I wasn't overly surprised last night as Arizona State beat USC on a Hail Mary as time expired. It's old hat for us Husky fans. As Yogi Berra would say, déjà vu all over again.
This is all part of the Sark script. So pour yourself a hot chocolate with a nip of Baileys Irish Cream, and gather your chairs 'round the old pipe stove, as Uncle Derek will now spin you a yarn of busted coverages past.
The year was 2009, Sark's first as head coach at Washington. He was following Tyrone Willingham's 0-12 season of 2008. To this day, many Husky fans point to that 0-12 season as an excuse to overlook Sark's many shortcomings as a coach.
There were many collapses and head-scratching moments in Sark's 5 years at Washington, but the one in 2009 versus the Sun Devils ranks among the most painful.
With a couple minutes left in the game, the score was tied at 17-17. The Huskies took over the ball and Sark called for tailback Chris Polk to run off tackle twice, which resulted in a total of nine yards. The clock continued to tick, and it was clear Sark was content to run out the clock and play for overtime.
But then Sark had one of his famous "gut feels". On 3rd and 1, he had quarterback Jake Locker throw a long bomb. It fell incomplete, stopping the clock in the process.
The Huskies punted and the Sun Devils took over near midfield with thirteen second left.
As shown in this Youtube video, ASU quarterback Danny Sullivan dropped back and threw a pass into the Husky end zone. When you click that link, go to the 2:08 mark to see the collapse unfold.
Not one but TWO wide receivers were UNCOVERED in the end zone. Easy touchdown. A teary-eyed Sark stared out toward the field amid the thunderstruck bedlam of Sun Devil Stadium.
Final score: Arizona State 24, Washington 17.
And so this morning I'm reading quotes from last night's game about how Sark called one play and the defenders thought another had been called. Confusion in the secondary, is what football fans and media types call it.
Stunned Trojan fans are trying to make sense right now of what's happening to their program. But it's all right there to see in the Sark script. The past is prologue, as Shakespeare said. Just look at the collapses and excuses from Sark's 5 years in Seattle to see how this will play out.
The only difference now is that Sark doesn't have the 0-12 excuse to lean on anymore. And the compliant Seattle media is not there to bail him out. We at Hardcore Husky call him "7 Win Steve" for a reason. But now, the heightened expectations surrounding USC football will accelerate the chaos still to come.