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USC Hires Steve Sarkisian

Right after Lane Kiffin was fired after his 3-2 start with the USC Trojans, one of
Steve Sarkisian
the biggest storylines quickly turned to who would take over one of college football's most glamourous jobs. There were a number of popular big names that surrounding the job like Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin, who later signed an extension with the Aggies, and Boise's Chris Petersen but in the end it was a more local coach that will take over the Trojans.

Former Washington coach and Pete Carroll's assistant, Steve Sarkisian, will take over at Washington. Sarkisian, a 39 year-old who went 34-29 at Washington and 24-21 in the Pac-12 did a great job with the Huskies. When Sarkisian took over the Washington job not much was expected. Sarkisian took over at Washington after the Tyrone Willingham era, the Huskies had just gone winless in 2008. Though, in five years in Seattle, Sarkisian managed to turn the Huskies from losers to a team that could continually compete with the powerhouses of the Pac-12 North like Stanford and Oregon. It is no question that Sarkisian had success at Washington, but was it the right move for USC?

After Kiffin was fired the Trojans named Ed Orgeron head coach. What Oregeron did in eight games with USC is amazing. With a roster with little confidence that was depleted of talent due to NCAA sanctions and a rough schedule still remaining, Orgeron managed to go 6-2 with a huge upset win over Stanford. Orgeron, a former head coach at Ole Miss, raised the level of "fun" and excitement around the team. Although he did great with the team, it never looked like Orgeron would become the next full head coach at USC. Athletic director Pat Haden clearly wanted a big name who he could bring in. Although Steve Sarkisian isn't a big name he is a coach who has proven that he can recruit well in California and on the West Coast. It isn't too early to think about what Sarkisian can do in the future. At Washington, Sarkisian ran an explosive spread offense that could shred defenses up at times, but defense kept them from going to the next level. The Trojans already have a ton of offensive talent on their roster and will have a lot next year. If the defense can transfer Sarkisian is in good position to win right away. USC is still a team that can recruit very well in the state of California, and much of the players on the Washington roster are from California. Even with UCLA relevant once more in Los Angeles, USC is still the elite program in that big city. Sarkisian will be officially announced tomorrow, Orgeron has announced his resignation and offensive coordinator Clay Helton will coach in USC's bowl game.

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