Sounds like Washington coach Steve Sarkisian is feeling some pressure for the first time in his Washington career. Long gone is the guy who said in his first year of 2009 that the rebuilding job "won't take very long." Vanished is the guy who guaranteed an undefeated record at home in 2010 (the team went 3-3).
What we're seeing now is more of the Sarkisian from 2011 who stated after his team won its 6th game that they were now "playing with house money."
Now, in May of 2013, Sarkisian sounds like he's hedging his bets and tamping down expectations further. In an interview yesterday with SiriusXM College Sports Nation, Sarkisian said, "we inherited a program four years ago that was really struggling. These guys were 0-12 and had fallen on hard times from what we grew up knowing Husky football as. It's taken a long time to recruit."
Sark added: "The north division of the Pac-12 is a tough one when you play Stanford and Oregon in back-to-back weeks, then you go to Southern California and take on SC and UCLA. It's a great conference. I think we've built ourselves up now to be in position to compete for a conference championship. We were able to knock off Stanford last year, but to win our division, you're going to have to beat Stanford and Oregon, and that's the goal this fall."
Some might say he's learned his lesson and is being smarter about managing expectations. Others might say he's circling the wagons and implying that the mediocrity of the first four years was not his fault.
What say you?