Oct 13, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive line coach Ed Orgeron (lef) talks with Washington Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian after the game at CenturyLink Field. USC defeated Washington 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

USC Football: Poll – Has Your Opinion Of The Sarkisian Hire Changed?


It’s been a week since USC announced the hire of Steve Sarkisian as the Trojans’ new head coach.

Since that day, the couching carousel has gone around and around. Assistant coaches have resigned and been hired, former candidates have taken other jobs, and the murky waters around the hire have become both more clear and more muddled.

The question last Monday was whether USC should be mourning the hire. After all, it meant missing out on flashier hires like Chris Petersen, Kevin Sumlin or even a reach-for-the-stars choice like Jon Gruden. Worse still perhaps, it meant losing Ed Orgeron.

With Sarkisian in place, Orgeron jumped ship, leaving the Trojans without an interim head coach and, by proxy, without a defensive line coach for the bowl game.

Then there’s Petersen, the Boise State head coach known for his impressive winning percentage and surprisingly BCS success at a non-BCS school. A candidate for the USC and one of Pat Haden’s five head coaching finalists, Petersen reportedly missed out on a job offer after a less-than-stellar interview. Instead he was hired by Washington on Friday, a move that means the Huskies won’t be mourning Sarkisian’s loss too much.

The question now is whether the initial impression of the hire still stands.

After all, there has been positive movement in that regard.

If nothing else, Sarkisian has proven himself as a likable character. He said all the right things in his opening presser and continued to assuage fan concerns in a Spreecast live chat appearance.

On top of that, respected Washington assistant coaches Johnny Nansen, Keith Heyward and Peter Sirmon have already made their way to Los Angeles to join Tee Martin on Sarkisian’s staff, even though big fish like Justin Wilcox and Tosh Lupoi, who were first rumored as potential hires, are still up in the air.

So, has your opinion changed? Vote in the poll below.

Has your opinion of the Sarkisian hire changed?

View Results

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Tags: Football Steve Sarkisian USC Trojan

  • bcorig

    What’s the big deal? He’s a Division I coach with 5 years of Pac 12 coaching experience, Pro Experience, USC experience and local recruiting ties. He had a 26 and 25 (.509) record with the Huskies. Mack Brown got to Texas in 1998 after compiling a .537 record with the likes of Appalachian State, Tulane and UNC. What’s his winning percentage at UT? .770 So, what do we have to lose? What are you all worrying about? Chris Petersen DIDN’T WANT THE JOB. Kevin Sumlin runs a different offense (can you spell “Rich Rodriguez to Michigan”?) and he wouldn’t have been bringing Johnny Manzell with him. Jon Gruden??? Get real!! Why not just say “Bill Cowher”. Haden’s a smart guy. This has the potential to work out really well. Or it won’t. As far as coach Orgeron, he really, really blew it. All along it was “about the kids” until it came down to reality and then. like every one of them, it was about HIM (like Mora at UCLA – he used the UW job to get a better deal for himself). He could have stayed, get a big raise, go to few BCS bowls. Has he received any head coaching job offers since he threw his little snit? Where’s he gonna go now?

    • Ben Factor

      I like some of this comment.

      Interesting point about Brown, but I always thought he was the weak link at UT. Not really much of a coach, IMHO. If Saban gets hired, we’ll see if I’m right.

      Disagree that Sumlin couldn’t exploit USC’s typical skill recruits of the 2000s. Michigan is not a great analogy.

      Agree on Gruden.

      Haden is a trainee at this job, and not much for strategy. I think his approach to the hire was very weak–too little emphasis on excellence.

      I don’t think Sark ever showed signs of greatness–anywhere. Would never have gotten the job from me. Hope I’m proven wrong.

      So far as recruiting, I think it will be more even with UCLA than many Trojan fans think. I think that Mora’s hires, culture change, consecutive victories, and TV money will make things a lot more competitive for the foreseeable future. Especially vs. Sark the Magic Median.

      Haden should have been more honest with Orgeron. Desptie that, Orgeron should have bitten his tongue, and left after the bowl game. I do think he’ll be a head coach next year, and that’s what he really wants. It would have been a problem if he stayed. If he can’t get an HC job, he can certainly coach DL at another major school. Hope it’s not UCLA. :)

      • 24 Medals ribbons and citation

        Interesting that you think the talent pool is the same in LA as UDub. If he can win in Washington he most definitely will win down here. I have some pictures with him when they played Nebraska a few years ago. I text my bro in law the day Kiff was fired and said he (Sark) will be our new coach. Let’s see how he coaches when the field is level if he has excellent talent and the opponent does too, that is where his coaching prowess will be on display. Not losing when you are favored to win is the key. I can take losses just not inexcusable losses.

        • Ben Factor

          It’s much harder now. The entire Pac-12 is well financed by TV–think NFL. USC will split the talent with UCLA and other schools, and the talent in So Cal is nothing like that of the Southeast.

          As of right now, I expect UCLA to hold their own very nicely.

          He won 7-8 games at UW. Sure, he’ll do a little better at USC. But he lacks big upside.

          Think where USC is starting, and where Washington is starting. Within 5 years, my bet is that UW will have improved its position more than USC has. Peterson is an excellent coach and developer of talent.

          Why not hire someone excellent? What was the rush? Orgeron was here to hold down the fort. Ed O would succeed or not succeed. And if not, Haden would have bought time to find his big winner.

          The hire makes no logical sense. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

          • 24 Medals ribbons and citation

            How wrong you are my friend, did you not notice the drop off in production on the offensive side of the ball for SC post Sark? To think that the talent level isn’t on par with the southeast is just plain foolish! Long Beach Poly and a school in ATL that actually combined 2 schools into 1 have the most players ever in the NFL. You stating that was disproved, As far as big O and D linemen yes I will agree with you there. Skill positions a tie because of the wide outs down south, but as far as QB goes no state in America can compete with Cali. I guess you just cannot fathom he has coaches to develop the talent that is their specific job. Maybe he cannot recognize they are not doing their jobs but by hiring guys like Justin Wilcox, Peter Sirmon and Tosh Lupoi that argument has been quashed. Sark is SoCal born and bred not hiring him made no sense.

          • Ben Factor

            We shall see in the next few years who had this right. I follow USC, and I hope it will be you. However, I think it will be me.

            He’s just not special, and the coaching in the Pac-12 has improved a lot. He’s not a disastrous hire. He’s just not an inspired or inspiring hire.

  • Ben Factor

    Poll for an opinion change one week later…now that’s investigative reporting.

    • Matthew Moreno

      Nothing wrong with checking the pulse of the fan base after emotions have hopefully been removed from one’s opinion of the hire.

      Especially since opinions could have changed as the staff has started to take form.

  • Rick

    Why Sark now?

    Recruit Recruit Recruit !

    USC had little time because of recruiting and had USC had a rotten recruiting class it could’ve of set back the program several more years.

    Look/Watch how quickly USC rises in the 2013/2014 recruiting arena.

    2 more ****(4 star) and 2 *****(5 star)
    signee`s on the way and at todays point in time USC has the 6th highest qualify class in the nation.

    That without even one “5 star” recruit yet in this class !

    The Trojans will finish with the “Best” recruiting class for the 2013-2014 class!

    Haden had to move quickly, its all about recruiting and remember a coach (Sarkisian) can be fired quickly If needed but you don’t have a 2nd chance at a recruiting Class