"I'd be lying if I said I wasn't angry some days. But I really have worked hard to put a lot of the anger and disappointment in the past." - Monica Lewinsky
I have not been this despressed about Husky Football since Arizona 2008. I have not been this angry about the status quo since Typologists fought so hard to give us Lionel Year 4. I am not sure what it is since I knew we'd lose to Oregon heading into this week, it is just that I for some reason still love the Huskies and hate the way things are. It has now been 10 years since the Huskies beat Oregon and all of those losses have been by 17+ points. You have to go back to October 14, 1967, the Jim Owens era, to find 10 wins by 17+ points over the Ducks. What the Ducks have done to us 10 out of the last 10 times we have managed to do to them 10 of the last 46 times. While the ducks have been a good-dominant time in their 10 year period, we had a down period, our re-ascension to dominance and our long plunge into mediocrity followed by our plunge off the deep end and re-ascension to mediocrity. The ducks own us plain and simple and what is worse than having a rival dominate you is to know that you can't even keep it competitive. We just don't belong among the best teams in football and if we as a fanbase and program are alright with these results and don't take action against them, then that is a statement of mediocrity-acceptance. I know that Woodward only cares about maximizing profits and the majority of our fanbase seems content to pay big money for nothing. It sucks and until there is more anti-Sark sentiment (at least we only have to wait until ASU beats us) there is nothing we can do about this. Hopefully we can rally the quarter-brains when Sark goes 7-6 again to actually get rid of Sark. I truly fear what becomes of Husky football if we were to win on Saturday.
In terms of discussing the previous game I don't really want to and I don't have much to say. I was at the local (Houston) Husky viewing party since it was a day game and someone wanted me out of the house and it was a great testament to the excitement around the program. Even if people don't want to fire Sark on the whole they aren't enthusiastic about the program. Against Illinois (last time I went) there were dozens of Huskies there. Against Oregon there were two Huskies (one of which was me) and a duck. Following BSU there was great excitement around Husky football. Following Stanford there was a great malaise around Husky football. I suppose it is possible that this was driven by BTN vs FS1 viewership but I am expecting that most people prefered to go enjoy a rainy fall Saturday with their families rather than watch Plunger X. As far as play we were burned on defense. Oregon is way faster than us but as Auburn pointed out, our players were not prepared to play Oregon's routes and had to take a moment to react to WR routes. If you need to take time to figure out the offense each play then you need to be faster than your opponent. To beat Oregon you need a disruptive DL. Our DL is not that. It is year 5 - there has been time to recruit and coach up a DL that can combat Oregon. Sark has not done that. ASJ and KW are still hugely under-utilized. I don't know if Sark doesn't call plays to them or if Keith chooses different reads but our offense would undoubtedly be better if we incoprorated them more. The games are no longer the focus though - it is all about our next coach now - so that is all I have to say analyzing the play.
Our next coach needs to win. That is all I care about. He can be an offensive guy or a defensive guy. He can be a top high school position coach or Nick Saban. He can be a she or gay or a midget or asian or a communist. I don't care who we hire so long as we win. Now not all of these demographics are equally likely to win in my opinion and here is what I think the ideal candidate will look like:
1) Winner. Winners win. We do not need to hire someone who has not proven their capabilities somewhere else.
2) Previous head coaching experience - we do not need to waste time with a coaching making blunders, learning on the job. This is somwhat implicit in number 1 but given that we hire a winner, that could be a coordinator or a head coach. A head coach is preferable to a coordinator.
3) Defensive minded. Offense is flashy. Defense wins championships. Even if you lose, it is less embarrasing to lose 3-0 than 55-52 (at least in my eyes).
4) Not a retread. If someone has been fired from their previous job then they likely suck. We do not want them.
5) Has built up a program from scratch. This is really a nice-to-have trait and is tied into number 1 which really means they have proven themselves.
In the end this boils down to hiring someone with a track record. Rather than saying "this guy is personable and should recruit well" and "that guy held a clipboard in the Rose Bowl so he should be a good play caller" what you need to say is "that guy wins football games". The first two examples are projection and based on theory and assumptions. Someone who has shown they can accomplish the objective is the guaranteed good bet. Maybe it is a bad assumption that this program wants to win football games - but if it does want to win games then the safest bet is to hire someone proven. We have the mony to pay any coach anything they want. We just have to actually go out and do it. A great football coach pays for himself. Nick Saban makes about the same amount per win as Sarkisian but value rises exponentially with wins. A 13 win program is much much more valuable than a 10 win program which is much more valuable than a 7 win program. People sinply care more and pay more when you are the best. That is all there is to it. I work with a guy who claims his brother is a UT insider and he tells me that UT is going to offer Saban any amount of money he wants. While this is absolutely a "what I'm hearing" sort of deal - it actually is plausible and makes sense.
Evens & Ends
Utah beat Stanford making our moral victory more unimpressive. If Keith Price were two inches taller he'd get a shot at the NFL. Our 3rd quarter trends are somewhat continuing. Offensive scoring % by quarter: 14/15/52/19 Defensive pts allowed % by quarter: 12/30/40/18. We haven't beaten ASU since 2001. Can we break their win streak at 7 while we're on the road? We shall see... tock... tock... tock...