Under Steve Sarkisian, the Washington Huskies have lost at least three consecutive games in all of his five seasons at the helm. At this point, it’s normal procedure. So why worry?
Did we think this season would be different? Like each one before it, the season started promising; the Huskies got out to a 4-0 start before losing a heart breaker at Stanford. The annual loss to Oregon came next, and then finally the traditional trouncing in the desert.
At this point, it’s like beating a dead horse. I’m numb to it. I’m not sure what he’s missing, but Sarkisian doesn’t have what it takes to lead this program back to prominence. Funny how opinions change in the span of a couple weeks. I thought they were there. This was the season for the program to take the next step; I guess not.
Here we sit, at 4-3. The season is halfway over, but it’s not to be thrown away. No, the Huskies can still make something out their immense talent, but it’s not going to be anything more than a third-place finish in the Pac-12 North and a respectable bowl win. That’s the ceiling now, but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It can still be a step up from last season.
There are likely two games left on the schedule in which the Huskies won’t be the favorites – at UCLA and at Oregon State. If Washington can’t go 3-0 at home against Cal, Colorado and Washington State, Sarkisian deserves to be fired after the season.
After losing at ASU, the Huskies will need to defeat either UCLA or Oregon State away from home. Neither is going to be an easy win. UCLA has looked like one of the best teams in the nation (though, so had Washington up until last week) and if Oregon State’s loss to Eastern Washington is forgotten, the Beavers have played arguably as impressively as anyone in the conference.
We’ll know what the Beavers are capable of after this weekend when they host No. 6 Stanford. They should be just as worn out as the Huskies were after their most recent three-game stretch coming into their game against Washington – they’ll have played Stanford, USC and ASU in four weeks.
For Sarkisian to save his job, and for the Huskies to avoid a fourth straight seven-win season, they have to beat either Oregon State or UCLA. Oregon State looks like the significantly easier game right now, but even that may not be enough. What does 8-4 get Sark? One more year? I don’t know if that’s enough progress to justify keeping him. USC can have him. I know how much they like hiring coaches with records of seven-win seasons.