It seems like just yesterday USC’s next head coach was reported to be one of Chris Petersen or James Franklin.
Oh how things change.
Early Monday morning, the coaching carousel got a hefty push from USC athletic director Pat Haden when he set in motion a week of rumor and intrigue.
Hiring Washington’s Steve Sarkisian was a surprise move. It had Trojans up in arms. It had Bruins holding their breath, dreading news that Jim Mora would be jumping to his alma mater. And then, in the ultimate merry-go-round ride, it saw Boise State’s Petersen finally making his move into the major leagues by taking the job that Sarkisian vacated.
The punch-line is, Petersen was a candidate for the USC job but missed out on an offer from the Trojans, despite being one of college football’s mostly highly sought-after coaches.
As a result, the two coaches will inevitably be compared to each other for the remainder of the respective tenures at USC and Washington.
Petersen clearly has the better resume, with an impressive win percentage and two BCS bowl victories. However, Sarkisian took an 0-12 Washington team and turned them into a consistently decent Pac-12 team. The conference issue muddles the picture the most, as Petersen has never had to prove himself against top-level competition on a weekly basis. On the other hand, Sarkisian can only claim marginal success as a head coach against that same competition.
Right now, it is impossible to whether either hire was a success or failure. That determination will be made on the football field. However, the question will loom large as we move into the offseason.
Career Record: 5 Years, 34-29, .540 Pct.
Bowl Record: 3 Bowls, 1-2, .333 Pct.
Career Record: 8 Years, 92-12, .885 Pct.
Bowl Record: 7 Bowls, 5-2, .714 Pct.