So… we Completely Plungered, Obliterated, Thrashed, and Destroyed Oregon State. They were shutout through the first three quarters and managed to completely embarrass themselves. Sarkisian always runs up the score when he can and the only things that surprises me here is that he was able to pull it off. Marcus Peters had a phenomenal game and continued to show that independent of the quality of the team and head coach that he will be playing on Sundays. At this point I would be surprised if he didn’t end up being a first rounder… but we’ve seen players get worse over their time at Washington before *cough*ASJ*cough* *cough*JamesJohnson*cough* so I’ll let it play out. Sean Parker showed some great leadership in calming Peters down after something that got him riled up (I don’t recall what). I read a GoebBELs article earlier this year which talked about Parker’s mental maturation and I actually believe it. We had three one hundred yard rushers which is a good thing although it would be nice to do that more often (maybe not 3x 100 every game, but big rushing yards)...
I haven’t been tracking Sark’s play calling formally but I feel like Sark has simplified the play calling for Miles and been more effectively implementing the offense from early in the season. My impression of what Miles operated has been a run heavy, up tempo offense that more closely mimics the Oregon style. I feel like KP was leading a more random type of offense that has mimicked Sark’s style of years past. Again I haven’t actually tracked this formally but that is how things felt to me. Regardless this is definitely an example of how Sark goes run heavy towards the end of the year. Every year Sark returns to the run in the last few games – why not every game? Some folks think that Oregon’s recession this year has been caused by Helfrich losing the run first mentality. I am alright with that since we are clearly not going to get better than other teams who do things well – all we can hope for is that we move above them by them getting worse.
In the end this game has changed nothing – Sark is the same guy as ever who will win games and lose games and never have consistency. Why can we still not compete with the top teams in the conference? ASU took us behind the woodshed yet we were able to dominate OSU who only lost to ASU by 13? Yeah, the transitive property does not apply and some teams can take advantages of relative strengths and weaknesses – but if we have the talent to put up 69 on OSU then we have the ability to play against anyone. Oregon put up 17+ on us for the 10th consecutive year now… half of those 17+ losses came under Sark. Even if you can’t win, can’t you at least manage a fluke moral victory of a single digit loss? We have seen Sark have many of these big wins, some of which have seemed at the time like turning the corner, before harsh reality came back to bring us down to Earth
Previous turn the corner games:
2009 - #3 USC, #19 Cal
2010 - #18 USC, Nebraska Holiday Bowl
2012 -#8 Stanford (#7 OSU was good win but didn’t have a turning point feel)
2013 - Boise State thrashing
Sark has managed big wins in the past but they have never been a sign of an ascending program – just random wins which have been compensated for by random losses and long losing streaks. That being said maybe this was the best outcome. If Sark had lost this game and against WSU we would have likely been done at a 6-6 season. He might not have been fired and then we’d be stuck with a lame duck coach. Sure, if he were fired and we hired a real coach now, that would be best. If we beat WSU and then win a bowl game we may be lucky enough to have some idiot poach him. That would mean we only had losses to Oregon, Stanford, ASU, and UCLA, which to the casual spectator looks like a respectable turn around. We could be rid of him and have the illusion of success. It won’t change our dearth of linemen but hopefully the next coach can mitigate that until we have an appropriate depth of OL and DL built up. If we lose to WSU though we maybe in the ultimate limbo. We could be 7-5 and left out of a bowl game. The Pac-12 has 7 bowl slots which will go to Stanford, Oregon, ASU, UCLA, USC, and WSU before us. WSU has been out so long that they will be desirable to a bowl selection committee – they will travel. That leaves us fighting with OSU and UA for the last slot in the Pac-12. Sure, we beat them both but if either of them pull off an upset next week with us losing to WSU then we may be sitting at home if we don’t fill another league’s slots. Then Sark may stick around with 7 wins again but there will be no momentum for recruiting, no hope for fans, and another lost year. What will actually happen… only time will tell… tock… tock… tock…
Evens & Ends:
Will Moos inspire Woodward to create his nbt blacklist? Muschamp sure looked better on paper than Sark… would he have been better here than at Florida? Things aren’t looking good down there. Auburn is starting to look really good – imagine if the coogs had beaten them? ASU game really coming back to hurt Wisconsin – killed their BCS bowl hopes. Long term effects of Pac-12 refs.