking that it would be a turning point in the Dawgs’ season after two tough losses, but boy was I wrong. After the losses against Oregon and USC, the Huskies needed a win to start the second half of their season out on the right note. We all know what happened and even though this loss was bad, some people overreacted to this loss way too much, like me. The thoughts that came into my mind were absurd and once I came back down to earth, I realized that the Dawgs do still have a bright future, despite this huge loss.
Fans are fans and the reason why sports are so fun and entertaining to be around is because of all the true believers who think their team is number 1. Games and their results cause a great deal of commotion within the world of sports and there is a perfect example of this after the Huskies loss. Some Huskies fans started to call for Steve Sarkisian’s job following the loss, as well as the starting job of Keith Price, and I truly think that is absurd. Here are five reasons, just for that one guy on Twitter, that Sark will not be and should not be fired:
1. There is too big of a financial commitment towards him at the current time. Sark is a multi-million dollar per year coach and with a firing, the athletic department would be left with some serious need for money, especially after the stadium renovation. A new high-caliber coach would cost just as much or maybe even more as Sark and if you add up the money for the new coach and the guaranteed money for Sark, it just doesn’t work out financially.
2. Recruiting would take a serious hit. Sark has many ties within California as he has recruited that area for now over 7 or 8 years. He knows most of the powerhouse high schools coaches and to be honest, our team is basically made up of California kids right now. If we fire Sark, we lose most of these kids in recruiting and then end up with who knows what. Sark is too crucial for the Dawgs in recruiting.
3. Sark is actually, believe it or not, a great football coach. Sure he can improve, but everyone can improve in their daily jobs. Sark has developed many quarterbacks over his tenures of coaching and this experience only attracts high school quarterbacks to the University of Washington. Every player listens when he speaks and even though he might not be the best at getting his teams prepared on game day, he has made the hires around him that will help out this problem in the future (yes Tosh I’m talking about you). Sark’s experience around college football is too valuable for the Huskies to lose.
4. Another coaching change just provides more instability and excuses, and sends the team into chaos. The Huskies just had an overhaul of coaches. They can’t have another coaching change, especially with the head coaching job, or the players won’t know what to expect when they come into the office day in and day out. I just experienced a coaching change and it was pretty tough for me. This was on a high school level. Imagine what it would be like on a college level! It would truly be detrimental to all the current players. The program needs continuous stability for a substantial amount of time.
5. Sark has shown VERY promising glimpses. Even though four years seems like a ton of time, in the whole scheme of things, it really isn’t. Sure Sark has had time to develop the program and get the kinds of players he wants, but his first full recruiting class is just becoming seniors next year. He has earned big wins over Stanford, Nebraska and USC in his tenure and this shows some big promise to me. You can’t dwell on these wins, but nonetheless, they show the program is heading in the right direction. Sark has learned more and more each year he has been with the Dawgs and I think that the comparison to Jim Harbaugh is a fair one. In both situations, both coaches have learned from their mistakes in the previous years and have acted on these mistakes, such as Sark making the moves to create a better defense. In my opinion it will all come to fruition for Sark next year. You can say it as many times as you want, but the fact is, the Huskies are still young. That’s not an excuse, it’s the truth. With Keith Price’s senior leadership next year, he should give everybody no doubt on who should be the coach in the future.
Sure, right after the Arizona loss I thought that it was all because of the terrible coaching and play calling of Sark, but as I took a step back from it all and truthfully looked at the situation, I saw that the loss was not 100% of Sark’s fault. He is still adjusting without his adviser and OC Doug Nussmeier and I think this is the main reason why UW’s offense hasn’t been as explosive as last year. Nussmeier really helped with the plan of attack in games and I just don’t see the same wise plan in this year’s offense. Add in the injuries to the offensive line and an injured Jesse Callier and you have an offense struggling for points. This has been the case all season, but don’t look for it to continue into next year.
The one big thing that Sark can currently do, and needs to do, is to win at least four more games this season. With the exception of Oregon State, every one of the teams remaining on the schedule is very beatable. Sark just needs to get his players ready on game day. If Sark doesn’t win at least 4 of the next five games, I can see some of your guys’ calls for a new coach justifiable, but until then Sark should feel no pressure of his job being taken away.
I really think the Dawgs have a bright future and have thought for the past couple of years or so that 2013 could be a huge year in Seattle sports. The Seahawks should make a deep playoff run, the Sounders should make a deeper playoff run, the Mariners could be in contention with a few offseason signings and last but not least, the Dawgs could be looking at a Rose Bowl, at most, but definitely a solid bowl game in Keith Price’s senior year. The Dawgs are young. Just wait until the Dawgs become more mature and wise next year because when they do, you’ll be kicking yourself for ever questioning the ability of Steve Sarkisian and the rest of his coaching staff.