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Can Steve Sarkisian avoid another 7-6 season?

Steve Sarkisian AP

Washington under Steve Sarkisian has been nothing if not consistent during the three season preceding 2013.

After going 5-7 in 2009 in his first year as head coach in Seattle, Sarkisian’s Huskies finished 7-6 in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

But 2013 seems different. Or at least it seemed different.

It wasn’t just Washington’s 4-0 start that pointed to the likelihood of a Huskies breakout out from its 7-6 gulag. It was also the way UW looked in beating Boise State and Illinois. The Huskies played fast and furious on both sides of the ball and appeared to be ready to return to the national scene.

Even consecutive losses to Stanford and Oregon the past two weeks provided evidence that Washington was on the rebound. The Huskies competed hard and took both elite teams into the fourth quarter before folding.

But Washington may have picked a bad year to get good again.  That’s because the Pac-12 might be as good as it’s ever been.

Now, suddenly, a Huskies team that was flying high a couple weeks ago finds itself in a must-win situation this Saturday. Washington travels to Tempe to take on Arizona State, which has more-than-enough firepower to hand the Huskies their third-straight loss.

If Washington loses in Tempe, it would likely rebound to beat California and Colorado the next two weeks, which means it would sit at 6-3 heading into its final three games.

Those three games include road trips to UCLA and Oregon State — both likely to be ranked — and a home game against in-state rival WSU, which beat the Huskies last season.

In other words, a loss to ASU would set up Washington for a possible 7-5 regular season.

Seven wins.  Again.

It therefore stands to reason that this Saturday’s game against ASU is the most important game of the Sarkisian era at Washington. A loss to the Sun Devils might get the momentum rolling for Sarkisian to lose his job come December.

A win, or course, would confirm our earlier impression — that UW is a legit team and ready to take the next step to becoming a contender in the Pac-12 North.

It just goes to show you how close the line can be between success and failure in college football. Hopefully, those Pac-12 refs behave this time.

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8 Responses to “Can Steve Sarkisian avoid another 7-6 season?”
  1. irishdodger says: Oct 14, 2013 11:09 PM

    Look on the bright side UDub fans, it beats the Ty Willingham years.

  2. joenash72 says: Oct 14, 2013 11:25 PM

    Gosh I loved those Ty Willingham years. Especially the 0-12 season :-)

    GO COUGS!!! :-)

  3. irishdodger says: Oct 14, 2013 11:29 PM

    Ty Willie is probably still getting paid by those racists at UW & ND who fired him……; )

  4. soundsofsuccess7 says: Oct 14, 2013 11:33 PM

    No.

    And that’s why he won’t be the head of the Trojans any time soon.

  5. drummerhoff says: Oct 15, 2013 12:07 AM

    Washington is a solid football team. I’ve got them as the 4th best in a high quality PAC 12. UW’s schedule was front loaded with Oregon and Stanford and the schedule makers gave them a tough draw with @UCLA and @ASU from the South division. Still, I see them finishing the season no worse than 8-4.

  6. powercorrupts2 says: Oct 15, 2013 12:16 AM

    Chris Huston is correct about the behavior of the Pac-12 refs. They certainly took it upon themselves to determine the outcome of the Wisconsin-ASU game. It should go down as one of the biggest robberies in football history (and that isn’t saying there haven’t been others).
    I think Ty Willingham would be a great choice as head coach for USC. Imagine the pyrotechnics that could occur when he would go 0-12. Then he could play some more women’s golf.

  7. ratsfoiledagain says: Oct 15, 2013 1:51 PM

    irishdodger says: Oct 14, 2013 11:29 PM

    Ty Willie is probably still getting paid by those racists at UW & ND who fired him……; )
    **********************
    I’ll bite. Ty was not the right guy for the job at the time, and he wasn’t a good coach. Ty won 22% of his games at UW. He won 17% of P10 games. He is the only coach in UW history not to have a winning season by his 3rd year coaching. If I was the AD at UW I would have canned him after year two. Ya know, since he had an outstanding 7-16 record, 4-13 in P10 play. Keith Gilbertson coached prior to Ty. He lasted two years after going 7-16, 4-12 in P10 play. Don’t care what he did at ND (1 solid year) or Stanford (1 solid year). Ty sucked at UW and basically quit his last year there.

  8. skwackquackwoof says: Oct 15, 2013 5:45 PM

    Joe Nash, as far as o can remember UDub and Wazzou were tied for worst in the nation during those years.I know you won that Apple Cup but I don’t see that you had that much to “love” during those years. As far as the Huskies are concerned, even if Sark doesn’t win a single other game this year they should keep him. If for no other reason than the stability of the program. They haven’t been right since the Don James fiasco. Sark would never have been my first choice for head coach of anything in any sport at any level, but he rescued you from the gutter. He has definitely grown as a coach in recent years. The Huskies lost a game on Saturday and he hasn’t been quoted whining about anything at all since then. The Dawgs are growing into a respectable program. The only reason the Huskie faithful have traditional high expectations is due to the above listed fiasco in the first place. Have a little faith.

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