Judge Steve Sarkisian on USC, Not Washington and More USC Football News


Can’t get enough USC football news? We’ve got your morning dose of all the best content from around the web concerning the men of Troy.

1st & 10:

First Take… It’s time to take Washington off of Steve Sarkisian’s resume, for better or worse.

Thursday, Greg Katz of ESPN wondered if USC has developed the mental toughness to match their immense talent.

"Perhaps Sarkisian, who has never won a Pac-12 title in six years as a head coach in the conference, can model a toughness that will be embraced by his Trojans."

Katz’s larger point is a good one, but the whole jab about Sarkisian never winning a Pac-12 title is below the belt.

Sniping like that needs to stop. The same goes for a nickname like “Seven-Win Steve.”

Sarkisian’s time at Washington was like an internship. He took the job at the bottom rung, making photo copies and fetching coffee.

Considering the situation the Huskies were in when Sarkisian arrived, he did a pretty good job too.

But there was a ceiling to what he could achieve, as with any internship.

When he got hired by USC, it was like landing a full-time position with benefits and real responsibilities.

Was he under-qualified for that job? Maybe. Is he now learning on the job? Absolutely.

But judgement on his credentials begins with 2014, not 2009.

Sarkisian is 0-for-1 on Pac-12 titles, not 0-for-6, because 2014 was the first time he was in a real position to challenge for one.

Sarkisian is not “Seven-Win Steve” any more than you are still your middle school nickname. He won nine games in his first season at USC.

If you think he did a poor job with the Trojans in 2014 then base criticism on that, not on what he did with a team 1,000 miles away in literal distance and ambition.

And Ten USC Football Links…

  1. Reign Of Troy: USC missed out on yet another elite quarterback Thursday when Tate Martell committed to Texas A&M. The Trojans can’t afford to miss on the next one — Tua Tagovailoa.
  2. Daily News: We’ve asked it before. We’ll ask it again. Is there anything Adoree’ Jackson can’t do? He kicked a field goal for the Trojans during practice Thursday, because why not?
  3. OC Register: Cody Kessler missed practice as he attended grad school orientation, meaning Max Browne got first team reps in his place. Sarkisian said it was a great opportunity for him to get used to the feeling of jumping in at a moment’s notice.
  4. OC Register: Kessler hopes to learn from the interceptions and other close calls he had during Monday’s scrimmage, which was a struggle offensively.
  5. LA Times: Jacob Daniel earned praise from Chris Wilson and Antwaun Woods, who said he has stood out the most of the freshmen defensive linemen.
  6. ESPN: Safety is USC’s biggest remaining position battle, according to Kyle Bonagura. John Plattenburg is almost certainly secured in his place, but Chris Hawkins and Leon McQuay continue to fight it out for the other spot, while Marvell Tell has seen time there as well.
  7. Reign of Troy: Turnovers are an emphasis for USC’s defense this season after a season of missed opportunities. Sarkisian wants his Trojans to get into the 30s this time around.
  8. CBS Sports: Cost of Attendance stipend numbers are in and USC fans won’t be happy to learn that the Trojan’s annual stipend of $1,580 is paltry compared to UCLA’s annual stipend of more than $5,000. That’s what happens when USC lowballs COA numbers to keep prospective students from panicking.
  9. Reign Of Troy: Ron Yary, Ronnie Lott and Troy Polamalu were voted to the Football Writer’s Association of America’s 75th Anniversary All-American team. Yary and Lott were first teamers while Polamalu made the third team. No Trojan running back made the cut surprisingly.
  10. The head coaches of USC opponents in 2015 were in the news Thursday for getting just a bit too feisty.
    1. CBS Sports: Idaho head coach Paul Petrino had to be restrained by an assistant from getting into it with a reporter after practice
    2. CBS Sports: Jim Mora let it rip on freshman quarterback Josh Rosen on Wednesday, then explained his criticism on Thursday, “Out here, I’m an a-hole.”

Stat of the Day:

USC has had just one seven-win season since 1986. Prior to that, John McKay logged four straight seven-win seasons from 1963 to 1966.

Tweets of the Day:

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